Why KDE4 is called KDE?

spir denis.spir at free.fr
Wed Dec 9 10:20:32 GMT 2009

Eyolf Ă˜strem <eyolf at oestrem.com> dixit:

> On 08.12.2009 (06:36), Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote:
> > On Monday 07 December 2009 23:44:25 Thierry de Coulon wrote:
> > > May I ask what changes with free programs as long as you are no programer?
> > >  I love this affirmation but it's very theoretical for the average user....
> > 
> > No, it's not.
> > 
> > With free software any programmer with the necessary skills can modify the 
> > program; even if you lack the skills there are a number of ways to get the 
> > modifications you would like done.  It might not be without cost, but it is 
> > available.
> However much I agree with the principle of open source/free software, this
> argument stays for the most part in the "principle" area. In PRACTICE
> (which is what the OP implied with the "average user"), there is little or
> no difference between open and closed software. Sure, you can see the
> source code, but how many do? I usually don't, because I'm not a
> programmer, and mostly it doesn't mean anything to me anyway. And I would
> NEVER dare to tinker with source code for anything bigger than a bash
> script (well, I have, and it turned out horribly...).
> So, in sum, the "you can see the source code and do anything you like with
> it" is a meaningless statement to anyone who is not a programmer: NO, I
> can't do anything I like with it -- I can't do anything AT ALL with it.
> Ideologically, it may be a valid point, but in practice it's not.
> Besides, what you describe is in effect a fork -- a one-person or
> one-organization fork, but a fork all the same. Unless the changes are
> trivial or the application is very modular, chances are that it will be a
> dead end: for every upgrade of the source code, you'll have to incorporate
> the changes, hoping that they don't break something. If I am a big
> corporation with enough money to spend to pay a developer to implement my
> wishes, I would still be caught in this trap. And since I'm not, it's
> still just a dream scenario.
> What I CAN do something about is configuration, i.e. the practicalities of
> how I interact with the program: keybindings, interface choices, etc.
> Which is why I would have wished customization options to be on the top of the
> list for any developer. I spend a considerable amount of time every day in
> front of a midnight commander window; half of that time, I wish the
> developers had devised a way to customize the keyboard bindings. Can I
> change it in the source code? Probably -- I just don't have a clue how.
> Eyolf


But one thing you don't mention here is the ability for organisation of all kinds (including govermental) to dig in the the source and see what it _actually_ does, and how. Not to mention to evaluate sheer code quality. This ability is as important and more basic than producing changes, variants, forks, to adapt the code to their needs.
Otherwise what you get is a blackbox you haven't even a chance to know what it _really_ is.
This is, for me, the value #1 of FLOSS. This is why all organisations should only use FLOSS.


la vita e estrany

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