Why KDE4 is called KDE?
eyolf at oestrem.com
Wed Dec 9 13:35:45 GMT 2009
On 09.12.2009 (09:50), Martin (KDE) wrote:
> Am Mittwoch, 9. Dezember 2009 schrieb Eyolf Østrem:
> > 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...).
> I have to disagree. OpenSource (as I understand it) is more than free
> available software. It is a concept to give back the control of
> software to the society. Even a average user with no interest in
> programming gets the benefit of it (XFree -> Xorg and similar).
Actually, there was nothing in there to disagree with. It was a question,
a description of what I do or don't, and a general distinction between
ideology and practice. That distinction you might have questioned, but you
rather confirm it by arguing, explicitly, from a conceptual, ideological
point of view.
> You can do everything with it you want to.
No, I can't. I'm ALLOWED to, I have the OPTION to, but I CAN'T.
As I started out saying: I endorse the ideological side of FOSS
completely; Richard Stallman is one of my true idols, not only for what he
is doing for software (sorry: for humanity, in the area of software, I meant
to say..). My main point was that even though free open software
ideologically is empowering people on the general level, that is a very
remote concept for ME as an end user in the specific situation when I've
e.g. upgraded my installation of kde and a lot of customization options
are gone. The only way in PRACTICE the regular end-user is empowered, is
through the control he is given over the interaction with the program,
through customization and documentation.
Without that control, an open source application is just as much a
black box to me as a closed source one.
Of course, developers are free to develop whichever way they want. I just
wish they would use their power to empower me too, in the way mentioned,
not just in the general, ideological way, and I am of the opinion that
the openness of the source code is over-exploited as an argument in favour
of FOSS. The argument looses its force by becoming too wide a claim.
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