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Kuro5hin: Open source considered

Jan 28, 2001, 18:41 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nirvana)

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"A piece of software is often promoted with the line "it's open source of course", and I often hear people saying that "I would use it, but it's not open source"."

"But are these valid positions to take?"

"According to the open source movement [this article is concerned with open source, not free software (although free software certainly shares some of the funding problems), to clear up any ambiguity], considering a piece of software someone has written, one should not use it unless one has the source code. The reasoning is that if one has a problem with it, one cannot resolve the issue without outside help. As far as I can see, although this is certainly a distinct advantage for say Google, who with a staff of highly trained engineers could easily tweak the Linux or BSD kernel to suit their requirements, its advantages in ensuring quality and reliability are far from assured. For example, in propounding the open source solution in John Goerzen's paper on the ethics of free [open source] software he says that the famous case of the USS Yorktown, that the 'problem behind all this is proprietary software'."

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