Re: Oracle v. Google jury returns partial verdict, favoring Oracle

From: Snit <>
Date: Wed, 09 May 2012 18:00:24 -0700
Message-ID: <>

On 5/9/12 5:40 PM, in article 4fab0e68$, "Pól" <P?> wrote:

> On 09/05/12 20:14, Sandman wrote:

>>> How can Open Source be "bogus"?

>>> Unlike with closed software - if you don't like it, you can do something
>>> about it, at least in theory.

>> Which is as relevant to 99.999% of computer users as "if you don't
>> like it, you can rebuild your house from scratch" is for 99.999% of
>> house owners. Give or take :-D

> Which is true - the majority of people (us) aren't capable of making
> major (or even minor) changes to Open Source projects (although I was
> very proud of myself when I made a minor change to a minor project).
> All of which of course does *_not_* mean that Open Source is "bogus".
> FLOSS is what it says it is - it does what it says on the tin - it's
> open about what it is, there's no lying - you can see the bugs up-front
> - you don't have vendor lock-in.

This is not entirely true. The concept of "open source" is true and honest, but when they use the GPL and demand you follow its restrictions, and thus reduce what you can "freely" do with the code, it is disingenuous to call it "Free" (other than in price). They pretend it is about freedom when it really is a form of IP protection, albeit a rather open set of protections. Still, one is obligated to follow the restrictions set by the IP license being used (in terms of those who use the term "Free", this generally some flavor of the GPL).

If they really wanted it to be "Free", they would place the work in the public domain and ensure that there are no restrictions on the code they produce. This is not what they want - they want to limit "freedom". To be clear, however, I have *no* problem with this... people who create IP should be able to define under what uses and restrictions people can use their product. For example, I cannot get a best selling novel and change the names of the characters and alter a few other details and then sell it as my own - this would be plagiarism and it would be going against the license that the best seller is sold under. This would be plagiarism.

> As far as I'm concerned, both Linux and the *BSD's are a superior
> technical choice for servers - the reason Windows is so popular is
> because of the multiplicity of apps available, but FLOSS is now matching
> Windows for end-user apps. LibreOffice is an example - I haven't booted
> into Windows in over a year.

While the options for desktop Linux have grown, there are still many areas where the competition is ahead. You mention one: Office applications. While LibreOffice is excellent, it simply is behind the competition in many ways - not only in features but in how they are done. This is a video I made showing a fairly common example: <>. The response by some in COLA was that the task shown, rotating an image in a word processor, is something they essentially never see happen and would never even consider. This is likely true - they use LibreOffice (or OpenOffice). In those packages, while the feature is available, it is done so poorly it is all but ignored. In better packages this feature is easy to use and thus *is* used: in newsletters, fliers, etc.

Another example is screencasting, which is becoming more and more common. Here is a recent example of how Peter reacted to seeing another environment handle it better than does desktop Linux:


    Excellent screencasting software, similar to ScreenFlow. And     example of something I find key to its use:     <>. What OSS tool on desktop Linux     has anything even close?

  Peter Köhlmann:

    There are several more. Look up "Istanbul" for example or     "Byzanz", or "Cankiri" The list can grow quite a bit, but     these are the most used ones

None of the three programs Peter pointed to do the task shown in the video... and Peter was never able to find *any* way to do such a task on desktop Linux. He never admitted to this, of course. And this is common with the false "advocates" of COLA - they are not familiar with the competition and when they are shown what it can do, and find desktop Linux is lacking, they refuse to admit to it. In the case of Peter, he becomes angry and starts making absurd accusations and spewing silly insults - including ones directed at my personal and professional life.

> But, again, all of this aside, none of this has an iota of an impact on
> the opinion of the OP about FLOSS being "bogus".
> I'm genuinely interested - I've never heard FLOSS called that before -
> people differing over the merits of the different packages, but "bogus"
> - never...
> As Frasier Crane would say, "I'm listening"...

I would not call desktop Linux "bogus". It is excellent... it is just not a good competitor to OS X and Windows, at least for most users.

> Paul...
> BTW, I'm a fan, not a fanatic. I make a living using Oracle which is not
> likely to open-source it's flagship database prodcut anytime soon.


"I am not claiming Excel and Pages are incorrect." - cc
Received on Wed May 09 2012 - 20:00:24 CDT

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