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Thread: Richard Stallman Comments On Valve For Linux

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ownagefool View Post
    On your card, maybe. On my card, for sure. On his card? I doubt it.
    He says he uses a lenovo laptop. It's probably got an Intel ethernet chip and an Intel wireless chip, both loaded with proprietary firmware.


    Being in conflict with reality doesn't mean his views are inconsistant.
    Being in conflict with reality is a big problem if you want to see your ideas happen in this reality.

    that the community was given the ability to interface with it.
    There are "GPL" drivers in the linux kernel that were written by engineers at the hardware companies, who had access to NDA documentation. The "community" has NO ability to interface with this hardware except through the "virtual binary blob" of a GPL driver that can't be touched without an NDA manual in front of you.

    unless you actually contribute something new.

    My contribution is to ask questions that apparently don't have very good answers.

    If you aren't prepared to make assertions that you will stand behind, what is YOUR contribution?

  2. #42

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    Bah, this is a message from leader to followers on how Valve's initiative is a mixed blessing for their mission. If you don't ascribe to the same belief system, then there's little point in discussing the message itself.

    That said, if we are going to talk about the free software mandate itself instead of Valve's role in it... I see issues, even for something as fundamental as a software developer's survival.

    Software developers need to be paid somehow; we shouldn't need to spend our lives with two jobs (software development and subsistence farming ). There are a lot of cases where you can create a business model that does not require selling individual copies. If you can generate revenue from support contracts, bundled hardware, or bundled art (as in the case of a video game), then things are great. Why not open up the source code and encourage creativity from your users (voiding warranty where buggy software may cause explosions, haha)?

    However, that does not work for everything. Sometimes your software is your entire competitive advantage, the reason people are buying your bundle of stuff and not someone else's; sometimes there's nothing to sell except the software. I don't see how going open source can make any sense here. If the software requires any significant investment of research and development time, how do you compensate your developers so they can maintain some standard of living?

    I realize RMS is not opposed to selling copies of the software, but without preventing other distribution channels, you are unlikely to see much revenue from your own. You necessarily must charge more to cover NRE, while anyone else could supply it for free. Unless there's something I'm missing here, I don't see how a complete system of free software can work in a capitalist society.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by frantaylor View Post
    Being in conflict with reality is a big problem if you want to see your ideas happen in this reality.
    That is moronic (no offense). Maybe you should build a time machine, you could go back through time and stop anyone who had a different idea than what was the social norm. This would include many of the great philosophors, scientists, artists, inventors, as well as many leaders of various movements through out history.

    what a great world we would live in, if everyone thought like this :|

    Quote Originally Posted by frantaylor View Post
    There are "GPL" drivers in the linux kernel that were written by engineers at the hardware companies, who had access to NDA documentation. The "community" has NO ability to interface with this hardware except through the "virtual binary blob" of a GPL driver that can't be touched without an NDA manual in front of you.
    yup. problematic indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by frantaylor View Post
    My contribution is to ask questions that apparently don't have very good answers.

    If you aren't prepared to make assertions that you will stand behind, what is YOUR contribution?
    i know this wasn't addressed to me specifically - but what you have said above is NO contribution at all. that's a pretty big fail and really comes across like you are trying to have a pissing contest.

    Your artist example was also pretty weak. You can tell a hell of a lot of looking at almost any artist's painting. Everything from the type of paint, style, types of tools used, the technique used (glazing would be one example), what base colors were used / the ordering of the colors/tones. Also, it is very common for artists to share/teach technique and even document their (making of) works.

    the same is true of music.

    Art is not typically proprietary as you are claiming.
    Last edited by ninez; 07-30-2012 at 01:19 AM.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiritofreason View Post
    Bah, this is a message from leader to followers on how Valve's initiative is a mixed blessing for their mission. If you don't ascribe to the same belief system, then there's little point in discussing the message itself.

    That said, if we are going to talk about the free software mandate itself instead of Valve's role in it... I see issues, even for something as fundamental as a software developer's survival.

    Software developers need to be paid somehow; we shouldn't need to spend our lives with two jobs (software development and subsistence farming ). There are a lot of cases where you can create a business model that does not require selling individual copies. If you can generate revenue from support contracts, bundled hardware, or bundled art (as in the case of a video game), then things are great. Why not open up the source code and encourage creativity from your users (voiding warranty where buggy software may cause explosions, haha)?

    However, that does not work for everything. Sometimes your software is your entire competitive advantage, the reason people are buying your bundle of stuff and not someone else's; sometimes there's nothing to sell except the software. I don't see how going open source can make any sense here. If the software requires any significant investment of research and development time, how do you compensate your developers so they can maintain some standard of living?

    I realize RMS is not opposed to selling copies of the software, but without preventing other distribution channels, you are unlikely to see much revenue from your own. You necessarily must charge more to cover NRE, while anyone else could supply it for free. Unless there's something I'm missing here, I don't see how a complete system of free software can work in a capitalist society.
    The music industry is having discussions about how to pay people, I have friends who are semi-professional musicians so I get involved in those discussions too.

    I think it's the same issue. With musicians the question is "why should the performer get paid over and over again for doing something once". The answer is the same in both cases: if you want to sell software or music, you are monetizing the wrong commodity. What you really want to sell is the service of working software, or the service of live performed music.

    This is why RedHat is successful, because they are not selling software, they are selling the service of a working RHEL installation. The Grateful Dead were the most successful musical act ever, precisely because they chose to monetize their live performances instead of their recorded music.

    RedHat will sponsor the development of new features in Linux for precisely the same reason that Microsoft will sponsor the development of new features in Windows: to woo customers.

    In this context the choices of platforms is just a minor business detail, what is really important is the business model where you are selling the gaming experience.

    If you can't make money selling your product, don't grumble about how the market works, find a different way to make money.
    Last edited by frantaylor; 07-30-2012 at 01:30 AM.

  5. #45
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    Problem is, some people have to actually make a living with their work. If it's OpenSource, anyone can copy it without paying a cent. ClosedSource software? Run an obfuscator above it and the people even able to get something out of that are very few.

    What I'd agree with/what should be done by all companies: When a version of a program or the program itself isn't interesting to the company anymore (they moved to a newer version/people are not buying it anymore...) the program should be opensource'd (like idSoftware does)

  6. #46
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    Default How can free software exist???

    People ask how free software can exist in a pure capitalist society.

    Look at the napkins and straws and salt packets that are given away for free in fast food restaurants. Do the people who make these things do it for free? No, they are paid by the restaurant because these free items enhance the restaurant's business.

    This is how companies like RedHat can write free software and give it away and make money doing it.

  7. #47
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    is there even source code for firmware when it was writed in ASM?

    someone pointed that Stallman used proprietary compiler and should write that first. well then you would accuse him that he used closed source text editor or something.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    RMS simply fails to realize that non-free software is *not* unethical. You can't accuse others of being unethical just because they create something that doesn't suit your own needs.

    Proprietary software is perfectly ethical and there's nothing wrong with it. Business practices of software vendors can be unethical (like Microsoft). Some EULAs can be unethical (like Microsoft and Apple.) But non-open/non-free software just by itself is not unethical.
    Not quite right. When RMS says that non-free software is unethical, he means that it does not fit his ethics which he has defined pretty narrowly. However, what people hear when he says that is "non-free software is immoral," which is lunacy (i.e. it's a category error.). So I can understand where statements like this can grate the nerves. Even still, I wish he'd quit saying things the way he does.

    Software is neither good nor evil on its own. It merely exists.

  9. #49
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    Default A thought experiment

    As a thought experiment let's construct a hypothetical computer in a fantasy universe where the MPAA reigns supreme.

    Your computer has "disks" that you purchase, with "content" on them. You plug the disks into a "drive" on your computer. The content is viewed on a "display" through a process by which the processor reads data from the "drive" and transfers it to the "display"

    In this computer, all of the interfaces are industry standard, and every single bit setting of every register is documented. The software that controls all of this functionality is GPL. This sounds like RMS's nirvana, right???

    Well just wait a minute. Those "disks" are encoded in an undocumented format and they can only be played back in the specified "drives". The content is heavily encrypted and the data stream being passed from the "drive" to the "display" is just binary noise from the point of view of the linux drivers, yet nevertheless high quality images appear on the "display"

    This machine is a 100% total nightmare scenario and yet it's a perfectly acceptable state of affairs to RMS. After all the hardware is "accessible to all", the software is open and freely modifiable by anyone, etc. and yet big brother is 100% in control of the content that you are viewing.

    If you think my "nightmare scenario" is just a paranoid fantasy, just look at the HDMI standards for displays and the encryption on DVDs and blu-ray and tell me that the industry is NOT moving this way.

    If you say "well the free software people would not contribute to such a scenario", they don't have to do it willingly. If the hardware devices are all aware of what the software drivers are doing with the data, then they can simply transfer encrypted data between themselves and the linux kernel doesn't even have to be aware of the fact that it's transferring encrypted data. It just thinks it's reading pixels from the "drive" and stuffing them into the "display".
    Last edited by frantaylor; 07-30-2012 at 02:42 AM.

  10. #50
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    He doesn't seem to be so mad about it. I somehow get the feeling that he finds it positive in a way (further adoption etc) despite his concerns.

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