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  #1  
Old 01-03-2012, 10:14 PM
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Default The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

I posted about this in a different thread the other day, but I have decided we need a whole thrad specifically for zealotry.

Richard Stallman Was Right All Along

I still think Stallman's positions are extreme, and that there's probably room for some closed technology on the market, and some might even be almost necessary or at least inevitable in some cases; but only if it were sufficiently regulated to prevent egregious abuses. And honestly, I can't even imagine being that consistent to an ideology. Way too lazy for that. I feel a little bit bad about that, though.

But most of all, I think that people should better understand the issues that are going on right now and why they're so important. In fact, I am always a little bit happy in a way when some new rootkit or other abuse comes to light, because people are going to start noticing things like this when it happens to them.

OK. NOW SOMEBODY FIGHT ME.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2012, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

I think my expensive and unstable Windows products are superior in all ways to your hippie open source appliances.

Because if I pay a lot of money for it, it is obviously worth a lot of money, or something!

Oh and BTW I totally am trying out Adobe Acrobat for many important uses during this free trial, and am not just taking advantage of the free trial in order to save Kiddo's birthday invitation.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

Stallman had some interesting insights, but I think he fundamentally failed to take into account the nature of some parts of the world. Specifically, he doesn't allow for regulation.

More generally, I think that the additional freedoms afforded by BSD-type licenses are really worth providing for some purposes. If you want other people to be able to use your software even if they're working on something which is aggressively regulated, then you probably can't use GPL-like stuff.

The GPLv3 is, ultimately, the open source equivalent of the DMCA, or possibly SOPA. It is trying too hard to control too much, and not being open enough to the possibility that maybe total control over other people isn't worth the cost.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

cumputers are fer smrt peoples
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

I see what you're saying about the GPL, but you can't really compare it to restrictive legislation like the DMCA or SOPA because it's pretty much transparent, so even if you can't use it for certain purposes, at least you know what it is you aren't using and you can sort of replicate it to some extent if you really need the functionality.

And I think transparency and disclosure to the users is the only relevant area in which we definitely need regulation anyway.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

It's difficult to estimate just how much the world's benefited from open source, even when you don't sell or use it directly. Documentation for hardware things you wouldn't find anywhere but an open kernel. Licensed and dated programs demonstrating prior art relating to concepts some greedy fuck wants to patent. Working models and reference implementations for educational purposes. New designs and ideas.

And compilers of course. Programming languages which allow you to make programs that're beholden to absolutely nobody.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

The new Windows Office, 2007? 2010? what is this I don’t even

I FUCKING HATE OFFICE 2007. FUCKING HATE OFFICE 2010 THREE MORE THAN OFFICE 2007.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corona688 View Post
It's difficult to estimate just how much the world's benefited from open source, even when you don't sell or use it directly. Documentation for hardware things you wouldn't find anywhere but an open kernel. Licensed and dated programs demonstrating prior art relating to concepts some greedy fuck wants to patent. Working models and reference implementations for educational purposes. New designs and ideas.
I have never been able to think of a single legitimate use for software patents. They're horrible and ridiculous and they're almost always thievery.

All innovation is built of other innovations, so the idea of someone trying to make even a unique idea proprietary is offensive. Those ideas are all built on a whole bunch of other ideas that other people developed and shared with them because innovation has pretty much always been open source. That is just how it works. And that's why I like persistent licensing schemes. You really shouldn't have to tell people that they need to share their modifications of things that other people have shared with them, but you really do.

Hell, I don't even like it when people have secret ingredients and recipes in cooking. YOU DIDN'T INVENT CAKE, GRANDMA!
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

JUST FOR THAT YOU DON'T GET MY TOP SECRET ULTRA DELICIOUS CHEESE DIP RECIPE
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

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Originally Posted by Kyuss Apollo View Post
The new Windows Office, 2007? 2010? what is this I don’t even

I FUCKING HATE OFFICE 2007. FUCKING HATE OFFICE 2010 THREE MORE THAN OFFICE 2007.
I have been thinking about that, and I don't know if this helps at all, but all word processors suck. There are some OK spreadsheets, I don't know about presentation stuff or anything else, but I have not seen a usable word processor since Word Perfect stopped using markup. (I gather they use SGML now, though, so I dunno.)

:oldlady: I used to write my papers in a text editor and mark them up manually so that I'd just open it up in Word Perfect when I was done to check them and print them out. Nothing ever crashed or hung or anything. My word processing was stabler and more efficient in the 80s than any commonly used word processor today. Every one I've used in recent years has been buggy and bloated and opaque and ridiculous, because when something does go wrong, you can't just look at it or fix the problem.

And the whole reason for that was that you could look at the source and see how to do it and make minor adjustments directly, rather than trying to trick some GUI into doing what you want. Same reason that HTML was so quickly and widely adopted, because of the early decision to include "View Source" as a readily available option on the Mosaic web browser. People could look at a webpage, then open up the source and see how things were done, and learn to do it themselves. And tons of people did that, and a bunch of those people went on to improve on things and create new services and technologies based on the things they learned. / :oldlady:
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2012, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

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I have not seen a usable word processor since Word Perfect stopped using markup.

:longing: :larrow: lisarea
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:48 PM
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@lisarea: you'd write your documents in like, LaTeX?

Also yes, so annoyed at the mobile phone patent wars. Like Steve Jobs "owns" using two fingers on a touch screen or the idea to let you dial a phone number you see in a web page by trapping on it.

IP laws in the US are stupid.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

O hai. I found this on a Dutch newspaper's site, this guy has open source blueprints for 50 machines essential for civilization:


There are more video's on the newspaper's site.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:30 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

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@lisarea: you'd write your documents in like, LaTeX?
Yeah, it was basically just a markup language. I don't really understand why regular markup languages aren't the default for word processing. There are some word processors that use SGML or LaTeX, but .doc is still the default, and I don't understand what benefit that has for users at all. It's stupid and sloppy and bloated and buggy and awful.

Maybe there's a reason I don't know about or something, because I almost never have to do word processing; but in my admittedly limited experience, I've never run into anything .doc does that you couldn't do with markup.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

Other people find Word much easier to use than LaTeX that's why :lol:

Like seriously, we had to use LaTeX for my syntax class (it's much easier to make sentence trees with it) and the people in my class were not all gushing over how they wished that they had used it long ago and not Word.

But I guess it's easier for you (maybe that's related to programming experience?).
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:19 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuss Apollo View Post
The new Windows Office, 2007? 2010? what is this I donít even

I FUCKING HATE OFFICE 2007. FUCKING HATE OFFICE 2010 THREE MORE THAN OFFICE 2007.
I have been thinking about that, and I don't know if this helps at all, but all word processors suck. There are some OK spreadsheets, I don't know about presentation stuff or anything else, but I have not seen a usable word processor since Word Perfect stopped using markup. (I gather they use SGML now, though, so I dunno.)

:oldlady: I used to write my papers in a text editor and mark them up manually so that I'd just open it up in Word Perfect when I was done to check them and print them out. Nothing ever crashed or hung or anything. My word processing was stabler and more efficient in the 80s than any commonly used word processor today. Every one I've used in recent years has been buggy and bloated and opaque and ridiculous, because when something does go wrong, you can't just look at it or fix the problem.

And the whole reason for that was that you could look at the source and see how to do it and make minor adjustments directly, rather than trying to trick some GUI into doing what you want. Same reason that HTML was so quickly and widely adopted, because of the early decision to include "View Source" as a readily available option on the Mosaic web browser. People could look at a webpage, then open up the source and see how things were done, and learn to do it themselves. And tons of people did that, and a bunch of those people went on to improve on things and create new services and technologies based on the things they learned. / :oldlady:
I use Word mostly because it's ubiquitous esp.@work, which is why the new version is such a pain in my ass. 3/4 of the computers still run 2003, but all the laptops are 2007 and the ones in the media center are 2010. :awesome:

I remember Word Perfect! Used that on the first computer I ever, the Apple II GS... :shakecane:

That was a good solid little program. But then everything at work went Windows PC and I had to learn MS Word. Which hadn't changed all that much since Windows 3.0 -- until now. :shakecane:
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

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Originally Posted by erimir View Post
Other people find Word much easier to use than LaTeX that's why :lol:
GYAAAD ERIMIR. I don't mean nobody could have a GUI! I love GUIs!

Doing straight markup is more difficult at least at first, and I've really only done that when I had to do a bunch of stuff really fast. Like when I was in college and writing a million papers every day, I eventually got to the point that I could do it more quickly and efficiently without the GUI. But WordPerfect was a regular word processor that formatted things visually. It just also gave you the option of viewing and editing the underlying code.

You can still have a GUI that looks and works like a regular word processor, but the output is LaTeX or some kind of SGML rather than a binary. The only big difference is that, with regular markup, you have the option of doing it manually rather than having to rely on the GUI all the time. They're easier to troubleshoot, convert, display, modify, and repair.

GYAAAD.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

I am kinda curious as to what kind of documents you guys are generating. I have had to write to dozens of persnickety writing style guides with all kinds of formatting peccadilloes, but never really had much of an issue implementing them into Word.

Learning the guidelines was always harder than learning the programs for me, because at least the programs are somewhat intuitive. Most styles are pretty darned arbitrary and some change more often than the programs even. (I am looking at you MLA, :glare:)

I trained on the Word 95 originally and later took a free class on 2000 at the library to keep up my skills, but I haven't had any major issues adjusting to the later versions after a couple weeks of playing around with them. The short cuts are all the same. I do always turn off all of the default settings right away though because blech! That was one thing that drove me batty not having my own computer. All the uni PCs would revert back to those settings and I had to turn them of every damn time. Also I have no clue why 2010 has a hidden ruler as the default. I suppose that makes it look more slick, but it makes it almost unusable.

Even though Word has met my needs I am kinda curious about LaTeX now. :giggle:
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

I hate when Word wants to start making an outline and will not stop making outlines, ever, no matter how many times you tell it to stop doing that shit.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: The Official FF Open Source Fight Thrad

Surely everyone has had to fight Word when it won't let you layout stuff the way you want? You can't get images, tables, indents or paragraph numbering to display correctly?

Those are the situations where being able to switch to markup mode would make things so much better.

ETA: I know Word can export documents in XML, but it produces such mangled impenetrable XML as to be virtually useless. (In fact the standard .docx format that newer versions of Word save in by default is just zipped XML.)
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:31 PM
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Oh, I agree that sometimes Word is annoying. But most people don't do really persnickety formatting on documents they make, and find the GUI easier to use. LaTeX or something like that certainly is better if you take the time to learn it and need the ability to do unusual formatting or complicated layouts.

For example, lots of linguistics figures are much easier to do (such as the aforementioned sentence trees) in LaTeX, which is why some of the linguistics professors I know use LaTeX most of the time.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
And the whole reason for that was that you could look at the source and see how to do it and make minor adjustments directly, rather than trying to trick some GUI into doing what you want. Same reason that HTML was so quickly and widely adopted, because of the early decision to include "View Source" as a readily available option on the Mosaic web browser. People could look at a webpage, then open up the source and see how things were done, and learn to do it themselves. And tons of people did that, and a bunch of those people went on to improve on things and create new services and technologies based on the things they learned. / :oldlady:
The additional advantage was that the format was open, standard and the data wasn't too difficult to parse or serialise. So the idea of server-side dynamically generated HTML was obvious.

In general, I want program data to be stored in an elegant, easy to parse/serialise stable and open format. Then, if I have some huge, monotonous task and the program doesn't have a magic button to do it, I can potentially script the solution myself.

I had to print out about 150 source files from programming exams recently, and I'm very thankful that things such as LaTeX and HTML exist and that people can write software such as pygments and highlight: programs which read source code and rapidly convert it into a nicely highlighted LaTeX or HTML document.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by erimir View Post
Oh, I agree that sometimes Word is annoying. But most people don't do really persnickety formatting on documents they make, and find the GUI easier to use. LaTeX or something like that certainly is better if you take the time to learn it and need the ability to do unusual formatting or complicated layouts.

For example, lots of linguistics figures are much easier to do (such as the aforementioned sentence trees) in LaTeX, which is why some of the linguistics professors I know use LaTeX most of the time.
Some of those professors probably had a hand in the code. It seems that the linguistics folk have produced a lot of cool LaTeX packages, and "syntree" is part of the TeX-live humanities package. It's pretty impressive what it can do for syntax trees, though I mostly use it for general tree drawing.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:33 PM
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ETA: I know Word can export documents in XML, but it produces such mangled impenetrable XML as to be virtually useless. (In fact the standard .docx format that newer versions of Word save in by default is just zipped XML.)
Indeed. The idea that using XML somehow makes things portable is another marketing lie. Like claiming in decades past that saving files in ASCII was somehow portable (it isn't. UTF-8 FTW!)
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:37 PM
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I see what you're saying about the GPL, but you can't really compare it to restrictive legislation like the DMCA or SOPA because it's pretty much transparent
I certainly can compare it. I'm comparing it at a fairly abstract level.

There's a reasonable amount of control to demand, and there's levels of control beyond that which cease to be reasonable.

The GPLv2 is clear about what it tries to control, but it's also reasonable. Yes, there are ways to get around it. We accept that, but figure that since it covers the bulk of the interesting cases, people will generally cooperate and share code, and the people who don't are probably people who have Sound Technical Reasons, or who wouldn't have cooperated.

The GPLv3 is an attempt to eliminate the possibility of people "cheating".

This is stupid, for the same reason that the DMCA and SOPA are stupid: You need way too much control, and you need to start prohibiting things that aren't even unreasonable things to do, if you're going to try to eradicate every possible abuse.

The right thing to do from a copyright holder's perspective is accept that you're gonna lose a bit here and there to people ripping off your stuff. That's true whether you're Sony Pictures or the FSF. Trying to make things ever stronger and close all the loopholes is destructive and counterproductive, and isn't actually helping anyone.

Quote:
so even if you can't use it for certain purposes, at least you know what it is you aren't using and you can sort of replicate it to some extent if you really need the functionality.
Well, sort of. There's a historical problem involving needing clean room implementations to avoid legal hassle.

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And I think transparency and disclosure to the users is the only relevant area in which we definitely need regulation anyway.
That may be, but we have regulation in a number of other areas. Thus, the reason most wireless hardware has opaque, signed, firmware downloads that provide an abstraction of functionality is that the FCC won't let you get approval for a radio if the user could change its characteristics outside of a particular range.

Medical and car people are heavily regulated, and whaddya know, we have a lot of customers demanding GPLv2 only for embedded apps. (Note: Actual medical equipment as such is even more insane, we're just talking about the stuff that talks to it and even if the stuff fails no one dies.)
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