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Subject: RE: mp3 tools
From: Fred Maxwell (rockbox_at_anti-spam.org)
Date: 2004-01-30


John Vromans, open source evangelist, writes:

> Quite predictably, Fred Maxwell writes:
>
> > I disagree.
>
> Of course you do :-).
>
> > For the vast majority of people, the important question is
> > {typo removed} how well the software works and whether it is freeware,
> > adware, spyware, shareware, or commercial.
>
> Indeed. But with accessible source, everyone can see for
> himself that a piece of software is free of undesirable
> side-effects. And, very important, everyone can make changes
> to improve the software.

The vast majority of people who use open source software can't program.
They don't know C, C++, assembly, Pascal, Delphi, Fortran, COBOL, Snobol,
Modula II, ADA, or any other computer language. So they cannot examine the
code to see what it does nor can they change it. Next is the issue of time
and inclination. The Apache 2.1 web server had 58,944 lines of code. How
many people have the time to read almost 60K lines of code? I see code all
day at work. I don't want to download an MP3 tag editor and read thousands
of lines of code before using it.

> If Rockbox were not open source, it
> would have been only a shadow of what it is now.

That's an opinion and is not the question here. What was asked was whether
it was important to indicate whether a piece of MP3 software is open source.
For most users, it is not.

> And no, let's not start the EAC discussion again.

In fact, I was careful not to mention that in order to avoid such a
discussion. Similar restraint on your part would be appreciated.

> I think you confuse being able to choose for Open Source
> Software (which is a political/ethical issue) with the
> ability to actually modify it (a technical issue).

Not at all. The question is whether it's an issue for most people and I
don't think that it is. I'm sure that there are some people who don't want
to use software developed in France, but it doesn't meant that the country
of origin should appear on the list.

Regards,
  Fred Maxwell



Page was last modified "Jan 10 2012" The Rockbox Crew
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