I need a new Windows platform!!!!

This is a discussion on I need a new Windows platform!!!! within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by laserlight I do not think that that is Yarin's statement. Yarin's assertion is that open source <insert ...

  1. #61
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    I do not think that that is Yarin's statement. Yarin's assertion is that open source <insert project name> is better than <insert same project name>, an example being that open source Linux is better than closed source Linux. Unfortunately, we have no way of comparing open source Linux to closed source Linux since the latter does not exist, thus we can only base a comparison on reasonable conjecture.
    But that's precisely my point. We have no means of comparing. So the only possible comparison is between similar projects that are Open Source and that are Closed Source.

    As such, it's up to him to try and prove his statement. In no way he can do that. So why does he make it an unquestionable truth?

    Conjecture will lead nowhere because obviously he already established his bias in a very clear way. Meanwhile, to reduce this argument to well known established Open Source software is really missing the point that the Open Source movement is much larger than these projects. And like with closed source software, there are the good, the bad and the outright ugly.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    Yes, but Linux is not Unix.
    True, but Linux was written to be a Unix clone. So you can say that open source Linux is better than its closed source alternative.
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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F.
    And like with closed source software, there are the good, the bad and the outright ugly.
    Speaking of which, can we find a counterexample to Yarin's universal statement?

    Quote Originally Posted by bithub
    True, but Linux was written to be a Unix clone. So you can say that open source Linux is better than its closed source alternative.
    hmm... actually, it might be simpler to compare say, FreeBSD with closed source Unix variants. The comparison would more likely be fair since we eliminate the problem of differing ancestry affecting the way the projects got started. On the other hand, there might be a problem in terms of project funding.
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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Since there seems to be a consensus that open sourcing could not be worse, it seems strange to me that there is such resistance to saying that really, it is a better software development model, but may represent certain difficulties for a traditional business model.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean View Post
    Neither I nor anyone else made a statement regarding the ability to CHANGE the source code of the central product. Where did you get that idea, anyway? Open source software is practically never editable by "just anyone". There's always a central governing body that determines what is accepted in to the main branch. You can edit the code for yourself however you want, but that is no reflection on how mature the central project is.

    edit: I would further argue that anyone who is bad enough at project management to let an open-source project become disorganized, would have the same difficulty with paid employees and corporate security, and with no external criticism.

    edit2: Yes they are. IMO what you're paying for is support in that case, as I'm yet to see a closed-source UNIX that does as well as Linux 2.6.* in benchmarks or popularity (and perhaps security, too - but I have no evidence, just a hunch).
    I was just mentioning an alternative on how open source might not be an all-around solution. It can have downsides too.
    For example, if it's open, then all sorts of people could scan the code and create malware that specifically attacks it.
    Open source just won't make things go away. It's still much as closed source, so I would not, once again, say that just by doing something open source, it automatically becomes better.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Since there seems to be a consensus that open sourcing could not be worse, it seems strange to me that there is such resistance to saying that really, it is a better software development model, but may represent certain difficulties for a traditional business model.
    Actually, thinking deeper, open source could have bigger effect such as more security holes. On the other hand, it could have less security holes due to community effort. It's just impossible to say.
    Making things open source comes with both advantages and disadvantages, then.
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    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

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  6. #66
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    Speaking of which, can we find a counterexample to Yarin's universal statement?
    Unfortunately I can't think of one. I know of no closed source project that wen open source and became better because of that, and not because things tend to improve when you keep working on them. Or of no open source project that went closed source and became better over the same reasons.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I know of no closed source project that wen open source and became better because of that,
    By their own admission, Symbian.

    I'm sure I run across other examples of that, on various scales, fairly often, to the extent that I don't consider it particularly noteworthy.
    C programming resources:
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    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Since there seems to be a consensus that open sourcing could not be worse, it seems strange to me that there is such resistance to saying that really, it is a better software development model, but may represent certain difficulties for a traditional business model.
    While I am a big supporter of open source, I can see the argument being made that there are aspects to open source projects that make them generate worse code than closed source.

    People that work on open source projects tend to want to work on the "fun" aspects. This means that things like unit tests, documentation, and white box tests get ignored. Due to this reason, I can see people making the argument that open source has its drawbacks.

    That being said, I believe that programmers that work on open source projects are more skilled (in general) than their closed source counterparts. This is due to the fact that people that work on open source projects tend to enjoy what they do more, and therefore are better at it.
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  9. #69
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I can't believe the generalizations that are being made on this thread.
    I'm out of this debate.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  10. #70
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Guys I can't help but feel that open source v. closed source is really off topic here. We all know that Elysia has a really big, throbbing hard on for Microsoft products so I don't know why everyone is winding up over one person's opinion. To me it's not at all surprising Elysia likes closed source environments.

    Whether you agree or disagree it's almost a completely separate topic from what we've discussed before....

    I still don't get why Microsoft is even in trouble though. They made something like 54 billion last quarter* and are probably focusing on too many stupid things like the search "business". Microsoft has never been all that great a trend setter with hardware devices anyway. If they competed with the iPhone the way Hani wanted them too, it would be a me too product, and it would make them no money.

    So it probably won't happen.
    Last edited by whiteflags; 08-07-2009 at 07:01 PM. Reason: wrong time scale*

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I'm out of this debate.
    Okay I win.

    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    GMicrosoft has never been all that great a trend setter with hardware devices anyway.
    Apparently they are also preparing to enter the competition with LG to determine who will reign supreme in the internet fridge market. Whew! Now that's dedication to the world, and technology! They could strike anywhere next!
    Last edited by MK27; 08-07-2009 at 07:34 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  12. #72
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    The sarcasm was so thick I almost thought you were serious. lol

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    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    I suppose I did come off a little hard there, but I still stand by my statement.
    Now, I can't give any examples of what I said, as I don't know of any closed source projects that went open source and grew because of reasons other than time.

    ) An open source project's development will be focused entirely on the project, whereas a closed source development will be focused on the greater good of the business developing it.

    ) In closed source the programmers are paid, so they're just there for the money. Which means rotten code and huge shortcuts if they can get away with it. In open source projects most of the people there want to program, which often (but not always, I know) means less sloppy code. And I bet you have a few 'senior programmers' who've retired from the professional field, and are taking their massive amounts of experience to the code of open source projects, at the very least just as a hobby.

    ) Elysia mention security holes... If I'm writing code that know people will be scanning for flaws, then I'm naturally going to try to make it more sound than if I was writing code that I knew no one was going to see and I thought I could take shortcuts that no one notice (ties in with my previous point). Whats more is, the same person who's finding flaws to exploit in open source, may very well be someone who's helping to correct it! I sure know I would be alot more likely to tell the Linux dev team about a security hole in the kernel that I found than telling Microsoft about a hole I found in their kernel. And when something is closed source, someone can exploit a flaw they found, and people who are effected by it may not be able to fix it because they won't know really how it's happening. But in open source, someone could pin-point how an attack it happening much more feasibly.

    ) In open source, all someone has to do is code their own feature, and send in a copy. If it's good, it'll be added. Done deal. In closed source, you would have to tell the company about the feature you'd like, and if they even heard you, they would debate as to whether or not it's really worth the time to code it in or not (ties in with my first point). The same goes for bugs, fixing of bugs goes much quicker in the open source model.

    ) In open source, I can make my own version to suit my needs. Even if no one else wants what I did with it. If you have a very special need for something, you can manipulate it do something much different than it's original purpose.

    If you would study Windows 7 enough, you could see how they adapt so many features that gave birth in Linux. So yes, I'm saying that the richness of open source has benefited more that the project it's self, but other closed source projects as well.

    So really, how can open source not make a project better with all this stuff? And I will admit, if I were to ever make a good, market worthy project one day, it would be closed source until I suck as much money out of it as I can. As I see it: closed source = good business and open source = good software (in general at least).
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    For example, if it's open, then all sorts of people could scan the code and create malware that specifically attacks it.
    For open source projects, there will be both programmers reviewing the code to make it better, and people who scan it to try to find exploits. I believe the former group is a lot larger than the latter.

    For closed source projects, the bad guys still disassemble your code and look for exploits, or maybe through trial-and-error and guesses. On the other hand, I don't think people are generally motivated enough to disassemble your code just to try to make it better. So the ratio of "good guys":"bad guys" would go out of proportion.

    IMHO, open source does not mean automatically better software, but it does encourage software to be better.

    When a developer's reputation is tied to the code s/he releases for everyone to see (like in an open source project), s/he will probably think twice before taking a sloppy shortcut. For closed source projects, people only see the end product, and developers can get away with more sloppy coding that has no immediate and/or apparent bad effect. And then you have people from the outside to review your code and offer criticism, bugfixes, and even new features.

    The only way closed source can be better is if 1) it has not enough developers and 2) by being closed source, it can generate more money which then can be used to hire developers.

    For a big and popular project like Windows, it will certainly be better if it's open source. Imagine how many people will be reviewing and improving the source code, then. But then of course, no one knows if Windows would have made it this far if it was open source in the first place, without sucking so much money and using the money to develop and advertise it.
    Last edited by cyberfish; 08-07-2009 at 09:16 PM.

  15. #75
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Yarin, you'll never hear me say anything bad about Open Source as development practice. Unless of course we are talking of a specific project that happens to be a piece of trash, or a bad contributor.

    But what troubles me most about your view is the assumption that professional software developers (whom -- who? -- you can find on these forums in a representative number) don't take pride of their work or are otherwise incompetent, less knowledge, or incapable of successfully participating in a commercial project.

    If you have participated on Open Source ventures as I have, you'll know better than anyone that such generalizations are often wrong. A great deal of Open Source contributors are irresponsible, immature, fail deadlines on a constant basis, promise what they can't deliver, and are bad coders. You have as much of that as you probably have conscious, responsible and good coders. Open Source is not Heaven on Earth where suddenly everyone leaves behind the Human Condition and becomes a paladin of righteousness.

    Conversely neither is closed source Hell on Earth where professionals only worry with payday or companies cannot blend their desire to make money with the pride of doing a job well done. Similarly to Open Source, you have a bit of everything on equal measures. And Closed Source Commercial (or simply proprietary) ventures have produced software of the most high quality that powers nuclear stations, performs weather prediction, manages national budgets, runs stocks markets, builds airplanes, assists medical surgery. Not to mention desktop applications.

    So, really there is no context for all this nonsense. You can get both worlds from both development practices. Because what really defines the quality of the software is the people doing it. Not the business model.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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