Why Open Source?

This is a discussion on Why Open Source? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by MK27 So you cannot distribute, eg, an altered/improved version of anything? Huh. Rather lame IMO. I think ...

  1. #16
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    So you cannot distribute, eg, an altered/improved version of anything? Huh. Rather lame IMO.
    I think the standard library copyright is more meant to protect the notion of a Standard, than to stop derivative works. EASTL is one such alternative and it never did, and I'm sure never will come under fire.

    The copyrights in this case simply state that any copy or distribution should be made with no changes to the original work.
    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.

  2. #17
    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    For example, John Carmack's alternative to sqrt() from Doom (Quake?) is open source, so anyone can openly use the method, even tho it is probably something he could have patented and sold rights too: most likely, just big studios.
    It looks like someone discovered the fast inverse square root algorithm before he did.
    Fast inverse square root - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Off topic:
    It is also interesting to see lots of different algorithms were developed when computers were at their infant stage or might be even before their existence.(Djikstra's algorithm for example was discovered in 1959 by him according to wikipedia)
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    Disrupting the universe Mad_guy's Avatar
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    Fortunately, AFAICT they are generally not in the programming world -- otherwise, being a progamming student would mean you'd be learning a bunch of patented algorithms not in an applied sense, but in the sense that you would need to know what they are so you could avoid using them* and getting sued (or learn who and how much you have to pay for the privilege).
    Linked list - US Patent 7028023.

    There literally exists a patent on everything you do when you write software, unfortunately. I shouldn't have a job. People regularly patent troll - companies too (although some companies are 'defensive', applying for patents so nobody can be patent trolled for it; see Google & MapReduce.) Luckily most of these patents are completely unenforceable for the most part; it's people trying to rip off Fortune 500 companies and whatnot.

    Unfortunately it seems as if nobody in the USPO actually understands software. Patents are regularly awarded to companies/individuals, and the pantents apply to totally general ideas, such as the linked list. Patents do not really make sense with software. I will let Carmack himself explain:

    "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying."

    Off topic:
    It is also interesting to see lots of different algorithms were developed when computers were at their infant stage or might be even before their existence.(Djikstra's algorithm for example was discovered in 1959 by him according to wikipedia)
    It's actually reasonably well known that Dijkstra eschewed the use of computers entirely, even when he was a professor at UT Austin - he was finally pushed to buy a Mac, which he would only ever use to check email and browse the WWW until his death. A very prolific man - not only did he not believe in the need for e.g. word processors, as you could just write letters with your own hands, he believed you shouldn't need them at all, because there was no need at all for rough drafts or significant edits when one wrote. It should be in your head before you put the pen to the paper - and this is what he did.
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