Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Apr 5, 2012 14:16 UTC (Thu) by khim
In reply to: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Parent article: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Me too. This will work the day Adobe releases it as a source tarball. Until and unless they choose to do this, it isnt going to happen.
Then it'll never happen period.
No one else can do that for them - they hold the copyright so they have to decide to do it.
If the choice is between releasing the sources and dropping support for Linux then second option wins ten times out of ten. Some companies may decide to release sources (for example id Software usually releases id Tech N as open source when they start selling id Tech N+1), but if that's prerequisite for the decent support then the platform which demands that will never go beyond some FOSS pundits.
There is nothing wrong with developing pure-source systems - this is interesting experiment and you may even find some sympathetic people, but you can kiss your “Year of Desktop Linux” dreams good-bay.
Linux explicitly avoids a stable ABI and that is a very wise move.
You mean stable API nonsense? That's very different. Linux kernel explicitly decided not to support in-kernel API stable. But it's userspace ABI is not stable. It's super-stable. You can run programs written for Linux 0.9 on Linux 3.0 (in general, there are some exceptions)! When someone forgets that for a minute Linus becomes quite vocal: This is *not* about some arbitrary "30-year backwards compatibility". This is about your patch BREAKING EXISTING BINARIES. (emphasis in original). Nuff said.
Unstable in-kernel API created some problems but in general worked good enough because ultimately kernel pieces only interface with each other, userspace and with hardware. Hardware is hard to change once it's released and you can upgrade your kernel without changing too many things in userspace thus "update your Linux to get support for newer hardware" approach works. Recompile the world does not work, can not work and will never work - and kernel people know that down to their very bones. Sadly the desktop guys are still doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. That's definition of insanity.
It makes things better for free software, and is only an inconvenience for those who try to take our freedom away. The more inconvenient for them, the better!
Depends on your goals, I guess. If your goal is to create super-uber-ultra-free OS which can be shown as great achievement in an emulator - then yes, you are absolutely right. If your goal is not the future exhibit for the Computer Science Museum, but something for real people, then this attitude leads nowhere.
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