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Re: A Closer Look at GNU AutoTools

From: Ineiev
Subject: Re: A Closer Look at GNU AutoTools
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2014 09:41:21 +0000

Hello, John!

On Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 10:43:40AM -0600, John Calcote wrote:
> I honestly don't get why you have a problem with this attitude in open
> source software.
> There are pros and cons to commercial software.

The division "open source" vs "commercial" is wrong. you certainly
know that open source is a development model, it can be and it is used
both in commercial and non-commercial projects.

> Open source is different - it's also driven by various forces - just not the
> same ones.
> Open source software manuals are a great example of this aspect of
> OSS contribution - did the original author NEED a nice manual? Of course not
> - he wrote the software. The manual was written for others.

When I look at the motives for writing free software listed
on [0], I conclude that they are in fact the same
that drive the developers of proprietary software. therefore,
if free software is written for profit, its developers may NEED
a nice manual for the same reasons as developers of proprietary
software; and if free software is written as a result of political
beliefs, the author of course did need a good manual.

On the other hand, the documentation of proprietary products is
not always written by the same people, it's often a different
department or even a completely unrelated company.

(If you mean "commercial" vs "non-commercial" free software,
the same argument applies.)


> (By the way - there IS a free version of the book online - check it out at
> make_libtool. This was my first draft - it's not quite as complete or up to
> date, but it's about 85% of the same content as the published book and
> formatted in a similar manner. I could have requested that the site owner,
> Tony Mobily, remove it from the site and he would have complied (because
> he's a nice guy), but I felt it was important to contribute back to the
> community in some way for the help they gave me in writing the book in the
> first place.)

I hope you didn't intend to say that people have to restrict their
readers in order to get money for writing manuals. that wouldn't
be true.

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