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RE: FW: [Bug-gnubg] Tutorial: a short history

From: Albert Silver
Subject: RE: FW: [Bug-gnubg] Tutorial: a short history
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2003 16:50:35 -0300

Just to be clear, I will take all this into account. As Holger and many
many people say, it may not have been intended as the official manual,
but in practice (Tom Keith said it got a LOT of hits) it has become the
de facto one. 

> >the File menu, etc. I searched more but that was it. This was quite a
> >deterrant, and I was also put off by the transparent pieces that gave
> >an ungainly appearance.
> I also rather dislike the default appearance. What about a poll for
> changing the default (or leaving the old one)? Maybe something with
> yellow-green to match the logo?

Personally, I use one of 3 boards as do a few friends. The boards I use
are not just a question of attractiveness but also of visibility and
don't tire the eyes too much. The one board I use the most, and for
which I have received a number of e-mails actually stating the same, is
the Wood I. I have a friend who swears by the Zox-Vegas, but personally,
I find the strong colors a bit straining. Could be just me though. Very
recently, in the last week or so, I have been using the Easy Going board
I sent. It is not unaggressive in the colors, pleasant, and very
visible. Use it a bit and I think you'll agree. Still, I'd vote for the
Wood I as the default. IMHO.

> >GNUBG. He was enthusiastic about the idea and told me to go ahead.
> >in the October issue of Gammonline came out the 16-page (according to
> >Word) article "All About GNU". The introduction and the content are
> >explanations AND my perspective.
> >
> >The introduction explains how I came to be using it, and not why the
> >founding author created it.
> OK, I understand your reasoning. The problem, imho, is that it became
> rather official or seems to be, and it's nowhere mentioned that it

It isn't completely clear what is desired. Does the group wish to adopt
it as such, or would you like to keep it separate and have me include a
line clearly stating one can find the official manual at.... etc.?

> >No, GNU Chess sucks. If you want good chess freeware, go to
> Aha, I'm just being cautious since people tend to generalise things
> likely mix everything up that has GNU in its name.
> > > > though you should be warned that this is not where you will want
> get
> > > > the program. To get the fully functional version you want to go
> the
> > > > site of one of the authors:
> > > >
> > > > You not only get the software at the official sites, you get
> >more - the source.
> >
> >Remember the purpose of the document: It's about how to use GNU
> >Backgammon for Windows.
> But this purpose is stated nowhere. You just presuppose that everyone
> reading your tutorial is using Windows. You do have a point, however,
> since
> the majority will likely be using Windows.

Well, I don't state it, but it is implied. I state it can be found in
OTHER OSs, and the download page referred to does say GNU Backgammon for
Windows pretty clearly. I don't think anyone thinks it is for another
> >If there are other clear ways to download and
> >install GNUBG for other OSs I'd be glad to include them of course.
> For every Unix-like OS it's as simple as getting the source and typing
> "./configure; make; make install". For Windows it's unfortunately more
> difficult to obtain the prerequisites. But even for Windows the same
> valid: the source IS the programme.
> > > A "warning" and "fully functional version" seem to overdo
> > > it.
> >
> >Not really. I was worried when I read the warning and so were some
> >others I showed the site to.
> Maybe it's the wording that I'm not too enthusiastic about.
> > > > This is no typical Windows crippleware. If I'm not badly
> gnubg
> > > > started on Unix/Linux and the MS platform was only later
> >
> >I have no doubt, but am not sure what the point is.
> The difference is the philosophy. (And I was trying to hint for the
> of gnubg.)
> Usually software for Windows ought to sell. And to give incentives for
> purchasing there are limited test versions called shareware or demo or
> whatever, with which more often than not one can't use everything or
> for a limited time.
> Open source software however doesn't need to sell. The main aim is to
> write
> good programmes and to overcome the restrictions I mentioned in my
> post:
> >>The idea behind open source isn't however that it's free, as in a
> >>meal. That's one of the reasons why the term changed from "Free
> software"
> >>to "Open source". Much more important is the lack of dependence on
> >>software manufacturer for license restrictions, maintenance, and
> >>improvements and more.

In the first article, I did briefly state the mission of the FSF in the
introduction. I eventually removed it, but seeing this is undesirable,
I'll put it back with a little addition.

> >Finally, yes, I can certainly change GNU to GnuBG for purposes of
> >inclusion, that is hardly an issue.
> Please, do so.
> At last I'd like to get once more to the introduction of your
tutorial. In
> order to have a starting point I'll take the freedom of quoting myself
> again:
> >>At the start you stress the price aspect quite a bit. The idea
> >>open source isn't however that it's free, as in a free meal. 

Agreed. My issue wasn't so much that it was free, but that the others
were so absurdly expensive. I have seen the golden age of chess software
come and go, and saw them when they were at their most expensive
(1990-1993 the best could go for as much as $150), and still they don't
compare. I think they just take advantage of their monopoly on the
market. Still, I will distinguish what attracted me and the genuine
spirit of opensource, its purpose.


That's one
> >>of the reasons why the term changed from "Free software" to "Open
> >>source". Much more important is the lack of dependence on the
> >>manufacturer for license restrictions, maintenance, and feature
> >>improvements and more.
> >>So mentioning that gnubg doesn't come with a price tag is probably
> >>worthwhile, but not primarily and maybe not right at the beginning.
> It might be that it's again only the wording, especially the sentence
> "That's where GNU comes in." after you were talking about the price.
> here you link "GNU" with being there for those who don't want to pay
for a
> software. Maybe this is not intended, but someone who doesn't know
> about computers, let alone anything about open source will, imho,
> understands it this way. As I tried to explain already this is not the
> point with open source.
> Regards,
>          Holger
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