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Re: Woctave-another gui front end

From: Stephen Montgomery-Smith
Subject: Re: Woctave-another gui front end
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 12:09:54 -0600
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On 12/20/12 11:47, Francesco Potortì wrote:
Frankly, Octave is a beautiful piece of work, but  it suffers from
the Open Source mentality that you need to earn what you use.

No, it suffers from the fact that no one has done it yet.  As soon as
someone is motivated enough (e.g. by paying them), it will be done...

I thought that Eric Raymond's characterization of what motivates people to write open-source (or free) software was very good: "Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch."

But let me also say this. Open source (or free) software is what it is, and you take it for what it is. I personally really love developing software in a unix environment, and octave is one of those really good tools that I have the freedom to use. I personally don't feel I have to earn the right to use the software, but I can appreciate that unpaid software developers will develop the software that works well in the environment that they like to use. People are willing to generously share the fruits of their labors with others, but take the gift as just that - a gift. There should be no strings attached, either on the part of the giver, or the recipient.

Of course if your goal is to "take over the world" - perhaps persuade Matlab users that they should quit using Matlab and use octave instead - well then you have taken upon yourself a difficult task, and I'll not be joining your cause.

And by the way, what is this difference between "open source" and "free"? I'm not motivated enough to search around the mailing list archives to find out, but if someone wants to reply to this email and explain it yet again, I will make the effort and read the reply.


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