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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Free software is not trusted software

From: bill-auger
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Free software is not trusted software
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2019 18:35:15 -0500

On Sat, 26 Jan 2019 22:17:39 +0100 Julian wrote:
> El 21/1/19 a las 4:02, bill-auger escribió:
> > one reviewer for each 10,000 to 100,000 software projects;   
> So it will be worth to advice users.
> There can be many ways to rank software trustability.

that is missing my point - regardless of how you score the rankings, no
ranking could be assigned to any project until someone has actually
audited the code, and each reviewer would still have about 100,000
projects to review which would probably take each reviewer about 10,000
years to complete - so only a tiny portion of projects would ever be
assigned the ranking, unless there are literally millions of reviewers
working on the task, indefinitely forever 

On Sat, 26 Jan 2019 22:17:39 +0100 Julian wrote:
> Software can be defined as not trustable by default unless is
> reviewed. 

how did you write that email? - has anyone audited your email client?
- your web browser? - your operating system?

i think we all know, that no one has comprehensively audited all of
the software that you are using for trustworthiness (or *any* of it
really) - so by your definition, none of the software that you, or i,
or anyone is using right now is "trust-worthy" - so why are you using
any software at all, if you are so convinced that people must trust all
software that they use, but that none of it can actually be trusted? -
apparently, the criteria of trustworthiness is not as important as
people are pretending that it is; or else none would be reading nor
replying to any of these messages in order to express that opinion

it should also not go without saying that the word "trust" is really
not applicable to software - computers merely execute the instructions
they are given - for the most part, you can "trust" that they will do
exactly what the codes specify, consistently, reliably, without
deviation - the word "trust" can only be sincerely used to refer to the
people who write the software - to say that you do not trust the
software itself is saying no more that: "i do not know how it
works" - even if some very smart person reviews it and gives it her
"thumbs-up", you still "do not know how it works" unless you read
it yourself; therefore it is still "untrustworthy" software by that
same inappropriate description

On Sat, 26 Jan 2019 22:17:39 +0100 Julian wrote:
> Having Free Software does not mean that less skilled
> userd can ask the more skilled ones to add features or fix bugs for
> free.

that is exactly what can, and does happen - and when it does not happen
"for free", it often happens because a user commissions someone to
do the work - of course, there is no guarantee that unskilled users
will get all of their wishes fulfilled (cest la vie); but it most
certainly is a general possibility that proprietary software
generally does not offer - and that is not to mention the general
possibility that unskilled users can become skilled users if they
choose to

the main point of that quoted message was that it is not reasonable in
this universe to expect anyone else to do anything for you, not for
gratis, nor for hire, unless you are a child - we are incredibly
fortunate that so much "free as in freedom" software exists for gratis -
yet that is not good enough for some people, and they expect it to also
be perfect, and perpetually decorated with novelties

On Sat, 26 Jan 2019 22:17:39 +0100 Julian wrote:
> I mentioned the ranking solution because it is worth for me and also
> for other big and skilled parties.

i find the idea of ranking software to be inappropriate and
counter-productive to any common goal - unless that goal is to
shame people - software development is not a sport - no one needs to
keep score - such rankings could only lead to some projects optimizing
for the "score" as to snowball it into the "leader" position; while
others who behave more sincerely by focusing on the work rather than
the vague prescriptions of some external committee, and perhaps ranking
lower for that reason, would be starved for the attention that they
deserve; because everyone who puts their faith in the ranking system
would view them as hopelessly untrustworthy, simply for not playing
"the game" as the committee prescribes

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