[LAD] Releasing source code is not enough, I think...

David Santamauro david.santamauro at gmail.com
Tue Jan 21 11:47:54 UTC 2014

On 01/21/2014 03:44 AM, karl at aspodata.se wrote:
> Filipe Coelho:
>> I think we should stop assuming releasing source code is enough.
> I take the stand that releasing source code is enought.
> There are lots of tools in any standard distribution to make that
> source into binaries. New users have to learn that, it is a fundamental
> part of linux-at-large and similar systems, i.e. the free-software-movement.

Is it really simply black or white? Must it be *that* way or the 
highway? The reason my main PC is a linux distribution is because of 
choice, not because I like compiling my own software, Although I do 
compile (and develop), I much prefer typing 'yum install <package> 
<package-devel>' when I need to satisfy dependencies.

>> [GNU/] Linux
> (Note, linux proper is just the kernel, what you mean is a installed
> distribution.)
>> is getting more user friendly,
> No, linux-at-large is more and more getting in the way of the local
> administrator, forcing one to install more and more stuff that might
> not be wanted, with big userspace things like gnome making distruptive
> changes -- that is not user friendliness.

Choice, choice choice. Although I'm not familiar with all, I'm pretty 
sure there are bare-bones distributions. If there aren't, well, you have 
to choice to create your own.

>> and most users are not able
>> to compile software,
> This is where education comes in.

I agree.

> If people want to use ms-windows or macos-x, they take courses for that.
> Why not educate yourself when you come to us ?
> Why should we care for the "lazy" people ?

Perhaps a bit elitist. I don't know *any* windows or mac user 
(non-system administrator) that ever took a course besides possibly 
online "getting started" videos. I do agree that education would help 
but open-source software authors aren't usually the most prolific 
documentation authors (myself included).

>> plus some distributions make it specially hard (debian, ubuntu, fedora,
>> opensuse) by having the libs installed but not the headers.

I find this quite nice, to be honest. If I need the headers, I grab 
them, if not, I don't -- again, choice.

> If you go the distribution route, don't forget that their maintainers
> find ways to make their job easier.
> So for debian you do apt-get build-dep <package_name> for a given
> package. Yes, for random sources you have to hunt down the dependancies,
> but you have to do that for binaries to.
>> Releasing software on windows or mac, even open-source, *always* comes
>> in a binary,
>> and most users come from there.
> Microsoft and Apple dictate user interfaces, if people comes to us, why
> do you believe they want the same relationship ?
> For the arguments sake, I say:
> People coming to Microsoft have to learn the Microsoft way, ditto
> Apple. People coming to the free-software-movement has to learn it's
> ways, and one fundamental thing here is source code.

Fair enough, but why cut down binary distributions? If the software 
developer wishes to create a binary, more power to him/her -- again, 
choice. That's what makes linux strong.


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