My only complaint about Python

Tim Daneliuk tundra at tundraware.com
Sat Aug 21 21:29:53 CEST 2004


510046470588-0001 at t-online.de wrote:
> Tim Daneliuk <tundra at tundraware.com> writes:
> 
> 
>>Istvan Albert wrote:
>>
>>>In all fairness this is more the problem with Microsoft than
>>>python. If they had a free fully-featured compiler then Python
>>>would be compiled with that.
>>
>>
>>They do.  MSC/C++ is now available at NO cost:
>>
> 
> 
> no cost is not the same as free
> 
> Klaus Schilling

<Goes Off The Reservation For A Moment>

"No Cost" is _exactly_ the same thing as "Free". It is not the same
thing as "Open Source".

The debate is foolish in any case. If I use an GPLed compiler, even with
the Lesser License, I have constraints placed upon what I may or may
not do with the derivative work. If I use a commercial compiler, I do
not have access to the source code _for the compiler_, but (usually)
there are no constraints placed upon what I may do with the derivative
work.

This whole mentality of "it must be 'free' or it's bad" is very silly
and at odds with how the world actually operates (aka Reality). I use
both freely available open source tools and commercial tools (that I've
paid for and licensed legitimately). Each has a place. One is not
inherently better than another.

The "freeness" of a particular product is only one of a number of
dimensions I examine when making tool choices for myself or my clients.
"Open Source" is often irrelevant to people - how many people actually
want to examine and modify the guts of compiler?  Far more important than
the cost of acquistion is the _cost of ownership_.  This is influenced
by a lot of things:

1) Training
2) Maintenance
3) Stability/Quality
4) Documentation
5) 3rd-Party support

IOW, I couldn't care less if something is "free", "freely available",
"open source", "closed source", or "commercial" software.  I care about
whether it solves the problem at hand in a time- and cost-effective manner.

Unfortunately, Stallman and his ilk - for all their many contributions to
our field - have polluted the discussion with their hare-brained political
notions, naive ideas about intellectual property, and incessant whining
that everyone _else_ should "share" they way they define the term.  I tire
of it as you may be able to tell from this short rant ...

Pax ...

</Back On The Reservation>

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Tim Daneliuk     tundra at tundraware.com
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