My only complaint about Python

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

510046470588-0001 at wrote:
> Tim Daneliuk <tundra at> 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

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>

Tim Daneliuk     tundra at
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