piclist 2005\08\20\071653a >
Thread: I say it is spinach . . .
www.piclist.com/techref/io/serial/spis.htm?key=spi
picon face BY : Gerhard Fiedler email (remove spam text)





>>> Personally, I think that compilers, assemblers, OS's and other such
>>> tools should all be freely available.

>> I can recommend you to read the book (not just the article) 'the
>> cathedral and the bazaar' (It is available as free download!).
>
> Available here from (the author) Eric Raymond's  site ...

I think it helps to separate a couple of different issues with all that.

There's open source. Open source in principle doesn't say a thing about
licensing -- it just says that the source is available. This is (very
roughly) akin to being allowed to pop the hood and poke around in the motor
compartment a bit, to get an impression of the engineering. Open source
would be a very good requirement for all publicly used software and
firmware (like voting machines), even though they could remain on a purely
commercial license.

Most (but not all) of open source is also free to use, at least in
unaltered form. (That's the GNU license and similar.) The requirement is
that if you use (and publish) it in a modified form, you are required to
publish it under the same license. That's sometimes criticised as an "evil"
scheme: all of a sudden, this "evil", free license is so common that you
either have to use it (and are required to publish your derivative work) or
have to pay to use something commercial. That's /really/ evil... :)  This
is more what the bazaar is about. Neither open source in itself nor free in
itself has much to do with the bazaar.

Then there's all kind of free software that's not open source. Like MPLAB.
Not sure why they don't make it open source; after all, they are not
selling it anyway, and it probably would help 3rd parties to create even
more and cheaper tools for their chips -- and it would allow people to help
Microchip making MPLAB better (by fixing bugs, for example). Possibly they
are ashamed of what's inside... :)

Then there's stuff that's free to use for home use and not free for
business use. Many virus checkers have a licensing around this model.


Now from John's first comment about "freely available" cited above, it
wasn't quite clear which one he was thinking of. From his later comment,
one may infer that he wasn't thinking of any of them in particular... :)

Anyway, I have to admit I like it when I get something for free. I also
have to admit I don't contribute a whole lot of free software to the world
-- even though I do contribute somewhat. At least I help testing, debugging
and otherwise improving some free software I'm using. So I'd never go as
far as saying something /should/ be free if it isn't. But I think (hope)
that open source (not necessarily free) software is the future. Once people
get used to the advantages of it, I think (hope) that closed source becomes
more and more rare. No one probably would buy a car where you can't open
the motor compartment.

Gerhard
<uumv9jewb102.167xxup17xyak$.dlg@40tude.net> 7bit

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