[amsat-bb] Re: HB9DRV

Michael Schulz mschulz at creative-chaos.com
Wed Sep 28 06:43:35 PDT 2011

On Sep 28, 2011, at 8:33 AM, Bob Bruninga wrote:

>> Again I ask, why are people so reluctant to release 
>> the source code for software, but are more than happy 
>> to publish the circuit diagrams for devices they design?
> Because maybe they have invested years of their time into it, and don't want
> to see it all hacked up beyond recognition by the whims of a few hack-and-go
> programmers who play with it for a while, screw it all up and then move on
> to the fad of the next flashing icons

And what has that to do with Open Source software? Let's assume Simon would've opened the code
and other's would've been able to contribute. Out of the gate you already assume that everybody else
writes bad code. That's simply BS. Moving on .. if code is opened, it's not like everybody just hacks away
beyond recognition but maybe makes a useful contribution which that person then would have to 
check in upstream to Simon so that he could include it into the main source tree. After all, the official
version of OSS HRD would still come from Simon just with more people being able to contribute.

When I read some of the statements here, it seems that there's a huge misunderstanding of Open Source 
software and how Open Source communities and software development works. 

Sure, people could use the code and fork it and "hack it up beyond recognition" but who would use that?
Also it would be a fork and history has shown that most forks that were not in line with the mainstream source 
tree were not long lived.

Another reason of course for not open sourcing one's code can be that the code is so bad that one doesn't 
want to invite criticism (and this is not pointed at Simon, as I don't know his code, rather a general statement).
There are plenty reasons for not opening code and plenty more for doing so. But nobody should be forced in
either direction. I don't believe we (open source pro folks) can on one end preach freedom and then on the other
try to force it on others. 

Would it have been great if Simon would've open sourced HRD so that for example people could've ported it to
other platforms? Well most certainly yes. But he decided not to, and that's a decision we all have to respect.

After all, if you don't like it, don't use it. There are alternatives to almost everything.

73 Mike K5TRI

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list