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Re: Commercial programs in Debian

On Monday 08 May 2006 15:46, Francesco Pietra wrote:
> However, there is scientific proprietary software from small softwarehouses
> that has decades of experience and development, is sold with accompanying
> source code, and solves problems that debian is quite far from solving.
> Again, don't ask me the names because I am not advertising (and I am user
> not softwarehouse) but I believe that such softwarehouses deserve full
> support. They have my support.

There is an important distinction between software like this  {the traditional 
model, dating back to the days when Source Code was the only thing any two 
systems might have in common},  and proprietary, closed-source software which 
is distributed as a binary executable only  {and requires a homogeneous 
execution environment; something which has only really become possible 
recently with the dominance of the 80%86 architecture and Windows}.  It's not 
Free software because it can't be distributed freely; but at least the vendor 
respects the purchaser's right to inspect and modify the Source Code.

{I would also expect that such suppliers would be willing to accept 
customer-contributed patches, even possibly giving credit for them in 
subsequent versions.}

It is the vendors who treat their customers like children and refuse to let 
them see exactly what they are running on their own computers who deserve the 
greatest contempt.  After all, would you buy any processed food that did not 
include a list of the ingredients and the protein/fat/carbohydrate breakdown?

delta echo bravo six four at earthshod dot co dot uk

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