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Re: Doom of Debian Re: Debian Weekly News - February 18th, 2003

Davide Inglima <st970743@educ.di.unito.it> writes:
> I have already begun to see growing disaffection to GNU/Linux by
> former enthusiast people, and this can simply spell the final doom on
> the credibility of open-source.

Ha ha ha... such `enthusiasts' are hardly a loss, I think...

The security advantages of `open source' are simply a nice bonus,
they're hardly the main reason for it's existance.

In any case, this is actually a sterling example of how source-code
availability and modifiability wins big:  note that the easter-egg in
question was installed by the program's _author_ -- and because the
source code was available, the problem could in fact be found and
corrected, even if not immediately.  If it was a proprietary program,
the easter-egg would still be there, and no one would be the wiser.
[Sure, there'd be less bad press, but that's like hiding your head
in the sand and claiming it's safe!]

The real issue is whether you trust the author/maintainer or not, and
whether the program is free-software/open-source/proprietary simply
makes no difference.  Sure, most free-software/open-source software gets
lots of code from outside sources, but the program maintainer is almost
always _much_ more careful about reviewing contributions than debian
package maintainers are about reviewing what comes from the maintainer.

Is it true that nothing can be known?  If so how do we know this?  -Woody Allen

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