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Re: The Show So Far

On Tue, 2003-03-11 at 21:50, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 11, 2003 at 09:10:28PM -0500, David Turner wrote:
> > Someone already answered the google question for you -- it saves you the
> > 20k on a Google Search Appliance for your intranet.  
> That's akin to someone releasing the source of a neat, self-contained
> algorithm from an application.  I can use it in my own programs, and
> improve other, unrelated things with it, or learn from it, or critique
> it.
> But it doesn't let me improve the application that it's from at all,
> since I don't have its source.  Likewise, Google releasing source
> might have lots of other benefits, but it doesn't let me improve Google
> in any way, and I believe those "other benefits" are peripheral.

But they're legitimate interests that users of Free Software want.  I
don't see why "altering the application you actually run" is the only
goal that's allowed for Free Software.  These aren't "side effects" --
they're primary, important goals in themselves.  Indeed, giving copies
to friends (another freedom of Free Software) is a primary goal.

> Now, we seem to have two related but distinct cases: Google and
> BarInterface.
> In the case of Google, their releasing source simply doesn't let me
> improve Google--period.

You could, with funding, run your own Google (with spidering and
everything).  You could also submit patches to the Google team.

> In the case of BarInterface, it *may* be reasonable to run a separate
> copy of the server on my own system, with my enhancements.  

This is reasonable with Google, too -- that's what the yellow box Google
sells is.

> I do think these two cases should be considered independently.  The
> "provide the source to users of a webpage" discussion revolves around
> #1, which I think is distinct, and doesn't help #2 at all.

In the case where #2 has this quine code, it does help.

-Dave Turner                     Stalk Me: 617 441 0668

"On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters 
of principle, stand like a rock." -Thomas Jefferson

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