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[Caml-list] ANN: ChartPak - a data visualization library for the web
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Date: 2003-01-24 (05:33)
From: Matt Gushee <mgushee@h...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Re: License wars
On Wed, Jan 22, 2003 at 05:57:27PM +0100, Michaël Grünewald wrote:
> > should know what they just agreed to. And unfortunately, most software
> > licenses never get read; they're just too damn long and complex. If
> > you're an open source developer, you have probably read the GPL, but I'd
> > wager most end users haven't. And you have undoubtedly also used
> > Microsoft products. Have you ever read their EULA in its entirety? I bet
> > you haven't.
> Oh, these poor little users that want to use software without any
> effort, that's so lovely ...
> Any computer user must have read and understood the licence (or, less
> bad than nothing, a digest) of the software it uses. This is pointless
> to care of the ones that do not. Even if they come from the whole
> majority, faults must not be agreed but fighted against.

In principle I agree that users should not expect to be able to use
software without effort. I certainly have invested considerable effort
to develop my own skills, both as a user and a developer, and I am proud
that I have done so (and continue to do so). But I also believe that
computers and software developers should serve society, not vice versa.

You are entitled to take whatever attitude you choose toward users; I
choose a different attitude from yours. One reason is that I am
interested in using my software to attract consulting business, and
perhaps at some point to develop a commercial product. So for me, users
are potentially customers, and if I made statements like yours I would
not have any customers (actually I have none right now anyway, but I'm
working on that ;-).

You should also note that I am an American living in the U.S., and you
have to be a little bit stupid to get along in this society. That is one
of many things I don't like about American culture, but there's not very
much that one person can do about it. I agree with you also that one
should fight for principles and right-thinking, but you have to be
moderate if you want people to listen ... at least I, in my country,
have to; maybe your situation is different.

In any case, if I were uninterested in challenging the status quo, I
wouldn't be using OCaml, would I?

Matt Gushee                 When a nation follows the Way,
Englewood, Colorado, USA    Horses bear manure through           its fields;   When a nation ignores the Way,
                            Horses bear soldiers through
                                its streets.
                            --Lao Tzu (Peter Merel, trans.)
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