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Re^3: Reliable software OR Is CPAN the sacred cow

by phaylon (Curate)
on Sep 15, 2006 at 23:09 UTC ( #573269=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: Reliable software OR Is CPAN the sacred cow
in thread Reliable software: SOLVED (was: Reliable software OR Is CPAN the sacred cow)

But jumping to "Hey, it's free software and you get what you pay for!" if people gripe about it doesn't help the case for open source at all. Yeah, I know, we are all volunteers (well, mostly), and yeah, people do get what they pay for, but it's a horrible way to try and defend yourself.
I'd like to disagree, if only partly and on the interpretation. The Perl community has one big advantage: CPAN. But with this I don't mean the large (huge) base of code, but the people providing the community with it. CPAN lives from contribution, from critique, from honest opinions and bug reports. But it also feeds on the willingness of people to contribute. In this context, I find a comment that reads mostly like "Don't upload your crap to CPAN! I can't use that in my business!" pretty disrespectful.

Nobody forces anyone to use any module from the CPAN (Well, your contract with your employer might, but you've signed it and took the job). You can use only those tools for the job that you find the right for the job, and it's up to you to either share the authors and communities opinions or disagree.

In my opinion, the solutions to problem domains provided by CPAN for the workforme category are as invaluable as the larger modules that evolve into a better maturity and bring Perl forward. And in this consequence I'd have to answer the question if people should upload their worksforthem code or not with a loud and clear "Yes." Without these modules and contributions, you wouldn't have a solution either. But with them, someone else might. And who knows? Modules can be taken over, forked and even made reliable by other people if there's a need for it and someone's willing to give their time. That's a pretty important part of open source too.
Same with open source. You can't sing the virtues of the wide open community with its own source code and legion of people poking the code and then turn around and say "We're all volunteers. That's what you get!" It firmly and completely negates the original benefits, I think.
Yes but, ... what do you want us to say? It's just the truth. If someone doesn't want to write module XYZ himself, how can he expect anyone else to do it for him? And if he's wanting to contribute the module, what's the fuss?
A previous boss used to really sneer about using "free software" for these reasons.
Then I'd say he didn't understand "free software." It doesn't mean "same as if you buy it, but you don't have to pay for it." Freedom always includes the consequences. There is no one true solution.
Commercial software doesn't necessarily give you any more stability, reliability, or continuity. You just pay more for it. He wasn't convinced.
Exactly. I don't think the reason there lies in open source quality, tho, but more in peoples understanding of it.
But I don't think that falling back on "It's free, it's what you get" helps the case.
Well, to someone asking for more power in some areas of Perl development, I'm afraid it's the only thing I could think of to answer.

Ordinary morality is for ordinary people. -- Aleister Crowley
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