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Comment: Re:I used to (Score 3, Interesting) 190

by pikine (#49435587) Attached to: How do you contribute to open source projects?

I tried, but the open source projects I contributed to simply won't take my code. I gave them patches and/or commits according to whatever garden variety version control they fancy. I followed their code style and released copyright. The pull request passes continuous integration in green, no flying colors. Never heard back a word. A few months or years later, someone else gets fed up and forked the project. This kept happening to the projects I try to contribute to.

Donating money always works. Nobody ever refused my money.

Comment: physical switch (Score 1) 324

by pikine (#49161087) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?
Even so, having a physical switch is already helpful. I don't need to worry about the firmware malware if I don't ever have the intention to flip the switch. I only need to take measures to secure the computer against the malware if I plan to flash the firmware. A physical switch is a very powerful countermeasure to thwart remote attackers. U2F tokens also use it to secure two-factor authentication.

Comment: Re:phone data usage (Score 1) 237

by pikine (#49107293) Attached to: Ten Lies T-Mobile Told Me About My Data Plan

Obviously you condone double standard whereupon it is okay for someone to fake a screenshot and wrongfully accuse a telecom company of lying, and I who pointed out inconsistency in his dubious evidence have the burden of proof. What kind of wicked creature you are? All I am alleging is that he could have faked his evidence, and I have probably cause to believe that. He is the one who has to show the full evidence and defend it.

I see you are having fun trolling other users in this topic. Here is my favorite Monty Python quote for you and get off my lawn.

I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

Comment: Re:phone data usage (Score 1) 237

by pikine (#49102807) Attached to: Ten Lies T-Mobile Told Me About My Data Plan

He can say anything about what the picture means as he wants. Some of his figures are pretty, but I'm pretty sure it's not a figure produced by the T-Mobile website. I'm a T-Mobile user, and their site only produces the usage over three billing cycles, Dec, Jan and Feb. I think his "Data Usage By Month Ending" figure is fabricated. The pink color is slightly different from the website's magenta color. Who is the dishonest one here?

I think you have problem understanding what "prove" means.

Comment: +1 super insightful and +1 super informative (Score 1) 551

by pikine (#49017663) Attached to: RMS Objects To Support For LLVM's Debugger In GNU Emacs's Gud.el

I feel your pain if the chip IP vendors move to LLVM and won't share the source to their backend. However, I don't see an incentive model for them to change their ways, except maybe you now choose the chip IP based on the toolchain's source code availability, or convert to a mainstream CPU.

It's futile trying to stop LLVM at this moment. They are funded by Apple with a lot of contributions from Google and the like. There is a lot of velocity being put into the development that gcc simply can't match. The feeble attempt of RMS won't stop them.

By the way, it seems that most people talking here don't develop at all. You might have found some who do when you moderated the thread, but you're the first one I know.

Comment: Re:The issue isn't sharing vs fame (Score 1) 551

by pikine (#49017273) Attached to: RMS Objects To Support For LLVM's Debugger In GNU Emacs's Gud.el

You ought to consider my proposition more carefully before you dismiss it as ridiculous. Your point of view comes entirely consumer minded and you don't seem to understand software development, so let a professional enlighten you.

May I sell you a copy of MS-DOS 2.0 for $40 today? Other than the fact you might be a sentimentalist, nobody is going to buy it in present time. But if you had told people that MS-DOS 2.0 had no value back in 1983, people would think you're crazy.

However, some form of DOS is still useful today as part of an embedded real-time control system. But is everyone going to buy it? Not by a long shot. Is Microsoft making any money selling MS-DOS today? I seriously doubt it.

Basically, ask yourself how much you would pay to get a piece of software that you depend on today if you had woken up to find that the only way you could still use it (or any acceptable alternative, or better yet, if there was no acceptable alternative) was to pay for it. That would be the value of the software to you.

No, this is not the value of the software. This reflects only the market pricing mechanism. A consumer would find the next lowest priced software. It might be yet another free alternative, or it could be non-free but bundled with a paid operating system. If the next lowest priced alternative turns out to be unaffordable, I might choose not to buy it.

Your mistake is you conflate value with pricing.

On the other hand, there is plenty of free software that has no value to me. I won't use it even if you pay me to. GNOME desktop is a prime example. I have also spent several hundred dollars on commercial video editing software because the free ones are essentially garbage.

I find that emacs has value to me not because all software has an intrinsic value as you suggested, but because it solves a problem that I have, namely to edit plain text files. None of my "normal" (non-programming) friends would find emacs valuable at all. Even some coworkers don't use emacs and use this abomination called eclipse.

Software has no intrinsic value. The value is derived from what the software can do for me.

Comment: Re:I don't see your argument (Score 1) 551

by pikine (#49014667) Attached to: RMS Objects To Support For LLVM's Debugger In GNU Emacs's Gud.el
I refuted your statement "the results of a successful battle on interoperability can only be the death of the free software movement" and showed you how you don't understand that GPL is all about interoperability. Because your premise is wrong, I didn't need to refute anymore of your arguments. Sorry you find my comments snarky. It wasn't intended to come across that way, but maybe you are just a frigid person.

Comment: I don't see your argument (Score 1) 551

by pikine (#49014019) Attached to: RMS Objects To Support For LLVM's Debugger In GNU Emacs's Gud.el

I think you have a confusion about what a license does, and you rambled on about capitalism which I don't think you understand either. In any case, a software license gives you some rights in exchange of some obligations. The GPL itself is not designed to take away interoperability. The belief is that the availability of source code makes the software more interoperable, so GPL promotes interoperability by making it an obligation.

In fact, GNU projects like glibc, coreutils, binutils, gcc, even emacs are all about interoperability. They support various flavors of Unices and even non-Unix operating systems like Windows and BeOS. They support POSIX. Interoperability is so important they have an libiberty library to implement some missing C library functions so their programs could more easily compile on some esoteric operating system. Much of the code still uses ANSI C (C89) so they can be compiled using esoteric compilers.

The GPL itself embraces interoperability. There is this concept of "GPL compatibility" such that if it ever becomes necessary to include non-GPL licensed code in a GPL project, "GPL compatibility" means that GPL already fulfills all the obligations of the existing license. 3-clause BSD as well as MIT are GPL compatible (the 4th-clause of BSD, or the advertisement clause, is not). They have a page listing which licenses are compatible.

In this case, RMS is having a panic attack on more and more projects using a lax license, so he's trying political means to make emacs (the software, not the GPL license) non-interoperable to try to stop it. The maintainer of emacs however is more level headed and said he would not cave in and will defend interoperability. This is the right spirit of Free Software that RMS once believed.

Comment: Re:The issue isn't sharing vs fame (Score 1) 551

by pikine (#49013923) Attached to: RMS Objects To Support For LLVM's Debugger In GNU Emacs's Gud.el
You are still solving a problem, just that you happen to have found an efficient way to do so. You just don't realize it. There is no way you could have made that much money without understanding this. Are you sure we're not talking about monopoly money that you have?

Comment: Re:The issue isn't sharing vs fame (Score 2) 551

by pikine (#49012821) Attached to: RMS Objects To Support For LLVM's Debugger In GNU Emacs's Gud.el

Software itself isn't valuable. The value is what the software allows you to accomplish compared to those without this software could. If you look at it this way, the real value is in the person who knows how to develop software that works and fulfills a purpose. The software itself is just a byproduct.

Open source software projects can grow out of an arrangement where a developer worked as a consultant to solve a customer's problem. Some examples are Paul Vixie of ISC BIND and cron fame, Poul-Henning Kamp of Varnish fame, and many others.

The key to a software engineer's survival is not about making money selling software. It's about solving a problem to make money.

Comment: The erosion of source sharing obligation (Score 2) 551

by pikine (#49012397) Attached to: RMS Objects To Support For LLVM's Debugger In GNU Emacs's Gud.el

The most important tenet of GNU General Public License is that anyone who distributes a derived program is obligated to reciprocate by sharing the modified source. This is the "freedom" when RMS talks about "free software." Many other open source licenses such as BSD, MIT, and Apache concern more about attribution and no reciprocation, which more and more people seem to embrace instead. Many companies have a policy to use GPL code only in very specific cases and strongly forbids Affero GPL. If you are the author of some open source project and you want more people to use your code and make you famous, you'd care more about attribution and less about reciprocation. That's where GPL is losing ground.

I think RMS underestimates that many people are more than willing to exchange someone else's freedom for one's own fame. And famous projects tend to attract more contributors. I think RMS also overestimates that the proprietary code written by some company are worth contributing back to open source while most of them are garbage. Once he realizes his misunderstanding of people's motivation, he'd become less coercive.

You can't take damsel here now.