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Old 06-19-2008, 12:47 AM
Michael Harpe
 
Default A question for the open source people

What I have always been curious about is this: how many of you actually take advantage of the open source? In other words, how many of you really take the source code and do something with it?

Personally I don't. I can program in C, i'm pretty good at it. I've just never felt the need to alter the software I use. I'm fine with waiting for the new versions as they come out.

I'm really not trying to start a fight. I am just curious. I love free software. I think the free software movement has enabled a lot of people who could not afford to operate a computer to do so. Having Linux source code available has trained a generation of system programmers. There's no disputing the value of free, open source software.

Anyway, that's my question. Feel free to respond to me directly.

Mike Harpe
Sellersburg, IN USA

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Old 06-19-2008, 01:18 AM
Todd Zullinger
 
Default A question for the open source people

Michael Harpe wrote:
> What I have always been curious about is this: how many of you
> actually take advantage of the open source? In other words, how many
> of you really take the source code and do something with it?
>
> Personally I don't. I can program in C, i'm pretty good at it. I've
> just never felt the need to alter the software I use. I'm fine with
> waiting for the new versions as they come out.

I tweak things frequently. Perhaps more importantly, I use the source
code to help ferret out bugs in the programs I run. Often, I can even
provide a patch with my bug reports, even when I'm not all that
proficient in the language the program is written in.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:29 AM
Frank Cox
 
Default A question for the open source people

On Wed, 18 Jun 2008 17:47:29 -0700 (PDT)
Michael Harpe <mharpe79@yahoo.com> wrote:

> What I have always been curious about is this: how many of you actually take advantage of the open source? In other words, how many of you really take the source code and do something with it?

In terms of actual source code that I have submitted for the "public good", the
only things I can think of in the past couple of years are a (very) small
contribution to xmame, a credit card verification thing and a
special-purpose string comparison routine. Nothing of any interest to 99+% of
people around here, though, and xmame isn't, strictly speaking, an open source
project within the currently accepted meaning of the term.

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Old 06-19-2008, 02:13 AM
Mike
 
Default A question for the open source people

On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 1:29 PM, Frank Cox <theatre@sasktel.net> wrote:

On Wed, 18 Jun 2008 17:47:29 -0700 (PDT)

Michael Harpe <mharpe79@yahoo.com> wrote:



> What I have always been curious about is this: how many of you actually take advantage of the open source? In other words, how many of you really take the source code and do something with it?



In terms of actual source code that I have submitted for the "public good", the

only things I can think of in the past couple of years are a (very) small

contribution to xmame, a credit card verification thing and a

special-purpose string comparison routine. *Nothing of any interest to 99+% of

people around here, though, and xmame isn't, strictly speaking, an open source

project within the currently accepted meaning of the term.



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I was just reading a comment on slashdot (don't have time to quote it) but it was along this lines of: the greatest benefit is that the people who have the time / ability to take advantage of open source can.


All the software on my home machine is open source. I havn't taked advantage of this directly (though plan to) but I'd be interesting to see the state of each product I use if it had been released closed source. This is my advantage in using open source.




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Old 06-19-2008, 06:35 AM
Tim
 
Default A question for the open source people

On Wed, 2008-06-18 at 17:47 -0700, Michael Harpe wrote:
> What I have always been curious about is this: how many of you
> actually take advantage of the open source? In other words, how many
> of you really take the source code and do something with it?

I haven't much. I have hacked around with some closed source binaries
years ago. Though, thanks to the closed source nature, there was very
little that I could have done with it. And, I have messed around with
scripts, which is really not in the same league as tinkering with
programs, but not something that I could have done to the same degree
with closed binaries.

Trying to unravel someone else's thinking, to be able to tinker with
code, is a hard thing to do, even given open source code, even given
commented source code.

But I've certainly read comments from a few people on this list how
they'd looked at the source code to answer someone's query about
undocumented features, and debugging.

And theoretically, it gives a very good opportunity for automated
assessment of a program for eliminating common errors (e.g. buffer
overflows), and perhaps checking for malicious routines.

I'm prepared to put more faith in open source code than closed source
code. Not just because someone can check it, but also because it's a
measure against being locked out. I *have* suffered the situation where
we've written data using closed source programs that only the same
application can make use of, and we've lost access to that data. Given
an open source program, or open standard, and a need, people do develop
ways to be able to read different forms of data.

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Old 06-19-2008, 01:21 PM
stan
 
Default A question for the open source people

Michael Harpe wrote:

What I have always been curious about is this: how many of you actually take advantage of the open source? In other words, how many of you really take the source code and do something with it?


I wouldn't say I do this often, but I do look at source when there is a
problem. And when I am trying to get something working that is broken
or unsupported. For instance, FLAC is unsupported by the version of
libsndfile in Fedora 7 because the FLAC api changed after it was
written. I wrote a patch that fixes this so that I could have FLAC
support in another program. And if I need a certain functionality in a
program and I know it is in an open source program, I take the code and
use it as a starting point in my own program.

Personally I don't. I can program in C, i'm pretty good at it. I've just never felt the need to alter the software I use. I'm fine with waiting for the new versions as they come out.

For many things, this is true of me as well. The core items usually
work well, and I have no need of duplicating the functionality.

I'm really not trying to start a fight. I am just curious. I love free software. I think the free software movement has enabled a lot of people who could not afford to operate a computer to do so. Having Linux source code available has trained a generation of system programmers. There's no disputing the value of free, open source software.

Anyway, that's my question. Feel free to respond to me directly.

Mike Harpe
Sellersburg, IN USA




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Old 06-19-2008, 02:07 PM
"Patrick O'Callaghan"
 
Default A question for the open source people

On Wed, 2008-06-18 at 17:47 -0700, Michael Harpe wrote:
> What I have always been curious about is this: how many of you
> actually take advantage of the open source? In other words, how many
> of you really take the source code and do something with it?

It's been many years since I've done any serious programming, but I was
a manager for 10 years or so before retiring and becoming a consultant,
so I could order other people to do it :-) Our university mail and web
services depend 100% on free software and a lot of it has been tuned and
modified for local conditions. This would have been out of the question
with any of the proprietary options, aside from which we couldn't
possibly have afforded them.

poc

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Old 06-19-2008, 02:16 PM
"Mark Haney"
 
Default A question for the open source people

Michael Harpe wrote:

What I have always been curious about is this: how many of you actually take advantage of the open source? In other words, how many of you really take the source code and do something with it?

Personally I don't. I can program in C, i'm pretty good at it. I've just never felt the need to alter the software I use. I'm fine with waiting for the new versions as they come out.

I'm really not trying to start a fight. I am just curious. I love free software. I think the free software movement has enabled a lot of people who could not afford to operate a computer to do so. Having Linux source code available has trained a generation of system programmers. There's no disputing the value of free, open source software.

Anyway, that's my question. Feel free to respond to me directly.

Mike Harpe
Sellersburg, IN USA



I can't say my company is intensively modifying code, but we do make
mods for our internal use for apps like MRTG, Nagios and such. We're
also pretty active filing bug reports and testing patches for various
things. Okay, at least I am. We're a small shop and networking is our
core business (we're a non-profit ISP in NC) so we deal a lot with
monitoring software, which in some case requires some creative changes
to make it do things we want it to do. Being the Sr. SysAdmin here, I'm
responsible for a large part of that, but it's more of a team effort
here for things.


Not to mention all the custom work I've done on updating RPMs for newer
OS versions of things we use here. Although that is becoming less an
issue now. Our main work is in modifying monitoring software to fit our
needs.






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Mark Haney
Sr. Systems Administrator
ERC Broadband
(828) 350-2415

Call (866) ERC-7110 for after hours support

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Old 06-19-2008, 05:23 PM
Rick Stevens
 
Default A question for the open source people

Michael Harpe wrote:

What I have always been curious about is this: how many of you actually take advantage of the open source? In other words, how many of you really take the source code and do something with it?

Personally I don't. I can program in C, i'm pretty good at it. I've just never felt the need to alter the software I use. I'm fine with waiting for the new versions as they come out.

I'm really not trying to start a fight. I am just curious. I love free software. I think the free software movement has enabled a lot of people who could not afford to operate a computer to do so. Having Linux source code available has trained a generation of system programmers. There's no disputing the value of free, open source software.

Anyway, that's my question. Feel free to respond to me directly.


I made serious mods to vsftpd to have it trigger some event upon the
successful upload of a file. I've also "convinced" a number of programs
to do very specific things we needed in our environment.

When I don't have the time or resources to write what we need from
scratch, I'll find an open source solution and bugger it to do what is
needed. Some of my changes have made it back into the distribution
source tree...some haven't. Some are so "me-specific" that absolutely
no one else in the world would give a toss about them.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
- Rick Stevens, Systems Engineer rps2@nerd.com -
- Hosting Consulting, Inc. -
- -
- A day for firm decisions!!! Well, then again, maybe not! -
----------------------------------------------------------------------

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Old 06-19-2008, 10:48 PM
"Bassel Safadi"
 
Default A question for the open source people

I'm a web programmer, I don't know C or C++ but actually can't live a day without open source web content management systems like worldpress which I'm hacking and building a copy of it for special needs, and yes a lot of people ( including me ) spend hours reading others code, learning and hacking, specially those easy to read programming languages ( python, php )



Michael Harpe wrote:


What I have always been curious about is this: how many of you actually take advantage of the open source? In other words, how many of you really take the source code and do something with it?



Personally I don't. I can program in C, i'm pretty good at it. I've just never felt the need to alter the software I use. I'm fine with waiting for the new versions as they come out.



I'm really not trying to start a fight. I am just curious. I love free software. I think the free software movement has enabled a lot of people who could not afford to operate a computer to do so. Having Linux source code available has trained a generation of system programmers. There's no disputing the value of free, open source software.




Anyway, that's my question. Feel free to respond to me directly.





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