Author Topic: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment  (Read 659 times)

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Online thinkfat

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#449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« on: July 02, 2019, 12:54:45 am »
I find Daves stance on open source tools a bit annoying at times.

Of course he's right that a tool has to be fit for the purpose in the first place, but still, open source has some value in its own right. As a full time Linux user I'm of course biased, but I would not go back to e.g. CirctuitMaker now that I got used to KiCAD. Though I do admit that CM is in certain aspects superior to KiCAD.

What's your thoughts on this open source stuff?
 

Offline sokoloff

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2019, 01:46:55 am »
I was listening to the first half on the way in this AM and first took some difference with Dave’s categorical “no one cares about open source as long as it’s free [as in beer].”

Pretty soon after that though, I think he made a fair point about the fact that almost no one will make a new feature in KiCad and that if the release doesn’t have it, then that’s that.

Where I think Dave’s off base is all the little “invisible” ways in which open source tools become more usable rather than less usable over time. From ASCII based file formats to compatibility over time to no desire to cripple to aid monetization to little utilities that get better based on the above, I think many people benefit in subtle ways from a tool chain being open source (“free as in speech”), but agree with Dave that the in-the-moment decision to use or not use a tool is probably driven on price and availability rather than license and philosophy.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2019, 02:06:32 am »
Open source has some merit in itself, largely that when an organization ruins the product with stupid changes another org can fork it and continue in a more sensible direction.

The fact that the cost is zero is the greatest appeal to most users though. Very few end users modify their software even if they can.
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2019, 12:27:30 pm »
The successful open source projects do respond to user input about features and bugs. Which is precisely what leads to them being successful. In the Kicad case specifically there would not need to be a large intersection between the skills of the users, who probably can't develop code but can feedback use requirements, and developers who need not be skilled at PCB design. Users such as Dave  in the videos he made creating a 4 layer board for the Gigatron can help the project by guiding the evolution with skilled user suggestions.

Now that Kicad has started gathering a critical mass of usage it will evolve more quickly in the way users need.
 

Online tocsa120ls

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2019, 10:27:42 pm »
I don't know about that butched Tesla. She chose probably the worst car to turn into a ute. I mean, look at that cargo capacity (from the 3's user manual)
Also, precisely zero amount of fabrication was shown. The best she will get out of this, maybe an appearance on Leno's youtube channel.
This project checks all the popular boxes: empowered female, going against the grain, modified EV.
Now how about buying a Toyota Tacoma, some motors (or maybe a complete electric rear axle) and a prefab controller and making your own electric truck. Warranty's out of the window on the Tesla anyway the moment you take an angle grinder to it, so why not make it much cheaper and open source?

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Offline sokoloff

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2019, 11:36:29 pm »
It seems overwhelmingly likely that her YouTube ad impressions paid for the Tesla and left a little over for the labor and materials.

So, do a project that appeals to people, get some notoriety out of it, end up with a free Tesla El Camino.

Doesn't sound like the dumbest thing I've ever seen on YouTube for sure...
 
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Offline bsfeechannel

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2019, 05:02:35 am »
I was listening to the first half on the way in this AM and first took some difference with Dave’s categorical “no one cares about open source as long as it’s free [as in beer].”

There is this misconception that Open Source, or specifically Free Software, is for free.

The truth is that  it is "free" because you have already paid for it.

Take the Linux Foundation, just as an example. Their platinum members, those who donate US$500k a year are the likes of AT&T, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware, Cisco Systems, Intel, Qualcomm, Hitachi, Huawei, NEC, Samsung Electronics. The gold members (100K/year) are Alibaba, Baidu, Citrix Systems, Dell, EMC, Doky, SuSE, BlackRock, Accenture, Facebook, Hart, Oath, Uber, Toyota, Renesas Electronics, Panasonic, Toshiba, etc.

So every time you buy their products or services you are paying for Open Source/Free Software.
 

Online thinkfat

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2019, 10:39:28 pm »


I don't know about that butched Tesla. She chose probably the worst car to turn into a ute. I mean, look at that cargo capacity (from the 3's user manual)
Also, precisely zero amount of fabrication was shown. The best she will get out of this, maybe an appearance on Leno's youtube channel.
This project checks all the popular boxes: empowered female, going against the grain, modified EV.
Now how about buying a Toyota Tacoma, some motors (or maybe a complete electric rear axle) and a prefab controller and making your own electric truck. Warranty's out of the window on the Tesla anyway the moment you take an angle grinder to it, so why not make it much cheaper and open source?

More fabrication details likely on the 'richrebuilds' channel, that is right along his alley.

The reason she chose a Tesla should be obvious. Anyway, it doesn't matter that the truckla isn't really useful - when has anything she made ever served a purpose? She's the queen of crappy robots!

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Offline sajattack

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2019, 12:26:50 pm »
Dave! Yammering on about how the open source toolchains can't possibly be as good, ever heard of GCC?
 

Online thinkfat

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2019, 09:21:18 pm »
There is this misconception that Open Source, or specifically Free Software, is for free.

The truth is that  it is "free" because you have already paid for it.

Take the Linux Foundation, just as an example. Their platinum members, those who donate US$500k a year are the likes of AT&T, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware, Cisco Systems, Intel, Qualcomm, Hitachi, Huawei, NEC, Samsung Electronics. The gold members (100K/year) are Alibaba, Baidu, Citrix Systems, Dell, EMC, Doky, SuSE, BlackRock, Accenture, Facebook, Hart, Oath, Uber, Toyota, Renesas Electronics, Panasonic, Toshiba, etc.

So every time you buy their products or services you are paying for Open Source/Free Software.

That implies that if the developers weren't paid any more, Free Software would be going away, which it cannot, by the definition of Free. It also implies that those services or products are more expensive than they needed to be, due to the contribution to Free Software. I don't think it's reasonable to assume that the bottom line of these companies is impacted by membership fees to the Linux Foundation. It's basically marketing money they would have spent anyway.

Apart from that, only a very, very small group of developers actually gets paid by support organizations like the Linux Foundation. KiCAD has _one_ full time developer since recently, other projects, like, e.g. OpenOCD, which I happen to be involved with, have no corporate sponsor at all and no full time paid developer. There are a handful of contributors employed by e.g. Linaro but the majority of contributions come from "users scratching an itch".
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2019, 12:22:19 am »
Dave! Yammering on about how the open source toolchains can't possibly be as good, ever heard of GCC?
I take IAR or KEIL any day over GCC.
 

Offline bsfeechannel

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2019, 01:33:02 pm »
I take IAR or KEIL any day over GCC.

The role of free software is to set the lowest common denominator of what users consider acceptable. No one is going to pay for something that is not better than what is available for free.

So the tendency is to have proprietary solutions aiming to be better than the open source alternatives. Otherwise they tend not to survive.

In this episode, Chris is excited because someone decided to create an opensource alternative to whatever. Of course he's excited. Open source ends one of the most perverse kinds of business models: the ones based on artificial scarcity (via IP protection combined with nasty commercial practices). It rather encourages competition on actual merits, free users from being hostages of a single entity controlling development, maintenance and price, and provide alternative resources (including themselves) to turn to.

Instead of downplaying the importance of an opensource initiative, we should applaud it.
 
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Online techman-001

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2019, 07:56:34 pm »
I was listening to the first half on the way in this AM and first took some difference with Dave’s categorical “no one cares about open source as long as it’s free [as in beer].”

There is this misconception that Open Source, or specifically Free Software, is for free.

The truth is that  it is "free" because you have already paid for it.

Take the Linux Foundation, just as an example. Their platinum members, those who donate US$500k a year are the likes of AT&T, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware, Cisco Systems, Intel, Qualcomm, Hitachi, Huawei, NEC, Samsung Electronics. The gold members (100K/year) are Alibaba, Baidu, Citrix Systems, Dell, EMC, Doky, SuSE, BlackRock, Accenture, Facebook, Hart, Oath, Uber, Toyota, Renesas Electronics, Panasonic, Toshiba, etc.

So every time you buy their products or services you are paying for Open Source/Free Software.

That's quite a skewed theory you have about Open Source or Free Software in my opinion.

As a example you chose the 500lb gorilla Linux which alone enables Red Hat to make Billions of dollars a year so I think Linux is not really a suitable example of Open Source unless making a case like yours.

Linux was once true Open Source, no one paid Linux Torvalds to release his work back in 1991. He made it for himself because he couldn't afford UNIX which was typically around $10,000 a seat back then.

Nowadays Linux is a behemoth, bigger than Microsoft, bigger than many. Redhat alone was acquired by IBM for 35 Billion USD, Google makes their fortune using Linux, Apple made zillions using the Mach Kernel and FreeBSD userland. In their heyday, Samsung was registering 1.5 MILLION new Galaxy Android phones a DAY.

When people buy products or services from these companies they're buying a product or a service, and their money certainly isn't going back to "Open Source Development', it's going to the shareholders of those companies all of which exist only to make a profit.

When someone buys a Samsung phone, they're not paying for any Open Source any more than they are getting a couple of Samsung shares in the phone carton along with their shiny new toy. They are buying a phone only, end of story.

How about a different Open Source example ?

Matthias Koch is a very smart German who wrote and maintains Mecrisp-Stellaris, a Forth language for ARM Cortex-M hardware.
 https://sourceforge.net/projects/mecrisp/

Mecrisp-Stellaris is Open Source, GPL specifically and totally Free. No one pays anything for it, and Matthias, who spent *years* designing, writing and testing it makes no request for donations or any kind of payments. Mecrisp-Stellaris is utterly Free in the full GPL sense of the word.

I believe a more accurate definition of Open Source is one that also fits Matthias Koch's work, or Linus back in 1991:

Open Source software is made by the Author for the Author, it's not made for you or I. The Author made it because either there was no alternative or the alternatives were unsuitable for various reasons.

Once the project is finished many Authors then make their Open Source Software available to whoever wants it as a way to contribute back to Open Source because their projects were only made possible by using Open Source Tools in the first place.

There are *tens of thousands* of such stories, the repositories of Linux or *BSD number in the 20 - 30 thousand, and I wager that 99% of those projects fit my definition above. There will be very few projects ( in comparison) listed by the companies I mentioned above, who only exist to make money from Linux.

Finally I'd like to say that I also disagree with you about Open Source setting the 'low bar for software' because I believe that the opposite is true.

A software author writing code for himself/herself in their spare time does their *BEST WORK* because it is for their own use. No boss, accountant or salesman is breathing down their neck pressuring them for the release that MUST BE READY FOR FRIDAY OR THEY ALL LOSE THEIR JOBS.

I submit that commercial software is the true crap, made only for a profit, full of bugs that were never fixed, full of legacy code no one understands because the head coder had a nervous breakdown from almost no sleep and 100 cups of coffee a day for 3 years so the board of directors could buy a round of new condos in the Riviera.

You do make some excellent Open Source comments in other posts, so I'd like to point out that it's only the issues in this post I'm taking issue with :)


 

Offline sokoloff

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2019, 09:23:35 pm »
I'd like to say that I also disagree with you about Open Source setting the 'low bar for software' because I believe that the opposite is true.

A software author writing code for himself/herself in their spare time does their *BEST WORK* because it is for their own use. No boss, accountant or salesman is breathing down their neck pressuring them for the release that MUST BE READY FOR FRIDAY OR THEY ALL LOSE THEIR JOBS.

I submit that commercial software is the true crap, made only for a profit, full of bugs that were never fixed, full of legacy code no one understands because the head coder had a nervous breakdown from almost no sleep and 100 cups of coffee a day for 3 years so the board of directors could buy a round of new condos in the Riviera.
I don't think the implication was that free software set an absolute low bar, but rather that it set a relative low bar.

The specific example at hand, gcc, means that now that gcc exists and is widely ported, it's extremely difficult for a proprietary compiler vendor to come in and undercut gcc on quality and charge money for it. In that regard, gcc has set an effective floor ("low bar") on quality. Any compiler must be at least as good as (free-free) gcc in order to compete.

I don't think the implication was that gcc was "crap" in any kind of absolute sense.

(I do completely disagree with the other "it's only free because other people pay for it" passage that you quoted.)
 

Online techman-001

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2019, 09:45:49 pm »
I'd like to say that I also disagree with you about Open Source setting the 'low bar for software' because I believe that the opposite is true.

A software author writing code for himself/herself in their spare time does their *BEST WORK* because it is for their own use. No boss, accountant or salesman is breathing down their neck pressuring them for the release that MUST BE READY FOR FRIDAY OR THEY ALL LOSE THEIR JOBS.

I submit that commercial software is the true crap, made only for a profit, full of bugs that were never fixed, full of legacy code no one understands because the head coder had a nervous breakdown from almost no sleep and 100 cups of coffee a day for 3 years so the board of directors could buy a round of new condos in the Riviera.
I don't think the implication was that free software set an absolute low bar, but rather that it set a relative low bar.

The specific example at hand, gcc, means that now that gcc exists and is widely ported, it's extremely difficult for a proprietary compiler vendor to come in and undercut gcc on quality and charge money for it. In that regard, gcc has set an effective floor ("low bar") on quality. Any compiler must be at least as good as (free-free) gcc in order to compete.

I don't think the implication was that gcc was "crap" in any kind of absolute sense.

(I do completely disagree with the other "it's only free because other people pay for it" passage that you quoted.)

Oops. Thanks for pointing that out sokoloff, my BAD entirely  :palm:  and my apologies to bsfeechannel, I read that part completely out of context.
 

Online thinkfat

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2019, 10:14:38 pm »


Finally I'd like to say that I also disagree with you about Open Source setting the 'low bar for software' because I believe that the opposite is true.


God it is so cumbersome to edit a post in tapatalk on the phone...

Anyway: I think that this statement is not so far from the truth. Effectively, Free sets the benchmark for the minimum functionality you need to offer if you want to sell. You need to provide more than the benchmark.

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Offline bsfeechannel

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2019, 07:20:34 am »
What does open source bring to the table?

It brings the table.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: #449 - Pulled From A Working Environment
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2019, 07:42:42 am »
For the FPGA talk, I would have rather them interview someone in the industry.  Same for the VNA.  Felt a little blind leading the blind on both.   I don't follow the robot girl but did watch the two videos after seeing this in the AH.

I've said before that I see no reason for open sourced TE.  On equipment that is safety certified, I can see it being a big concern.  The same for automotive.   That said, I did spend the couple of bucks for the programmers for Dave's meter in case I get the itch to try and hack it. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 


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