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KodiacZiller
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reply to justine

Re: Why do you hate Microsoft

said by justine:

Software shouldn't be copyrightable. Then it would be a profession instead of a product. Everyone would build on a common pool of software and it would improve like other arts and sciences.

Well said. This is what open-source is all about. Collaboration and free and open code. The problem is these big software companies want to patent code, which is preposterous. Code is nothing but logic and math. Has anyone ever patented math? No, so why do we allow people to patent a freaking line of source code?

Most code is written in C, especially at the lower levels of OS's and the like. C is a free and open language, so I find it crazy that people want to patent C code (yet this is precisely what M$ and others get away with).

I like the open-source model, specifically the GPL: do what you want with our code, but abide by the license (mainly give the authors credit and don't redistribute without keeping the code open).

I have no problem with patents if they are truly innovative. Writing code is not innovative whatsoever. This is why I think patents should only be available for hardware.

And Apple's patents are crap. They patented a freaking rectangle and a color (that's what the lawsuit was about, Apple claimed Samsung stole a rectangular shape). Patents are supposed to be "non-obvious." A rectangular shape of a phone is very obvious and should never have gotten through the patent office.
--
Getting people to stop using windows is more or less the same as trying to get people to stop smoking tobacco products. They dont want to change; they are happy with slowly dying inside. -- munky99999

dave
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The GPL depends entirely on copyright law. If there were no copyright law, the GPL would be unenforceable.

Your argument about C is nonsense. Most novels are written in natural language, so is it therefore crazy that people want to copyright things written in natural language? Most inventions are described in natural language, so is it crazy that people want to patent things described in natural language?

There is a coherent argument to be made against copyright and against patents, but "because they are written in C" is not one of those arguments.


KodiacZiller
Premium
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said by dave:

The GPL depends entirely on copyright law. If there were no copyright law, the GPL would be unenforceable.

Your argument about C is nonsense. Most novels are written in natural language, so is it therefore crazy that people want to copyright things written in natural language? Most inventions are described in natural language, so is it crazy that people want to patent things described in natural language?

There is a coherent argument to be made against copyright and against patents, but "because they are written in C" is not one of those arguments.

While I understand your analogy, I think it is flawed. Programming languages are nothing but structured logic and (usually) leave only one way to do things (or at least they try to do so). There really isn't much room for "art" in programming as there is in literature. Programming is used to accomplish a task -- to communicate with a CPU that understands 1's and 0's. This is why I think programming is much more similar to doing math than it is to writing a novel. Sure, English is a "language" as is C/C++ or Perl. Then again mathematics is a language too, but it's not patentable.

If you put two experienced programmers in separate rooms and ask them to write a simple application, they will likely have code that is very similar. So if one of them "patents" his code before the other guy, I guess the other guy is SOL?

Copyrighting code is a different issue and I have no problem with that. If someone writes a program and wants to license it, fine with me. But if some other guy writes a similar app that consists of original code, he shouldn't be liable to patent suits. After all, the code will be very similar in certain areas, which means it is "obvious" and fails the definition of something that is patentable. Copyright usually deals with an entire application, which is fine with me. If I want to use the software I can either follow the license or find an alternative.

I am not against patents in general, but I am against software patents.
--
Getting people to stop using windows is more or less the same as trying to get people to stop smoking tobacco products. They dont want to change; they are happy with slowly dying inside. -- munky99999

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by KodiacZiller:

If you put two experienced programmers in separate rooms and ask them to write a simple application, they will likely have code that is very similar.

Well, sure, if all you're writing is a "simple" application, then there's likely a simple way to do it. But that is mere tautology; more complicated problems admit of widely-varying solutions that require the creative process.

I think your conception of 'what programming is' is wrong, too, but this is no place to expound on my theories of programming, and the differences between good programmers and time-servers.