Re: Sharing Models, was: Intestinal Fortitude

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 12:16:22 MST

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> On Mon, 19 Mar 2001, Michael Lorrey wrote:
> > How is one to obtain Matlab for free if one is not a student or
> > professor? Last I knew it was a pretty hefty license fee, which I have
> You can't. I have no idea why you mention Matlab in this context.
> Then why not Mathematica. Or a bandersnatch.
> > no intention of paying for (and wasting the time to learn) just to work
> > on this one project. I frankly disagree with the yapping about 'open
> > source'. There is a difference between true open source and practical
> Mike, you'd have a point if you knew what you're talking about. If you
> insist on making a fool out of yourself in public, be my guest.

Perhaps I misread Spike's post, which on first glance seemed to me to be
advocating reqriting the whole thing in Matlab. However, my point
stands. Frankly, I don't a damn about an application or programming
environment being open source. What I, and most other computer users in
the world care about is making OUR files operable/viewable by as many
other people as possible. If Spike puts out his spreadsheet in excel
version 5, which any Joe with a spreadsheet application can run, then it
is effectively open source.

If Open Source were such a great be all and end all, you would be able
to make money with it. Since the chairmen of not just Corel, but Red Hat
and SuSE have all admitted that you can't make money in open source,
there is obviously a problem with the concept.

> > open source. Something that can generally be run on a majority of
> > people's PCs because of the ubiquity of a given sort of software is
> > 'practical open source'. Excel spreadsheets are of this category.
> Garbage. You either have the source for your application and are
> practically and legally free to do with it whatever you like, or you
> don't. Do you have the source for Excel? Has Redmond allowed you to give
> it away for free, so I can build it on my machine? Excel is practical open
> source, my ass.

We are not talking about the application, but the spreadsheet. I'm not
interested in rewriting Excel, nor, I think, is Spike. We are talking
about rewriting his spreadsheet, which, considering the ubiquity of
spreadsheet applications, is for all practical purposes, open source, so
long as editing the spreadsheet is not protected somehow.

You are confusing your layers. It is perfectly possible to run an open
source application in a closed source OS, and run an open source
program, spreadsheet, script, macro, etc in a closed source application.

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