Free software

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
newmikey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,949
You make some decent points but also mistakes

dwight3 wrote:

I can see that these considerations could be important to some people. But this is a community of photographers, not software engineers so the customization of the program is probably beyond the ability of most of us. ...

Customization can just be a tweak or two, not necessarily beyond a photographer's ability to read a website and follow some easy instructions.

As a very simple example I've modified some lenscodes of older lenses which generally are prone to misidentification by most software packages. That's as simple as finding the lenscode and inserting it into a template, then doing a quick recompile of the code.

The biggest mistake however is that the freedom to dig into the source to correct issues or add functionality is not limited to the individual but is open to wide communities so that once a few people have a requirement, there are always others willing to oblige them.

The freedom to modify also extends to the interface and the language it is in. Supplying translations in additional languages is an easy way in which non-programmers can contribute to software projects.

These freedoms also extend to calling in bugfixes and testing advanced unreleased versions which can at times unlock exciting new potential.

Last but not least is the fact free software remains free in perpetuity which generally means companies cannot extort money for "updates" which are in fact corrections of earlier bug-ridden versions.

As an added benefit, using open source software enables you to employ various packages which all have specific benefits rather than forcing you to make a choice what to spend your money on. As an example, I generally use and prefer Darktable for raw conversions unless I take pixel-shift images with my Pentax - for those I find that Rawtherapee is the better choice.

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