Free software

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
newmikey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,949
Wow! So many misconceptions...

dwight3 wrote:

newmikey wrote:...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.

So there are websites out there that tell you how to modify software to provide a given alteration/benefit?

Yes, that should hardly count as news. There are complete communities out there entirely to doing exactly thàt.

I would think that things like lenscodes would be files referred to by the software rather than hardwired into the code. It would be more flexible and allow for third party plugins. Not the same as modifying the code.

But then I'm not an expert in this stuff.

No, you're not and it shows. Lenscodes could be hardwired, xml files or external database files depending on the architecture of the project itself. As an example, if Adobe software reads a Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A014 as a Zeiss Milvus 1.4/50 (since LR6.3) that is hardcoded in and you cannot change it. In open source code you can post about the issue in a community and will usually get a very quick response on how to correct that behaviour yourself with a few minor tweaks.

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.

Most of the software is really complex, and rewriting or modifying code outside of the original engineering group runs the risk of introducing unintended bugs due to interaction between sections of the software.

You really do not understand this, do you? In open source there is no "original engineering group" - there is a community and people submit commits to a central database or setup a fork of the project if they want to take the software in a different direction.

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.

While bug fixes are found in many updates, new features and algorithms are also part of updates, as well as the ability to handle new camera files.

Yep, that is no different than it is with open-source only there you get these new features and algorithms on an ongoing basis hot off the press as they are developed - no need to wait for a timed update once a year or worse.

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.

But I don't see that any software forces you to make those choices. Open source software may indeed increase the number of choices you have, but you are still free to apply your money where it does you the most good. You just have to evaluate all the choices to be able to determine which software is appropriate to your needs.

And here is the biggest difference, that of choice and freedom. You do not ever have to "apply your money where it does you the most good" and you are free to use the full power of as many packages as you feel answer a particular need. I have found that with closed source software, the result is more often than not a selection born out of compromise. The final choice will be a software package that does some things well, others not so well. One can only spend money once.

I have nothing against open source software. I just think that all the choices out there come with positives and negatives and you have to balance them to make your own choices.

But you don't really understand anything about open source software to begin with which makes your balancing act a failure by design.

 newmikey's gear list:newmikey's gear list
Ricoh GR Pentax K-70 Pentax smc DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED (IF) SDM Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM +3 more
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