[aprssig] open vs. closed in ham radio (was: Is WXSVRPermanently Defunct???)

Dave Baxter dave at uk-ar.co.uk
Thu Jul 30 04:16:29 CDT 2009


>From a personal perspective, as someone who writes code both for work
and "play" (because I can) the result of some of the "play" code I give
to others for free, if it will help them.  Heck, some of the "work"
stuff goes out for free, if a customer can use it with, or to prove a
piece of hardware we sold...

Much of my "free" source, I just *Cannot* divulge to the open source
community, because I use third party tools and utilities (networking and
IO drivers etc) that I or my employer paid for, & are proprietary and
belong to their authors.  They grant rights to freely deploy the
resulting executables (and sometimes their "helper" DLL's) but not their
source code that was used or linked to, to make it (them.)

Releasing my code, without theirs, will make it just about impossible
for anyone else to use or support, and I do not want any more emails or
phone calls about something I can't support, than I get right now for
the stuff I can!

Some of it, 100% "Free" though it may be, and it works well enough, I
just do not want others to see, because I'm not proud of it!  My choice.
(Scabby VB, and early dabblings in Delphi code mostly....)

On the occasion I have given out the sources, often as contractualy
obliged to, for some work projects, I then get bombarded by call's and
emails asking what is this, what does that do, I want to add this, how
do I .....  etc.   Despite there being more comments than code in the
source files.  Oh, and I haven't included the "can I have a copy of your
compiler too"? questions..   That is most definitely not for free
release, though again, there are similar "Free" ones about that could (I
suspect) do the job.  If they realy want, they can even give the guys a
call who produced the compiler/ide development suite.

My view, as it is of others...
Anyone who provides a service or product to any community of
users/consumers, for "Free", making no profit themselves (in truth,
there is usually a surprising cost to do such things) deserves all the
praise and thanks they can get.   Even if "all" they have done, is
gather some kit, hook it together, and make it work with help from
others.  (I'm thinking Beacons, Repeaters, Digi's and iGates etc...)
There is still the power bill, site rental, insurance & maintenance
costs, etc to pay out.  All that often as not, comes from one or a small
number of pockets, and good for them!

If for whatever reason, they later decide to stop doing that, or to
start charging a fee, or have the sources destroyed after their death,
or take down the system, then so be it, it's their choice, and theirs

As others with far more experience have said, in the case of running a
web based service "For Free"..  The physical cost of running or having
it hosted somewhere can be quite considerable over time, if just the
cost of the power needed to run and cool the servers and associated
plant etc, notwithstanding the time needed to periodically login to the
admin facility, look at the logs, then update tweak and adjust as
needed.  All that has to be done by someone, and for that someone, it
costs them in time or money.  Sometimes far more than they realise

The rest of us should just be thankful that there are people out there
who do anything like that for the greater good, whatever the product or
service etc...

'nuff said...

Best Regards.

Dave Baxter.

PS:	Don't get me started about the D-Star codec!

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jason KG4WSV [mailto:kg4wsv at gmail.com] 
> Sent: 29 July 2009 15:29
> To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] open vs. closed in ham radio (was: Is 
> WXSVRPermanently Defunct???)
> [I know nothing of the Dale / WXSVR situation; my post has 
> nothing to do directly with either.  I'll change the subject 
> line to reflect that.]
> On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 7:21 AM, Steve Dimse<steve at dimse.com> wrote:
> > Second, I think you grossly overestimate the value of this code.
> I think maybe you grossly _under_estimate the value of 
> _releasing_ the code.
> Yes, if you write it the code is yours, entirely, to do with 
> as you see fit, including complete and utter annihilation.
> What I really don't understand is why the author wouldn't 
> want to release it, when he's been providing the service to 
> the community anyway.  And this is what others have been 
> saying - not that they have a right, or even that the author 
> should release it; they, like me,
> wonder: why wouldn't he?
> -Jason
> kg4wsv

More information about the aprssig mailing list