[mythtv-users] MythTV vs. Windows Media Center
nick.rout at gmail.com
Sun Feb 13 21:06:24 UTC 2011
On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 9:39 AM, Eric Sharkey <eric at lisaneric.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 11:32 AM, Scott & Nicole Harris
> <snharris99 at live.com> wrote:
> >>Brian, you seem to be underestimating the cultural differences between
> >>the Windows world and the FOSS world.
> > Could you explain the difference, then? Because if I were to sum it up
> > what I'm reading here, pertaining to the whole bottom posting thing, it
> > would go something like this.
> You're missing the point.
> First of all, the policy for this list isn't "bottom posting". The
> goal is not to reply to some message, quote it in its entirety, and
> stick the new text at the bottom. That's only marginally better than
> top posting. A properly formed message trims the text being quoted so
> that it contains only the text to which the response is relevant.
> It's list policy that it's done that way, so doing it that way is just
> being polite. You know the saying, when in Rome...
> Secondly, the whole email formatting thing is not the real issue here.
> FOSS and closed source software have some significant differences in
> style and expectation. Each has strengths and weaknesses. What I've
> seen in the past is that people who seem to like the closed source
> world become very frustrated with open source weaknesses. They expect
> a "product" and they get a "project" instead. They cut themselves on
> the project's rough edges and get frustrated.
> On the other hand, people used to open source can get very frustrated
> with closed source when things don't go right there, such as when a
> license key fails to validate because the ethernet hardware address
> has changed or if the software craps out because of insufficient
> client access licenses or whatever. Open source code just doesn't do
> stuff like that. There's no MythTV Lite, MythTV Home, MythTV
> Professional, MythTV Ultimate, MythTV Extreme Ultimate, MythTV Extreme
> Ultimate Plus, ... It's just MythTV. You get the whole thing,
> without anything held back.
> Maybe I'm not explaining it well. It's hard to explain this sort of
> thing if you aren't immersed in the culture. Brian referred to the
> MyDefrag utility and referred to it as free, but it's freeware
> (gratis) and not Free (libre). People in this community look at
> something like MyDefrag as a clockwork orange, but people like Brian
> are quite comfortable with that sort of thing.
One of the reasons for being uncomfortable with it is that at any time the
author can move significant and important funstionality over to a "paid"
version, leaving the freeware version crippled. That can't happen in open
source, you can change your license for future addons to your own work, but
you cannot stop anyone picking up the last open version and improving it.
> What I'm trying to say is that if you were to compare MythTV and Win
> MCE and make pro/con lists for each, different people might look at a
> con and one might say "that's a big deal" while other might barely
> notice it. MythTV has been designed and built by people who consider
> the cons of closed source to be a big deal and have worked hard to
> address that, while other aspects might be a little lacking. If
> you're the type of person who doesn't value that freedom, MythTV will
> appear to be the weaker choice. On the other hand, if freedom is
> important, Win MCE is the weaker choice. It's all in the eye of the
Thanks for being a voice of reason - Brian has ruffled a few feathers, but
IMHO not obnoxiously so. It does us all good to be reminded how others might
see us and misunderstand the open source ethos.
One poster to this list recently bemoaned the fact that I didn't seem to
appreciate that the "customer is always right" - my response to that will
always have to be "you are not my customer (or the dev's customer) - you are
a user of a project."
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