open source vs. constructionist learning

Carlos Nazareno object404 at
Tue Apr 13 05:06:04 EDT 2010

"How could you justify to not include source code?
That's evil. As evil as suggesting the use of a platform that children
would be unable to use if they wished to."

I'm really sorry for cluttering the list again, but I had to
immediately reply to this.

Some developers need to put food on the table and feed themselves and
their family.
Do you think that's evil?

Do you think that it's fair that the legendary genius Sean T. Cooper
who made at
Bullfrog who's now making a humble living as an indie Flash game
developer ( is forced to give away
for free to everyone his isometric game engine that he's selling
( which he worked on for
over a decade? He's already freely giving to everyone via tutorials &
free as in beer games to enjoy, but must you take away his livelihood?

Not every developer can be as fortunate to be as successful as John
Carmack to afford a Ferrari and play with actual spacecraft to give
away his game engines for free (we owe a great debt to this man).

About code/apps as art: can't you respect the artistic wishes of an
artist? Is it evil for a magician to keep secret the tricks of his

Code is art. If you are the author, it contains a part of your soul.

Is it fair to invade JD Salinger's privacy against his wishes and
demand he give an interview just to get ?

I agree about the security issues of not having the sourcecode for review.

That is why it is dangerous for governments to be completely reliant
on closed-source technologies.

How about this: provide the sourcecode/files for private review to the
governing body (like the OLPC dev team or organizers of local
deployments) to make sure it doesn't contain malware, backdoors, etc
and plays nice with the system, but not open to the whole world
because it can also be exploited for the wrong reasons (hacking, kid
cheating without learning (my multiple choice math puzzle example)) or
prevent the author from feeding himself?

Or maybe for the author to give his utmost assurance that the software
contains no malware if he/she is unable to legally give reveal the
sourcecode or if it will truly impair his ability to feed and clothe
himself and his family.

Is that acceptable?

This is a hypothetical situation, but what if none of you guys or the
kids speak the language the program was written in?

What if the app was written in ?
Aside from the admiration of the sheer craftsmanship and awesome
display of a true work of horror, what good is it to anyone who wants
to patch and improve the software?

What I think is evil is people who freely take other peoples' work and
not give anything back in return, use it for good/productively, give
credit or contribute to the community. For example, pirates and
black-hat hackers who do it for profit and not for reasons of limited
finances or without the intention of giving back something in return
when they have the opportunity to do so later on.

I'm sorry if I offended you guys, but I hope you can see that some of
my points are very valid.



carlos nazareno
interactive media specialist
zen graffiti studios
"if you don't like the way the world is running,
then change it instead of just complaining."

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