If any of you teach computer science, I'd encourage you to include this in your curriculum under the heading of "why, in proprietary software, it's seldom the best who succeed"... web.archive.org/web/2005101307

@lightweight Success has a loose relationship with quality at best.

@Freyaday indeed. In the proprietary software world, quality is very seldom an indicator of success...

@lightweight The loose relationship between success and quality is a constant across all of human life. Open software, closed software, people—it's an artifact of the myth of objective quality, imperfect information, human networks, and human fallibility.

@Freyaday well, I certainly agree... quality is a matter of how we frame it... something can be very good at what it does, but might, for example, generate lots of pollution... But proprietary software is a special case in my opinion - it's only selected based on very narrowly framed quality... most people use any given app.. because they have to - it's the only one compatible with their works... By design.

@lightweight Most people neither know nor care about the openness of the software they use. Even when you restrict that field to the people who know what that means, the amount of information about how the software behaves is basically the same—nobody on earth is going to dive into the source while mulling over an app in the store.

Unless you're Oracle and you try and make benchmarks illegal via EULA, but we all know what Oracle is.

@Freyaday People tend not to be aware of freedom until its loss starts to bite. Then, of course, it's far too late. And even then, to protect their egos, sometimes people just put up with it rather than try to rectify the matter. That's why nearly every country in the world today is effectively a hostage of the Microsoft Corporation - davelane.nz/mshostage

@lightweight To be sure, but whatever correlation between quality and success proprietary software has is not unique to it.

And as a side note, go take a look at the Intel Management Engine. If you wanna be mad about proprietary bullshit, that's a /great/ place to start.

@Freyaday I haven't heard of the Intel Management Engine... What context is it used in? Is it on Intel chips? I tend to focus my derision on software that has a huge impact a large numbers of people (like billions in this case).

@lightweight Oh boy. Get ready.
The IME is a chip onboard every single Intel motherboard. It sits beneath the OS at about ring -3. It's responsible for things like booting the computer and enforcing HDCP (everybody's favorite DRM). It also has, among other things, a web server!

@Freyaday ah yes, I know about this (just not by that name)... yep, very very not good.

@lightweight AMD has an equivalent, it just lives on the CPUs instead of the mobos.

@Freyaday@hellsite.tyronesama.myeah. Sadly where cpus are concerned, there's far less choice than I'm happy with... It is one area where economies of scale are helpful... I hope that won't be the case too long... We'll eventually be able to 3d print the equivalent... but it'll take until various patents expire (or gov'ts, necessary to preserve gov't granted monopolies, cease to exist, whichever comes first).

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