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Someday I hope we'll see a major push for repairable free and open-source software. The fact that software is free and open source is rarely actually of material importance until you need to fix something.

Don't get me wrong, there are *ideological* reasons for free and open-source software, but there's plenty of software that's effectively proprietary because only the author(s) can understand how it works.

@christianbundy Not so sure about this. Essential Freedom #1 from the Free Software Definition is "the freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish". There has never been any obligation of the author of software to teach or instruct others on it's use -- that's always been up to the "consumer".

gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.

@christianbundy You raise important points about software being maximally understandable by others to realize its greatest potential, but that's never been a primary purpose of the free/open source software movement.

@downey @christianbundy My understanding was that while it's important for the code to be well-documented (written, and commented) for others to understand it, that's not a vital requirement for free software. As long as the code is out there, any code quality issues can be fixed by others. (and besides, how do you define in general what constitutes clean code)

It's also my understanding that the FSF's ideology is all around the end-user being able to fork it.

@downey @christianbundy

P.S. I enjoy writing clean code. It's so much harder than writing obfuscated code.

@downey I think we agree! My point isn't that free and open-source software must necessarily be easy to repair, but that repairability is also an important metric that we (at least in my circles) rarely talk about.

It isnt an issue caused [or meant to be solved] by free software, but you can end up with write-only code that can't be repaired regardless of the four essential freedoms.

@christianbundy yeah it bothers me when randos will tell me "the source is there, why don't YOU fix it" after talking about having troubles with a program.. when i can barely code anyway! the most i can do is participate in github threads and hope i get listened to

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social.coop

A Fediverse instance for people interested in cooperative and collective projects.