xf86CheckBeta() and friends
daniel at freedesktop.org
Fri Nov 12 11:57:49 PST 2004
On Fri, Nov 12, 2004 at 02:51:38PM -0500, Keith Packard wrote:
> Around 10 o'clock on Nov 12, Daniel Stone wrote:
> > It's bad because we don't want to walk the closed-source route.
> While I may agree with you in fact, I disagree with this particular
> arguement. It has nothing to do with closed vs open source; the reality
> is that most people *don't* rebuild X for themselves, and the 'beta' flag
> provides distributions with a mechanism for encouraging people to get the
> released version of software instead of continuing to use potentially
> buggy software.
Mmm, but it just has the whole vendor lock-in attitude to mine eyes. As
I said to Stuart, I understand the intent, and there's totally valid
reasoning behind it (it's rather well-intentioned), I just really,
incredibly, dislike the effects.
> As the code is open source, this can't force people to upgrade, but it can
> make it painful to continue running older code.
As opposed to the screaming 'it's been longer than six months, upgrade,
you fool' warnings in the log already? :)
> And, to that, all I can say is that whoever thought of this clearly never
> spent a lot of time doing tech support. A working computer is far more
> valuable to most people than running 'approved' versions of software.
Or possibly too much time doing tech support, but none with timebombed
software. 'Yes, fixed in <insert version here>' gets repetitive after a
while (something about releases many years old ...).
> Having your machine stop functioning because of some arbitrary time bomb
> is the worst kind of software torture; worse in many ways than dongles and
> other nasty closed-source tactics.
Agreed; and given that that's the intent of this code ...
Thing is, I want to be able to keep giving out Linux CDs as long as they
basically work. If this means sarge or warty or whatever still works in
two years' time -- great, I'll give it to my grandmother should she ever
need it and not have to worry about a call about no graphical mode
because something's too old.
It just stinks to me of the vendor lock-in upgrade cycle, and I
fundamentally dislike it. If the code stays in, I hope to god it is at
least never, ever used (it certainly won't be in any vendor builds I'm
Daniel Stone <daniel at freedesktop.org>
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