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Legendary_Bibo
July 18th, 2010, 03:57 AM
I know a lot of you guys don't run proprietary software for personal reasons, but do you guys think there's good proprietary software as in you understand why it it's closed source? Computer games are an example of this.

Spr0k3t
July 18th, 2010, 05:07 AM
There are some good and some bad... take them both in stride. I for one believe the propriatary system used for syncing ipods/iphones is rather selfish which is why I tend to label Apple a bad propriatary system. Good propriatary can be considered something like the nvidia drivers... yeah, it's binary... but it works and there's no major hacking needed for all but the most sinister of API translations (WINE). Would it be good if the good propriatary would be converted to open source, sure.

What about the stuff like Apple and their locked doors... probably wouldn't change my opinion of them even if they went completely open.

Games and programs being closed/binary only... if they are good, they are worth purchasing no matter how tightly closed they are.

killa.fr0gg
July 18th, 2010, 05:08 AM
I think there is such thing as good proprietary software. I think there should be a concern only with the fairness with which its closedness is treated.

NightwishFan
July 18th, 2010, 05:16 AM
I tend to see proprietary software as a disadvantage, however I do use it as long as I do not have to "rely on it".

kaldor
July 18th, 2010, 05:21 AM
Is there good free software and bad free software? ;)

Video games, especially on consoles, are fine by me. The Church of IGNUcious can complain all they wish, but open source games on the mass market could be highly damaging to profit.

Bachstelze
July 18th, 2010, 06:34 AM
It depends what you mean by "good". If you mean technically, I think few will disagree that there is. If you mean ethically, then opinions are a bit more mixed, I personally think there is not.

McRat
July 18th, 2010, 07:28 AM
Games intended to be played in groups have to be even MORE closed than they are, even the free ones. Making it easy to hack to the software takes the fun out of both playing and hacking it.

NightwishFan
July 18th, 2010, 07:37 AM
Games intended to be played in groups have to be even MORE closed than they are, even the free ones. Making it easy to hack to the software takes the fun out of both playing and hacking it.

I do not understand this point of view.

Bachstelze
July 18th, 2010, 07:39 AM
I do not understand this point of view.

If you play OpenArena with your friends, you can modify the source to make you invulnerable, for example, which would kinda take the fun out of it.

earthpigg
July 18th, 2010, 07:48 AM
Bad Proprietary Software: doesn't need to be elaborated upon.

Neutral Proprietary Software: video games. i am ok with toys beeing non-free software.

Good Proprietary Software: if the project is to small/obscure to attract a hoard of coders contributing to it's improvement, including folks auditing code for security issues, then it may be better off closed.

ill provide an example. a forum i visit has very basic functionality. it was coded by one dude in his spare time, and serves it's purpose nearly perfectly. a code-deploy-forget type thing. no one in the community wants any drastic changes made to the forum.

since no improvement is sought, opening the code up would only let malicious folks look into vulnerabilities. it is possible that 'good guy' auditors would spot vulnerabilities and report them, but 'bad guys' have greater motive.

Bachstelze
July 18th, 2010, 07:50 AM
since no improvement is sought, opening the code up would only let malicious folks look into vulnerabilities. it is possible that 'good guy' auditors would spot vulnerabilities and report them, but 'bad guys' have greater motive.

Not really, what would motivate "bad guys" to spend time looking for vulnerabilities in forum software that only few people use? They have bigger fish to fry.

McRat
July 18th, 2010, 07:57 AM
I do not understand this point of view.

I suppose I should said ANY game, not just multiplayer.

Old story: There was a DOS game called F-19 Stealth Fighter. It's copy protection was done with a Floppy Key - data written in a half-track? or something. It was really irritating to have to find the floppy everytime I wanted to play, so I hacked the game to remove the key protection. It wasn't too hard.

OK, no problem. Yet. It was very cool flight simulator of what Microprose thought the F-117 Steath Fighter was going to be all about (released way before public knowledge of the plane). You had to use the terrain, Doppler vs. Pulse radar detection, ECM, navigation, etc. It was pretty intense to sneak into foreign countries (realistic maps) evade their radar, SAM's, EWAC's (Early warning aircraft), and CAP (combat air patrol) and strike a target without being detected.

It was HARD. A flight mission might take a couple hours or more. Some areas like Cuba, and Russia were almost impossible to sneak into.

So I hacked it to make it easier to win.

Mistake. Shortly afterwards I stuck it on the shelf and never played it again. In the back of my mind I knew I could defeat it with debug or a hex editor, so it took the fun out of it.

Now I watch my son do the same thing. He gets a cheat code, and shortly afterwards stops playing.

For a game to be immersive and fun, you need to believe it's real. If you've hacked it, you lose that. You think about the hack while you're playing.

theraje
July 18th, 2010, 07:59 AM
I do believe there is good and bad proprietary software. My idea of "good" closed software is software which has a relatively short shelf-life, where support and updates are not required or are required only for a relatively brief period of time. Games fit this particular niche quite well.

My idea of "bad" proprietary software, on the other hand, is software that is mission-critical, has a high cost-to-value ratio, and does ridiculous things to try and "protect" itself. Some examples: Some Adobe products (they're "industry standard", prohibitively expensive for non-commercial users, and the protection schemes are all but demented)... hardware drivers (I mean, really... why?)... and of course there's that whole Sony music CD rootkit debacle (where trying to play a music CD on your PC would cause a rootkit to be installed on your system in Windows).

There really is no "bad" proprietary software, though... just the way some entities treat the consumer.

By the way, I don't think "expensive" equals "bad" - but considering how many people use software like Photoshop for instance, you'd think they could sell it for a fraction of the cost and boost sales/cut piracy. As for more niche titles (i.e. software that is highly specialized), I can see where a higher cost may be necessary.

On the other side of the coin, "bad" proprietary software does drive the demand for open-source alternatives. It's how we got a lot of free/open programming languages, software applications, and operating systems. :)

earthpigg
July 18th, 2010, 08:11 AM
Not really, what would motivate "bad guys" to spend time looking for vulnerabilities in forum software that only few people use? They have bigger fish to fry.

every forum has trolls, and some are more knowledgeable than we would like to assume.

V for Vincent
July 18th, 2010, 08:12 AM
I think there is a technical as well as an ethical distinction. Computer games are a great example of software which benefits from a closed model. A single game doesn't permanently fill any sort of gap, so some financial incentive is (almost always) necessary. Ethical, well, it just depends on the people behind the product itself rather than the type. Lots of people are cynical enough to say that no company is ethical, but I believe that only holds for large companies, where there are no individuals, just statistics.

chessnerd
July 18th, 2010, 08:17 AM
So I hacked it to make it easier to win.

Mistake. Shortly afterwards I stuck it on the shelf and never played it again.
Been there, my friend. Cheat codes and hacks can be a lot of fun at first. Eventually, after you become god-like in the game, you get to a point where even the best enemies, the ones you would normally try to avoid fighting, are no trouble to defeat. It's fun to take them down a few times to get back a them, but sooner or later it sucks all the fun right out of the game.


For a game to be immersive and fun, you need to believe it's real. If you've hacked it, you lose that. You think about the hack while you're playing.
I don't really need to believe it's real. I need it to be a challenge. It is the challenge that makes the game, not the realness. When I play Star Wars Battlefront on "easy" it isn't fun because the opposing characters might as well not even be there. Playing it on "hard" is the only way I have a chance of losing. Losing isn't fun, but winning without a challenge is worse.

Even reality has these problems.

Chess is only fun against a worthy opponent. If you play an inexperienced player, when you yourself are experienced, you feel as if you are cheating, even though you don't have access to cheat codes and hacks. It just isn't fun to play when you already know you are going to destroy your opponent.

Legendary_Bibo
July 18th, 2010, 08:48 AM
I suppose I should said ANY game, not just multiplayer.

Old story: There was a DOS game called F-19 Stealth Fighter. It's copy protection was done with a Floppy Key - data written in a half-track? or something. It was really irritating to have to find the floppy everytime I wanted to play, so I hacked the game to remove the key protection. It wasn't too hard.

OK, no problem. Yet. It was very cool flight simulator of what Microprose thought the F-117 Steath Fighter was going to be all about (released way before public knowledge of the plane). You had to use the terrain, Doppler vs. Pulse radar detection, ECM, navigation, etc. It was pretty intense to sneak into foreign countries (realistic maps) evade their radar, SAM's, EWAC's (Early warning aircraft), and CAP (combat air patrol) and strike a target without being detected.

It was HARD. A flight mission might take a couple hours or more. Some areas like Cuba, and Russia were almost impossible to sneak into.

So I hacked it to make it easier to win.

Mistake. Shortly afterwards I stuck it on the shelf and never played it again. In the back of my mind I knew I could defeat it with debug or a hex editor, so it took the fun out of it.

Now I watch my son do the same thing. He gets a cheat code, and shortly afterwards stops playing.

For a game to be immersive and fun, you need to believe it's real. If you've hacked it, you lose that. You think about the hack while you're playing.

Try Ninja Gaiden or Demon Souls, the creators seriously had a vendetta against any player. :D

Well I get kind of annoyed because sometimes I get led astray from better software when I ask people or search because it might be closed source or something. That can be detrimental to trying to get new users (I know better now). I was just wondering if people consider all proprietary software bad. The reason I bring up games is because when I asked people on some random linux forum (the name crosses my mind) if Unreal Tournament 2004 worked on Ubuntu because of some sites confirming it, some not. I was told to use Open Source only games.

Hell, I've been led away from better software because of the programming language they're written in. So it made me wonder if all proprietary software is bad to some people, and I though games would be a great example of software that has to be closed since how they're the ones who make the engines which are backed by millions of financing.

yossell
July 18th, 2010, 08:54 AM
If you play an inexperienced player, when you yourself are experienced, you feel as if you are cheating, even though you don't have access to cheat codes and hacks. It just isn't fun to play when you already know you are going to destroy your opponent.

On the contrary, destroying lousy players never grows old. :p

You, sir, are a better man than I.

earthpigg
July 18th, 2010, 09:09 AM
The reason I bring up games is because when I asked people on some random linux forum (the name crosses my mind) if Unreal Tournament 2004 worked on Ubuntu because of some sites confirming it, some not. I was told to use Open Source only games.

that is silly, in my opinion.

my threshold is this:

If there is zero chance of me being reliant upon it, it can be as proprietary as it wants to be.

Toys and games automatically get the "OK if it's proprietary" from me. If someone becomes reliant upon a video game to get through the day, they have bigger problems than the Four Freedoms.

I'm completely OK with all the DRM in the world being present on video game consoles.

If your DRM wants to root my desktop computer in order to establish a digital colony, however, then I'll pass.


I'm also completely OK with employment and education that requires the use of proprietary software -- as long as there is no assumption that I must run or communicate with that proprietary software on my computer.

So, while I am OK with Unreal Tournament... I am not OK with professors that e-mail .doc files to the class and more-or-less require that we be able to open them with 100% perfection on my computer in order to pass the course. I cannot get too upset, however, as long as the school has computers running software capable of opening said .doc files and makes them available for my use at reasonable hours. Between saving it as raw text and saving .bmp files of screenshots in paint and e-mailing them to myself, I get along OK.

I will not be taking any computer-centric courses at all while at my current community college. I wouldn't mind learning to program in a formal college course, but I certainly do mind becoming addicted to Microsoft Visual Basic in a formal college course.

Legendary_Bibo
July 18th, 2010, 09:44 AM
that is silly, in my opinion.

my threshold is this:

If there is zero chance of me being reliant upon it, it can be as proprietary as it wants to be.

Toys and games automatically get the "OK if it's proprietary" from me. If someone becomes reliant upon a video game to get through the day, they have bigger problems than the Four Freedoms.

I'm completely OK with all the DRM in the world being present on video game consoles.

If your DRM wants to root my desktop computer in order to establish a digital colony, however, then I'll pass.


I'm also completely OK with employment and education that requires the use of proprietary software -- as long as there is no assumption that I must run or communicate with that proprietary software on my computer.

So, while I am OK with Unreal Tournament... I am not OK with professors that e-mail .doc files to the class and more-or-less require that we be able to open them with 100% perfection on my computer in order to pass the course. I cannot get too upset, however, as long as the school has computers running software capable of opening said .doc files and makes them available for my use at reasonable hours. Between saving it as raw text and saving .bmp files of screenshots in paint and e-mailing them to myself, I get along OK.

I will not be taking any computer-centric courses at all while at my current community college. I wouldn't mind learning to program in a formal college course, but I certainly do mind becoming addicted to Microsoft Visual Basic in a formal college course.

I learned a bit of visual basic as part of some idiotic computer class. I thought it was cool because you could build gooeys (gui :) ) easily, but making them took more time and there was a lot of clicking, and changing options. Then I did C++ and learned real programming, and realized how much time was wasted on building a gooey. A terminal program can work just as easily with print/cout statements with instructions, and looping back. It's just not pretty.

My college uses Citrix so we can access any program we might need and it's a community college, the universities don't do that. Unfortunately I couldn't get it to work for me with Wine or the school's linux version of their client application (I applaud them for at least trying). It works fine in a Virtualbox of XP though so I'm fine. I did have a professor who deleted the extension, and he wasn't consistent with the filetype he sent you the files as so part of the frustration was having to write in the extension.

I'm actually not liking the DRM situation actually, I understand its intentions but it's not being executed very well. The legit owners of games or music are the ones being hurt by the DRM while the pirates strip the DRM and don't have to deal with it. I think a logical license amount is best kind of like what Sony does with their PS3. You get to download it to 6 systems total and you can share those licenses or keep them in case your system breaks. It's a moderate win-win. You don't **** off your actual customers and you don't lose out on as much money.

earthpigg
July 18th, 2010, 08:10 PM
I'm actually not liking the DRM situation actually, I understand its intentions but it's not being executed very well. The legit owners of games or music are the ones being hurt by the DRM while the pirates strip the DRM and don't have to deal with it.

I'm an on and off gamer myself, and i agree completely.


the thing that i feel we should be aware of, however, is that these are toys. prioritize.

if (if) we are able to affect a certain amount of change in the world, I'd rather devote that entire quantity to Free Software needed to function in modern society. games come as a complete afterthought.


Part of me kinda-sorta hopes that the commercial PC Gaming industry does die. That would go a bit towards keeping the DRM on one specific niche-use type of computer (consoles), and as far away as possible from computers that folks actually get things done with.

forrestcupp
July 18th, 2010, 08:21 PM
The old video game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.T._the_Extra-Terrestrial_%28video_game%29) is a great example of bad proprietary software. ;)



E.T. is often cited as one of the biggest commercial failures in video gaming history, as well as one of the worst video games released.

aysiu
July 18th, 2010, 10:13 PM
Good proprietary: Opera
Bad proprietary: Internet Explorer

Good proprietary: Android
Bad proprietary: iOS

Yes, not all of Android is open source (the Google apps are not).

I don't really care about whether something is proprietary or not, as long as it "plays nice." Open standards are good. Opera is closed source but it complies with web standards and doesn't try any kind of vendor lock-in. Same deal with most Google stuff.

Pogeymanz
July 18th, 2010, 10:29 PM
Good proprietary: Opera
Bad proprietary: Internet Explorer

Good proprietary: Android
Bad proprietary: iOS

Yes, not all of Android is open source (the Google apps are not).

I don't really care about whether something is proprietary or not, as long as it "plays nice." Open standards are good. Opera is closed source but it complies with web standards and doesn't try any kind of vendor lock-in. Same deal with most Google stuff.

+1

I think Opera is a great example. They have some non-disclosure agreements, so they actually can't open the browser source, plus they get money from selling licenses for commercial use (Nintendo's Wii). But they strive to innovate, and promote open web standards and in that regard they are only doing good.

oldsoundguy
July 18th, 2010, 10:42 PM
"restricted" software such as drivers is proprietary.

Those that write special programs such as Skype are proprietary (and Skype needs to go back to the drawing board .. their beta is a disaster!)

Your browser is proprietary along with the stuff you run from Adobe (flash) and the like.

So there is good bad and ugly.

The advantage of Linux .. if it is the latter two, you can REMOVE IT with no damage to your operating system!

murderslastcrow
July 18th, 2010, 10:43 PM
I think games are a valuable exception to the 'everything better open source' thing. Because a game is like a story, or an experience. We don't insist all authors release their works under creative commons, and so too we shouldn't insist that a game author's work should be made entirely free.

HOWEVER, if people were to respect the authors and actually buy the games (many of the people who play proprietary games don't even do this), I'm sure they'd be more than happy to release the source code and allow people who bought the game to modify it and improve it for others who will buy the game. However, it's pretty obvious that at least one person out there would just rerelease the source code, even if it weren't permitted under the license, for free to anyone.

Since a game is an experience, and many have a story, it's much hazier than something like graphics editing software. Both require artful attention to create the code, certainly, but there is an inclination to support artists in this community (many coders get donations).

However, everything will some day be in the public domain (even Windows 7), and most videogames don't reap many profits past the first year or two unless they release a special edition or expansion pack.

So, a better way for people to sell games I think would be to set a quota for how many sales they want before they will open source the game, or they will make it open source once it stops giving them meaningful revenue. This way, they get to make money, and we get to (eventually) have the source. This goes for other software, too. However, software developers who produce subsequent versions like Adobe's products would probably suffer from an open version with almost as many features as the new one, since it could catch up to them.

Legendary_Bibo
July 18th, 2010, 10:50 PM
I think games are a valuable exception to the 'everything better open source' thing. Because a game is like a story, or an experience. We don't insist all authors release their works under creative commons, and so too we shouldn't insist that a game author's work should be made entirely free.

HOWEVER, if people were to respect the authors and actually buy the games (many of the people who play proprietary games don't even do this), I'm sure they'd be more than happy to release the source code and allow people who bought the game to modify it and improve it for others who will buy the game. However, it's pretty obvious that at least one person out there would just rerelease the source code, even if it weren't permitted under the license, for free to anyone.

Since a game is an experience, and many have a story, it's much hazier than something like graphics editing software. Both require artful attention to create the code, certainly, but there is an inclination to support artists in this community (many coders get donations).

However, everything will some day be in the public domain (even Windows 7), and most videogames don't reap many profits past the first year or two unless they release a special edition or expansion pack.

So, a better way for people to sell games I think would be to set a quota for how many sales they want before they will open source the game, or they will make it open source once it stops giving them meaningful revenue. This way, they get to make money, and we get to (eventually) have the source. This goes for other software, too. However, software developers who produce subsequent versions like Adobe's products would probably suffer from an open version with almost as many features as the new one, since it could catch up to them.

I wouldn't hold out on the source code of games being released. Nintendo is STILL!!! selling the original super mario bros.

clanky
July 18th, 2010, 10:52 PM
Good proprietary software is anything which does what you need it to do in the way you expect it to be done in exactly the same way that good free software is anything which does what you need it to do in the way you expect it to be done.

Use what works and don't listen to people who try to moralise about software choice, 99% of them are hypocrites who use proprietary software on a daily basis anyway and seem to be able to justify their use of it OK.

nrs
July 18th, 2010, 11:19 PM
Good proprietary software? I don't think I've ever seen a a piece of software and thought
"Wow! I'm glad I can't share/modify that!" I'm neutral towards some proprietary software. Particularly software where that's meaningless. ROMs, etc.

If you mean solely technically, yeah, of course. There is proprietary software that is good from a technical standpoint.

murderslastcrow
July 19th, 2010, 12:01 AM
Outside of some (not all) Adobe products, video editors, and maybe CAD & Tax software, open source software either meets or exceeds the quality and functionality of its closed-source competitors. You see many commercial software vendors outside of game developers struggling mainly because the open source alternative does more than their product and has gained higher marketshare.

There's no way those people are going back to paying unless that company comes up with an amazing new feature. Still, even then people would probably not need it yet and wait for the open source package to reproduce and improve on that functionality.

So yes, there is good closed software, but outside of the free stuff like Skype and some paid videogames and zero-price MMOs, hardly any of it is preferred by users.

Make no mistake- many Microsoft users don't like the product, and it's not what they prefer, but they'll still use it. Just like many iPod Touch users don't prefer iTunes but need it for the App Store.

Groucho Marxist
July 19th, 2010, 01:37 AM
AVID is the first and foremost example in my mind. The average end-user with consumer-level non-linear video editing needs does not require professional level software (i.e. Avid DS or Media Composer Nitris DX).

phrostbyte
July 19th, 2010, 04:18 AM
There is bad proprietary software and there is really bad proprietary software (cough.. Flash). :p

murderslastcrow
July 19th, 2010, 04:22 AM
Once YouTube goes HTML5 by default with WebM, there will be little need for flash outside of games and certain interactive websites. Cartoons like on Weebls Stuff can be converted using Smokescreen. As well as it once served us, it'll be nice when Flash is behind most of us.

Most of us use Flash merely for ads and YouTube, so as soon as YouTube moves to it, I think the rest will follow naturally.

Dustin2128
July 19th, 2010, 07:15 AM
Once YouTube goes HTML5 by default with WebM, there will be little need for flash outside of games and certain interactive websites. Cartoons like on Weebls Stuff can be converted using Smokescreen. As well as it once served us, it'll be nice when Flash is behind most of us.

Most of us use Flash merely for ads and YouTube, so as soon as YouTube moves to it, I think the rest will follow naturally.
Not to mention many games can be embedded with html5, I recently tested out a quake 2 java/html5 version (http://code.google.com/p/quake2-gwt-port/) that was pretty nice.

oedipuss
July 19th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Strictly philosophically, I'd have to say _all_ closed source software is considered 'bad' . Actually 'bad' is misleading. More like undesirable. Of course, that's just philosophical.
Personally I think it's better for software to be open source at least to some degree, but proprietary is also ok, as long as it's reasonably so. Software patents etc is where things get more or less unreasonable.

I think games are different because the software part is more or less separate from the game part. If a game engine is open source, the games using it can have restricted assets like graphics, maps, scripts, storylines, etc, which I think are more like artwork than software.
But multiplayer cheating shouldn't be a factor. If that were true it'd also mean that open source OSes are more unsecure, since everyone can have access to the code.

murderslastcrow
July 19th, 2010, 06:11 PM
Well, the game engine itself may be one of the core aspects of the gameplay, depending on what the game relies upon mostly, story and graphics or simple story and graphics with amazing gameplay. If you give away that source code, then you're basically asking someone to clone your artwork.

Of course, that just shows how greedy I am as a game developer, and it would make sense for many developers today to want to hold onto their technology. I think videogames will be the one area of software development where we may never see open source dominance, since it has a wide birth outside of computing.

However, I would love to see some commercial quality open source games some day. You know, if I ever get the time ^_~.

One thing you should note, of course, is that many game companies today that make the BIG games (Soul Calibur IV and Smash Bros. Brawl for example) use game engines like Havok, and build the entire game on top of them.

If they can make such variations from the same engine, I'm afraid that the days of holding onto your precious game engine may soon be over when one or two of these engines become the dominant platform for game creation. Havok may be just that.

Of course, Blender's Game Engine is quite interesting as well. It'll be nice to see where this all goes in the next 10 years. Just look at how far we've come in the past 10. By then, I'll be scoffing at the ignorance of what I wrote today, except for perhaps this one sentence.

kevin11951
July 19th, 2010, 07:22 PM
Well, the game engine itself may be one of the core aspects of the gameplay, depending on what the game relies upon mostly, story and graphics or simple story and graphics with amazing gameplay. If you give away that source code, then you're basically asking someone to clone your artwork.

Of course, that just shows how greedy I am as a game developer, and it would make sense for many developers today to want to hold onto their technology. I think videogames will be the one area of software development where we may never see open source dominance, since it has a wide birth outside of computing.

However, I would love to see some commercial quality open source games some day. You know, if I ever get the time ^_~.

One thing you should note, of course, is that many game companies today that make the BIG games (Soul Calibur IV and Smash Bros. Brawl for example) use game engines like Havok, and build the entire game on top of them.

If they can make such variations from the same engine, I'm afraid that the days of holding onto your precious game engine may soon be over when one or two of these engines become the dominant platform for game creation. Havok may be just that.

Of course, Blender's Game Engine is quite interesting as well. It'll be nice to see where this all goes in the next 10 years. Just look at how far we've come in the past 10. By then, I'll be scoffing at the ignorance of what I wrote today, except for perhaps this one sentence.

Ever seen this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc9JWYuUa2o

Penguin Guy
July 19th, 2010, 08:36 PM
Some software companies have (IMO) bad business ethics, so I say yes, you could consider some proprietary software 'bad'.

beetleman64
July 19th, 2010, 10:10 PM
For me, proprietary software is bad if it doesn't need to be proprietary (i.e. freeware such as Flash or Skype) or if it forces itself on you unnecessarily (i.e. the syncing software for iPod/iPhone).

Good proprietary software is software which you pay for, and couldn't really be open sourced (such as VMWare) without major consequences for its developers.

Legendary_Bibo
July 19th, 2010, 10:52 PM
Well, the game engine itself may be one of the core aspects of the gameplay, depending on what the game relies upon mostly, story and graphics or simple story and graphics with amazing gameplay. If you give away that source code, then you're basically asking someone to clone your artwork.

Of course, that just shows how greedy I am as a game developer, and it would make sense for many developers today to want to hold onto their technology. I think videogames will be the one area of software development where we may never see open source dominance, since it has a wide birth outside of computing.

However, I would love to see some commercial quality open source games some day. You know, if I ever get the time ^_~.

One thing you should note, of course, is that many game companies today that make the BIG games (Soul Calibur IV and Smash Bros. Brawl for example) use game engines like Havok, and build the entire game on top of them.

If they can make such variations from the same engine, I'm afraid that the days of holding onto your precious game engine may soon be over when one or two of these engines become the dominant platform for game creation. Havok may be just that.

Of course, Blender's Game Engine is quite interesting as well. It'll be nice to see where this all goes in the next 10 years. Just look at how far we've come in the past 10. By then, I'll be scoffing at the ignorance of what I wrote today, except for perhaps this one sentence.

A lot of each companies top dog developers make their own engines. For instance Naughty Dog made their own engine for Uncharted. Bungie made their own engine for Halo 3, and I believe the Nintendo has their own game engines for their Mario games. In my opinion these engines which are specifically tailored to the game they're meant to create work a lot better at designing those games. Although I think the Unreal engine is better than Havok, and does a great job at being diverse. I've seen it used in Racing games, action, FPS, RPG's, all types. I think the Unreal engine is Openish as long as you buy Unreal Tournament.

qualtch
July 19th, 2010, 11:42 PM
Well, I usually think that there should be a balance between proprietary and open software. But it's rather hard to explain what I mean...

One thought would be e.g. that the platform (Linux) would be open as it is now, and then the games would be proprietary that have been coded on open standards. Standards that everyone can use without limits, patents or licence fees.

Sincerely I don't think that everything should be totally free as people need to earn their living, but there should always exist an option to make a choice between free, open-source software and proprietary, chargeable software as it does now. I understand that sometimes high quality requires a lot of precious time, and that time comes from the employees doing it as their full-time job. And I pay for them (and the greedy companies, one good reason why I like indie games - you know where the money goes) doing it for me and for us.

So what I mean that instead of total freedom and open-source there should be a balance between proprietary and open-source software. The base itself - OS's, API's etc. - should be open to everyone to use, maintain, innovate and create new. Too much proprietarity and monopolistic behavious and it turns to eventual greedness and the spirit to innovate new is suffocated. We have seen it before. Right now, are the open-source communities are forcing the proprietary software companies to change? Like in the IE versus FF case?

I see open-source more as a hobby, a passion and a huge possibility to study and learn new things by forking, tweaking, examining and creating new with a community - experience with other "human beings" and share it with others. ;) (And it's wonderful to see how open-source is gaining room in mobile devices!) Many of talented software developers and engineers have started from open-source software and have moved to bigger companies after gaining years of experience - but they are still contibuting for open-source community itself.

Answer to the topic's question? I just would like to see it as I've tried to somehow explain - a balance between open-source and proprietary software. One could say that "bad proprietary" comes when you try to benefit from your own creation by gaining monopolistic position and literally ripping people off from using your software - you don't give anyone an option. "Good proprietary", well, one good example would be games, but I'll leave it to that as I'm getting too philosophistic now... >.<

It's all about how you use your position if you happen to end up to the top.

murderslastcrow
July 20th, 2010, 04:15 AM
There's plenty of closed-source competition on Linux already, we just don't have it in the Software Center yet (Pixel, Lightroom, Skype, Lotus, some Office Suites, etc.). I think we have that healthy balance already- however, it will be even more competitive and interesting as the years go on, and Ubuntu (FOSS in general) becomes used more often and by more people. To see what happens when the dominance of open source and free applications is challenged and compared directly by consumers with the other stuff. That's what will be interesting, rather than what it is on Windows where there's probably more closed source software used & distributed than open source.

Dr. C
July 20th, 2010, 06:22 AM
Most definitively and there is also good and bad Free Software.

Good propriety software has no DRM. A good example is Microsoft software prior to 2000 when one could avoid the plague of DRM from 1985 to 2000 by purchasing Microsoft products. Windows 2000 is the last good version of Windows for this reason and still an excellent operating system.

Bad propriety software is infested with DRM. Microsoft software post 2000 is an excellent example. Windows Vista is the perfect example of what will go really wrong when one makes DRM the priority.

By the way the stock market has done an excellent job of punishing Microsoft for turning to the dark side by supporting DRM at the turn of the century. Check the performance of Microsoft stock before an after 2000. http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=MSFT+Interactive#chart2:symbol=msft;rang e=my;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on; ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined

Needless to say one of the major reasons why I switched to GNU / Linux (Ubuntu, and gNewSense) is because Microsoft turned to the dark side and embraced DRM. What is keeping me here is GPL v3 since it is so toxic to DRM. The anti DRM features of GPL v3 is the smartest thing that that Richard Stallman and the FSF have done since the invention of copyleft in the mid 1980's.

One can also have good and bad Free Software. The Kindle firmware, certain Android phones and the Tivo are good examples of bad Free Software. Otherwise good Free Software is made bad by locking the system down and denying the end user the root password. As more and more GPL v3 code finds its way into Ubuntu, Ubuntu will be protected form the plague that is DRM.

Linux000
July 20th, 2010, 06:54 AM
There's defiantly a range of good/bad in proprietary software, and it's kind of a personal opinion, I would say that the iPod Touch/iPhone software is an example of poor proprietary software, the user can't do anything that the owner doesn't let them do, so even though I want app x, app x does something the owner doesn't like, so I can't have app x. However most proprietary OSes(both of them) are okay, I mean, they have security issues, but you're not limited to only doing what someone says you can on them, thats an improvement. Then there are people who look at the iPod Touch/iPhone, and think it's a great thing because your preventing users from messing up their devices and getting into trouble, so it's kind of a two-edged sword. I think my sig states my opinion though... [/soapbox]

Dr. C
July 20th, 2010, 07:59 AM
There's defiantly a range of good/bad in proprietary software, and it's kind of a personal opinion, I would say that the iPod Touch/iPhone software is an example of poor proprietary software, the user can't do anything that the owner doesn't let them do, so even though I want app x, app x does something the owner doesn't like, so I can't have app x. However most proprietary OSes(both of them) are okay, I mean, they have security issues, but you're not limited to only doing what someone says you can on them, thats an improvement. Then there are people who look at the iPod Touch/iPhone, and think it's a great thing because your preventing users from messing up their devices and getting into trouble, so it's kind of a two-edged sword. I think my sig states my opinion though... [/soapbox]

This is true of the 2000 and earlier versions of Windows but not necessarily of the newer ones. For example if you wish to view a commercial DVD on a non HDCP compliant monitor or install an non approved driver on a 64 bit version of Windows 7 etc.

murderslastcrow
July 20th, 2010, 09:07 AM
Yeah, at least when you come across a PPA in Ubuntu that's not signed with PGP key you can bypass the warning like an idiot, and get reminded every time you update the packages. Lol.

But no, seriously, when something restricts your use of the software to what developers deem suitable, that's my definition of malware. And that's the kind of malware you can use in Linux with Wine, while most doesn't really effect anything since it's within a sandboxed environment and process. But still, uuuuuurrrr. I dunno', I'd rather not bother with code telling me what to do unless it were absolutely necessary for a job or something. And still, I would complain and try to find/create an alternative.

NightwishFan
July 20th, 2010, 09:14 AM
I am not fond of registering, keycodes etc. Pirates find a way to beat them ANYWAY. It always ended up my machine broke and I had to work to get the code for Xp activation by calling tech support, or not have the ability to play a game I lost the box for.

It only hurts the honest users.

earthpigg
July 20th, 2010, 08:27 PM
i cannot wait for the stuff in html5 to supplant flash.

since i won't have flash installed, it means i can remove the adblock plus subscription to allow websites i visit to earn an honest buck without having to put up with flash advertisements.

noscript will remain, however, and advertisers using flash will still not get advertising revenue from me.

im ok with (reasonably sized) animated .gif advertisements and simple images, but anything that resembles a full-blown program being executed in my web browser? hell no, keep your malware to yourself.

hey, there's another form of bad proprietary software: java & flash advertisements. advertising software being executed on my computer that i did not specifically seek out is inherently malicious software.

and another form of good proprietary: simple and reasonably sized advertisements that are not software at all.

Ctrl-Alt-F1
July 20th, 2010, 09:16 PM
Good Proprietary Software = Software I like enough to pay for it
Bad Proprietary Software = Software that I am curious about, but not enough to pay for it.