Open Source quality better then closed?

Discussion in 'Java' started by Elhanan, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. Elhanan

    Elhanan Guest

    hi...

    i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)
     
    Elhanan, Apr 26, 2006
    #1
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  2. Elhanan

    Ed Kirwan Guest

    Elhanan wrote:
    > hi...
    >
    > i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    > forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    > may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)
    >


    No.

    --
    www.EdmundKirwan.com - Home of The Fractal Class Composition.

    Download Fractality, free Java code analyzer:
    www.EdmundKirwan.com/servlet/fractal/frac-page130.html
     
    Ed Kirwan, Apr 26, 2006
    #2
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  3. Elhanan

    Oliver Wong Guest

    "Ed Kirwan" <> wrote in message
    news:e2o1mk$na0$...
    > Elhanan wrote:
    >> hi...
    >>
    >> i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    >> forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    >> may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)
    >>

    >
    > No.


    To expand on that a bit, while it certainly is no guarantee of better
    code, those hopes and fears may be a factor. Another is that closed source
    software is typically written by people who code for money, whereas open
    source software is typically written by people who code 'cause they love to
    code.

    - Oliver
     
    Oliver Wong, Apr 26, 2006
    #3
  4. Elhanan wrote:

    > i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    > forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    > may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)
    >

    No, not necessarily. In my opinion it is not primarily a question of
    open or closed source, but more a question of whether code-reviews are
    part of the development/maintenance process or not. Note that a
    closed-source project may or may not have code-reviews. The same applies
    to an open-source project.

    --
    "Thomas:Fritsch$ops:de".replace(':','.').replace('$','@')
     
    Thomas Fritsch, Apr 26, 2006
    #4
  5. Elhanan

    Amfur Kilnem Guest

    "Elhanan" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > hi...
    >
    > i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    > forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    > may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)


    Authors of open source programs do it for the kudos. Their primary
    motivation is to impress people by adding one "cool feature" after another.
    Most can't be bothered to fix bugs -- adding yet more "cool features" is way
    more fun. The result is feature-laden programs that are buggy as hell.

    Take OpenOffice, for example. I won't use that program any more. Each time
    that I have used it, I have been rewarded by it simply vanishing without
    trace, taking my document with it.
     
    Amfur Kilnem, Apr 26, 2006
    #5
  6. Elhanan

    Daniel Dyer Guest

    On Wed, 26 Apr 2006 15:32:32 +0100, Elhanan <> wrote:

    > hi...
    >
    > i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    > forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    > may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)


    You'd hope so, but it doesn't seem to be the case. However, there is some
    pretty poor code out there in some high-profile projects.

    See http://www.jroller.com/page/fate/20060420 (contains strong language)..

    Dan.

    --
    Daniel Dyer
    http://www.dandyer.co.uk
     
    Daniel Dyer, Apr 26, 2006
    #6
  7. Elhanan

    Oliver Wong Guest

    "Amfur Kilnem" <> wrote in message
    news:pDM3g.64018$...
    >
    > "Elhanan" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> hi...
    >>
    >> i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    >> forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    >> may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)

    >
    > Authors of open source programs do it for the kudos. Their primary
    > motivation is to impress people by adding one "cool feature" after
    > another. Most can't be bothered to fix bugs -- adding yet more "cool
    > features" is way more fun. The result is feature-laden programs that are
    > buggy as hell.


    Generalizations like these tend to have many exceptions. There are very
    stable open source programs out there as well. Examples: Linux, Apache
    HTTPD, Eclipse, Hibernate, phpBB, Azureus, Firefox, Thunderbird, GAIM,
    ZSNES, BSD, etc.

    Some projects take bug reports very seriously, with their developers
    taking an oath to prioritize the elimination of bugs over the introduction
    of new features. Also, because of the open source nature, it's possible for
    the users to contribute bug fixes too. I've done it a couple of times for
    some of the Java applications I've used.

    - Oliver
     
    Oliver Wong, Apr 26, 2006
    #7
  8. Elhanan

    Timo Stamm Guest

    Oliver Wong schrieb:
    > "Ed Kirwan" <> wrote in message
    > news:e2o1mk$na0$...
    >> Elhanan wrote:
    >>> hi...
    >>>
    >>> i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    >>> forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    >>> may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)
    >>>

    >>
    >> No.

    >
    > To expand on that a bit, while it certainly is no guarantee of better
    > code, those hopes and fears may be a factor. Another is that closed
    > source software is typically written by people who code for money,
    > whereas open source software is typically written by people who code
    > 'cause they love to code.


    People who code for money do not necessarily write better code than
    people who just love to code. In fact, I think that you have to get paid
    *and* love to code to achive the best possible quality.

    Yes, there is a lot of open source software written by non-professionals
    that is of very low quality. But how does one know whether the closed
    source competition is any better?


    Timo
     
    Timo Stamm, Apr 26, 2006
    #8
  9. Timo Stamm wrote:
    > Oliver Wong schrieb:
    >
    >> "Ed Kirwan" <> wrote in message
    >> news:e2o1mk$na0$...
    >>
    >>> Elhanan wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> hi...
    >>>>
    >>>> i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    >>>> forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    >>>> may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>> No.

    >>
    >>
    >> To expand on that a bit, while it certainly is no guarantee of
    >> better code, those hopes and fears may be a factor. Another is that
    >> closed source software is typically written by people who code for
    >> money, whereas open source software is typically written by people who
    >> code 'cause they love to code.

    >
    >
    > People who code for money do not necessarily write better code than
    > people who just love to code. In fact, I think that you have to get paid
    > *and* love to code to achive the best possible quality.
    >
    > Yes, there is a lot of open source software written by non-professionals
    > that is of very low quality. But how does one know whether the closed
    > source competition is any better?

    ....

    I don't think there is any automatic answer in either direction. You MAY
    have more recourse if paid software does not do what it is supposed to
    do, depending on license terms, contracted support etc.

    Development processes are often designed to ensure that more than one
    person sees each piece of code before it is shipped. Traditional,
    heavyweight processes include coding reviews. Extreme programming uses
    pair programmer, so that two programmers consider each line as it is
    being typed.

    Patricia
     
    Patricia Shanahan, Apr 26, 2006
    #9
  10. On 2006-04-26, Elhanan penned:
    > hi...
    >
    > i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    > forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    > may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)


    I don't think there's any one answer to this, just as not every
    programmer has exactly the same personality and motivations.

    --
    monique

    Help us help you:
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
     
    Monique Y. Mudama, Apr 27, 2006
    #10
  11. In article <>,
    "Elhanan" <> wrote:

    > i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    > forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    > may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)


    For me, this is not a motivator. What makes me write good code is,
    well, pride in workmanship. Occasionally, I have written something ugly
    in order to get the overall structure to a working state, but those tend
    to be pretty well documented. In the main, I want to have written
    something to be proud of, whether it is going on my hard drive for me,
    on the Alodar server for others here, to a client for a paid project, or
    to an open source project for all to see.

    Every line of code you write is a an expression of an idea, using time
    you will never, ever get back. It thus behooves you to write the best
    stuff you can. Since life is a series of trade offs, people optimize
    for different things at different times - speed, space, prior knowledge,
    what they want to learn next, but the wise are aware of that, and at
    least try to select the optimization mix based on real needs, rather
    than the voices in their head.

    If I know something is going into an open source project, I may spend
    more time making it maintainable, as many such projects have a wide
    array of contributors. I may also pick an implementation method that I
    judge least likely to cause controversy, as time spent arguing about
    trivia is time spent not fixing important things.

    I may also have different amounts of time to spend, if I am working on
    my own time, as opposed to working for a client.

    If public acclaim and disdain motivate you strongly, then you may well
    find that your open source work looks very different than your closed
    source work. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you are aware of the
    motivation, and weigh it accordingly.

    Scott

    --
    Scott Ellsworth

    Java and database consulting for the life sciences
     
    Scott Ellsworth, Apr 27, 2006
    #11
  12. Elhanan

    Timo Stamm Guest

    Patricia Shanahan schrieb:
    > Timo Stamm wrote:
    >> People who code for money do not necessarily write better code than
    >> people who just love to code. In fact, I think that you have to get
    >> paid *and* love to code to achive the best possible quality.
    >>
    >> Yes, there is a lot of open source software written by
    >> non-professionals that is of very low quality. But how does one know
    >> whether the closed source competition is any better?

    > ...
    >
    > I don't think there is any automatic answer in either direction.


    Neither do I.


    > You MAY
    > have more recourse if paid software does not do what it is supposed to
    > do, depending on license terms, contracted support etc.


    Companies like to have someone to take responsibility. They pay for a
    Microsoft Software Assurance to get telephone support, trainings, and
    software updates. Most linux distributors have similar offerings. On a
    smaller scale, software companies can offer consulting and support for
    an open source project. Take jetty for example.

    They create revenue by taking responsibility for the software. Customers
    will have a comparable recourse, provided that license terms, contracted
    support etc. are comparable.


    > Development processes are often designed to ensure that more than one
    > person sees each piece of code before it is shipped. Traditional,
    > heavyweight processes include coding reviews.


    I am sure there are a lot more open source projects with a flawed or
    incomplete development process than closed source projects. Some people
    love to code free software, but few people love free testing.


    > Extreme programming uses
    > pair programmer, so that two programmers consider each line as it is
    > being typed.


    I tried that once. My coworker gave up after 5 minutes :)


    Timo
     
    Timo Stamm, Apr 27, 2006
    #12
  13. Elhanan

    Oliver Wong Guest

    "Timo Stamm" <> wrote in message
    news:44503347$0$4513$-online.net...
    >> Extreme programming uses
    >> pair programmer, so that two programmers consider each line as it is
    >> being typed.

    >
    > I tried that once. My coworker gave up after 5 minutes :)


    Which one of you two was typing at the time?

    - Oliver
     
    Oliver Wong, Apr 27, 2006
    #13
  14. Elhanan

    Timo Stamm Guest

    Oliver Wong schrieb:
    >
    > "Timo Stamm" <> wrote in message
    > news:44503347$0$4513$-online.net...
    >>> Extreme programming uses
    >>> pair programmer, so that two programmers consider each line as it is
    >>> being typed.

    >>
    >> I tried that once. My coworker gave up after 5 minutes :)

    >
    > Which one of you two was typing at the time?


    He was typing. He is a very capable programmer, but a terrible
    team-player. We are back to code reviews.


    Timo
     
    Timo Stamm, Apr 27, 2006
    #14
  15. Elhanan

    geletine Guest

    A lot of open source projects are supported by big companies, such as
    IBM, SUN, Novell, so in effect a lot is done by paid coders opposed to
    spare time people may have.
    Lets not forget GPL,BSD/MIT etc is not free food,
     
    geletine, Apr 27, 2006
    #15
  16. Ed Kirwan <> burped up warm pablum in
    news:e2o1mk$na0$:

    > Elhanan wrote:
    >> hi...
    >>
    >> i just wondered, does the fact you write a product as open source,
    >> forces you to write better code, in the hopes (fears?) that who ever
    >> may see you code in the future will be impressed (shocked?)
    >>

    >
    > No.


    Yes!
     
    Tris Orendorff, Apr 28, 2006
    #16
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