[Humanist] 24.387 iPad apps by/for us

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Oct 8 00:37:34 CEST 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 387.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 07:46:46 +1000
        From: Desmond Schmidt <desmond.schmidt at qut.edu.au>
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 24.384 iPad apps by/for us
        In-Reply-To: <20101005201008.E3BAF8B204 at woodward.joyent.us>

>HE has, IMHO, a moral responsibility to support OpenSource

Hi David,

Can I ask what would you do if Apple's iPad dominated the market and
Android tablets just went the way of all previous attempts to create
tablet computers? Would you continue to develop for a largely unused
platform simply because it was 'morally' sound? I feel uncomfortable
with the idea that we should condemn computer and software companies
simply because they do not produce free products. After all, many of the
free software products you mention: e.g. Linux and Open Office, have
been commercial products or contain significant parts of once commercial
products. Releasing them as open source was a tactic by the donating
companies or organisations to destroy the market share of their
competitors. I don't call that morally pure. Computer companies like
Apple have contributed significantly to the innovation and rapid
development of technology through the lure of making significant
profits. The current success of the tablet computer is due to the
efforts of Apple to design their iPad. I wonder how successful the
"deluge of Android tablets on the market or about to appear" will
actually turn out to be. I keep an open mind, but I suspect that we will
have to continue to work with the technology of commercial vendors as
well as free software products in the foreseeable future.


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