The four basic shortcomings of closed source

Software hell, or not my cup of tea bowl of soup | a parable

The four basic shortcomings of closed source

I want to try a new recipe for a fancy soup.
But all I can find is packet soup.
The wrapping is stylish, alright.
The lady in the commercial says 'it's delicious'.
So I buy it, because I can't see there is a genuine alternative.
Back at home I follow the one and only instruction:
'Pour the content into boiling water'. - How convenient!
Do I know the soup's ingredients?
Nah, the company wouldn't give away a trade secret.
Can I share the recipe with my friends?
Not really, They need to purchase the same exact mystery package.
Can I prepare more of the ingredients to feed more mouths?
Certainly not. I must buy additional packs of that soup.
Can I replace some of the soup's ingredients
with others I like better?
Again, that's a nono. Fork out more money to get another flavor.

Heck, what does that package soup do for me, anyway?
It feeds me once, but it makes me ultimately dependent!
It's like that biblical metaphor, you know,
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day."

But what will feed me for a lifetime?
Well, that'll be a true recipe for that same soup.
One that I can
- study how to make it
- use as often as I like and wherever I want
- make more of when I need to and share it with my friends if I decide to
- change and improve to my liking.

Now that is good soup!

So what's the parable in there?
It's in the four freedoms of free and open source software! (speak 'FOSS')
1. study the program
2. use the program
3. make copies of it
4. change it.

Now that is freedom.
Only free and open source will do that for you.
Stand up and say it aloud: 'Only FOSS will feed me for life'.


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