Posted by: Anonymous
on June 22, 2008 09:25 AM
"- Do most browser users care that they can modify the source code? As far as most are concerned whether it's a company doing the modification, or some band of unknown strangers, it matters not. Primarily because most users ARE NOT PROGRAMMERS. You're free to modify and fix your car. How many people do that?"
The benefits of freedom are not just "can modify the source code". Here are some others:
1. If the company behind some proprietary software goes out of business, the codebase can effectively disappear. After a while, no upgrades. no fixes, etc. No ports to other architectures. (Intel x86 will not be the only big-selling architecture forever).
2. If there's a bug or a support issue with proprietary software, only one company can fix it because only they have the source. With free software, there are lots of companies (mostly small) which can support it.
3. With free software, you can be sure - by rebuilding from reviewed source - that there are no trapdoors or other hidden nasties present. With proprietary software, the best you can ever say is that you don't know of any.