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Is free software better quality than closed software? Show more Show less

There is no singular way to define the quality of a software; there are many ways to define it. It could be defined by user satisfaction, the efficiency of the code, or the software's technological impact. With this in mind, how does free software compare to closed software?

No, free software is not better quality than closed software. Show more Show less

Open Software more buggy because has problems with support and updates. Also usually poor UI (programmer for programmer without designers and real marketing)
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Free software is a bad way to support codebase of complex products

Complex software requires a substantial amount of time and effort on the part of the developer. However, these pieces of software are then sold at very low prices or at no price at all. This deters developers from creating such software and shows how the concept of freeware is a fundamental flaw.
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Context

The Argument

What exactly is free software? Free software means people can study the code, make changes to it, copy the script, and redistribute it as they wish. Many people regard free software or freeware as a benefit to society. They say it is the same as freedoms such as “free speech”. This is because, with freeware, people are able to control the code rather than letting the code place constraints on the user. [1] However, when products become more complex in nature and they have large codebases, then offering them as freeware has more disadvantages than benefits. Think of it as having too many hands in the kitchen. Complex codebases have numerous lines of code and tampering with it can have huge negative implications. This leads to large rates of user dissatisfaction. Freeware is generally offered for free or at a very low price from the developer. As a result, people generally assume that the product is inferior in quality to the ones that are paid even though this is not necessarily true. Therefore, not many complex products that require developers to spend substantial amounts of time to formulate are even offered as freeware. [2] This makes sense as one realizes that they do not stand to make a profit from their product. Free software deters the development of more complex products.

Counter arguments

Freeware is an excellent way to support the source code of complex products. For one, when a large community has access to it, they are much more likely to find bugs, loopholes and make the code more efficient. There is also a lot more room for innovation when the public can become actively involved in the process of building the product. Some prominent companies such as IBM and Microsoft have also recognized this and readily stand in favor of freeware.

Framing

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html/source.html
  2. https://itchronicles.com/software/the-pros-and-cons-of-offering-freeware/source.html

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 15:59 UTC