We Really Do Tweak and Change Things

In response to this, we really do change things. For an example, you need look no further than a few posts down in this Blog. Due to a bug in the iPod and the addition of EFI to the kernel, my iPod no longer worked. Not only was I able to see what the problem was, I was able to roll an RPM and offer it to whoever wanted to download it (in addition to letting the vendor know, so they could address it). In this case the fix was trivial and hopefully I've gained enough trust in the community that people weren't too scared to try the code (and judging by the feedback I got, many people did). Now, admittedly this isn't always the case and random people arbitrarily making kernel changes is obviously a bad thing. Don't forget though, the strength of Open Source isn't solely the ability to change the code (although that is a huge benefit in itself). It's the right to fork, the ability to avoid vendor lockin…the freedom.
–jeremy

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2 Responses to We Really Do Tweak and Change Things

  1. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if the release cycle were more like scoble describes, you wouldn't have found that your kernel didn't work with your iPod anymore after adding EFI to the kernel…
    Saying that users can fix their own problems sometimes seems like an excuse to release code without sufficiently testing it to ensure the change doesn't break something.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You make two very good points stevex. The reality however, is that no company (no matter how big) can test compatibility with all devices. Just look at how many things broke with XP SP2. Having access to the source puts the user in control. Even if you don't know how to code, you could then hire someone who does (amongst other options). It's all about options.
    –jeremy

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