Re: Some general observations

Scott Lacroix (slacroix@wpine.com)
Fri, 20 Feb 1998 09:47:36 -0400


Had your Wheaties this morning, didja? :)
Me too...

At 12:33 AM 2/20/98 -0600, Jason Williams wrote:
>On Wed, 18 Feb 1998, Wayne Fisher wrote:
>> Pardon me for putting more of my 2 cents in, but for someone to suggest
>> that someone continue to use the demo version of the software is quite
>> disturbing to me
>
>I didn't save the original article about this...but I believe the guy was
>wanting to try out a demo of 2.1.2 and he couldn't get it to work because
>it had a hard-coded drop dead date in it. Maybe I misunderstood him
>though.

Probably true.

>> companies such as White Pine work very hard on
>> their software, and for people to download and use just demos, or find
>> cracks and hacks so that they do not have to pay for the software, is
>> reprehensible.
>
>True..companies should get rewarded for what they do without people
>ripping them off. But at the same time, there's a big business for cracks
>and hacks...it's something all software developers have to deal with.

First, there's no "big business" for cracks & hacks. There IS a high
demand, but no money is made, no businesses are founded. That's kinda the
point.
So that makes it what? Ok? A good thing?
A neccessary evil. Yes, we all have to deal with it. Sadly, we have to
expect it.

>> If you want companies like White Pine to continue to "pump out" quality
>> products, show your support and buy the damn software...
>
>The assumption there is that paid programmers produce quality software.
>Check out the Free Software Foundation (http://www.fsf.org/) for another
>approach. The GNU project is quite successful..It allows people to adapt
>software to their needs and makes it much more useful.

Say that first sentence again slowly? The implication there is that paid
programmers do NOT produce quality software. I know what the FSF is and
what they stand for (basically). The GNU project is very successful, and
very good. Heck, I use ALOT of GNU software everyday... The fact that it is
freeware doesn't make it any better than software that you have to
(shudder) PAY for.
Yes, it's nice to have the code. There have been more than a few times
when I've been stumped for why something does what it does or needed to
change something & gone diving into source code to find it. There have also
been quite a few times I've been MORE than enthusiatic about downloading
upgrades to software I've bought that someone ELSE got paid to fix. Or
calling a (shudder) tech-support line and getting answers from someone who
got paid from the money I spent on the software. Thus saving me alot of
time & trouble.
Both have thier advantages.

>This is sort of like White Pine providing an API for programmers to extend
>what CU-SeeMe does (like GeekTalk). The FSF takes it quite a bit farther
>though. But quality software can indeed be produced and advanced without
>mention of money.

Indeed. Neither argued nor disagreed.

At 12:47 AM 2/20/98 -0600, Jason Williams wrote (in a previous message):
>Allow programmers to extend the features of CU-SeeMe and redesign it given
>the core components. It's really not that hard to provide a SDK that
>details how to use methods for CU-SeeMe control. Licensing on the other
>hand can become tricky I imagine.

Really? And you base that statement on what? An understanding of the
CU-SeeMe protocol? An understanding of the source code from Cornell? Some
understanding of the source code from White Pine? Your experiences working
as a professional engineer and handling code that is at least 3 generations
old?
I'd be interested to know...

>I wasn't condoning violating the license restrictions of CU-SeeMe...I
>merely stated that 2.1.2 works fine with a serial number but not as a
>demo.

If you purchase a version of someone's software (whatever it is) and they
stop making it available to the public, then you go and make it available
on your own without first contacting the manufacturer, you violate license
restrictions. Unless redistribution rights are specifically stated in the
license agreement that came with the software.

>> If you don't want to legally buy the software, don't use it and find a
>> freeware program that does the same thing....
>
>It's only a matter of time before freeware versions come out that support
>color (MJPEG, H.263). A few already have. OS/2 version supports it as
>does the Linux port. 99% of the people I know who use the White Pine
>version (be it 3.X or 2.X) all use it for one reason only: color support.
>Given a freeware alternative to it, they'd happily switch.

Perhaps, perhaps... And as I've said before, if that suits thier needs,
more power to 'em! :)

>Let's hope by the time color eventually does get to the freeware version
>White Pine has enough corporate business takers to balance out the loss of
>home users that have found a freeware alternative.
>
>With the source code to the Cornell version available for a small
>licensing fee, anyone can modify CU-SeeMe to their liking. I know at
>least one person that has improved the Cornell Mac version quite a bit.

Why don't you get ahold of the Cornell code & make the changes you need?
Implement the color codec(s) you want and develop an SDK for other
potential CU-Engineers to code to. It shouldn't be all that hard...
(pulling tounge out of cheek) *G*

>> As someone in the software industry, I am appalled at your
>> suggestions....
>
>I didn't suggest anything that I know of...If you can indeed still buy 2.1
>from White Pine, then using 2.1.2 with the same serial number shouldn't be
>illegal.

See my comment above on redistribution rights.

>I believe White Pine has switched serial numbers twice..
>2.0 -> 2.1 required a different serial number.
>2.1 -> 3.0 required a different serial number.

Uhm, so?

Ya know, White Pine as a whole takes a pretty good beating on this list...
and for what? Are there specific grievances to air? Like: "I called White
Pine durring the early Beta phase of 3.0 and made numerous suggestions for
client imporovements that were ignored"... Or: "I was in the early Beta
testing of the MeetingPoint server and needed improvements which never
came"... things like that? Or does it basically boil down to: "White Pine
made a bunch of changes to something I was comfortable with & I'm mad at
them!"
Well, change is good. Remember when Microsoft changed from Win 3.11 to
Win95? We ALL hated it... No-one was terribly happy. But, you wouldn't go
back now, wouldja? *G* Admit it, after all the patches are installed, it's
quite good! Well, the same is true for most major changes, including this one.
And it's been mentioned that the new CU 3.0 requires a bigger, badder
system to run on. And the response was that most upgrades do now-a-days.
That (as I recall) went pretty much ignored. Well it still stands, that's
what upgrades are about. Adding new features/enhancements AND taking
advantage of new hardware/software capabilities. There are alot of new
features in 3.1 and some of then rely on newer hardware to work correctly.
That's life in the computer world.
So, if you can't upgrade and can't use the new 3.1 client... stick with
what you had. If you never had anything else, you can still buy 2.1.1 from
White Pine SOMEWHERE on our website. (Look, I'm really sorry about this
2.1.2 problem-thing, but really, REALLY, the only improvements in 2.1.2
were to work with the Kodak USB cam, which apparently still comes with
2.1.2 ) If THAT'S not good enough for ya, Jason can give you pointers (I'm
sure :) to where you can download a freeware client that will run on your
system.
So, can we just accept a few basic truths here and move on? Is it really
necessary to start a "Bash White Pine's CU-SeeMe" mailing list?

Anyway, that's my $0.02 and my Wheaties have worn off...
*climbing down off MY soapbox*

- Scott

--

,-==================================-.-==================================-. | I haven't lost my mind, it's backed | Scott LaCroix (slacroix@wpine.com) | | up on tape around here somewhere... | Sr. Software Engineer ___ | | - Author Unknown | White Pine Software ./_ -\. | | #include<disclaimer/std.h> | http://www.wpine.com q| o O |p | `-==================================-^-=====================oOOo=~U~=oOOo-'