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Re: [tlug] GPL vs. paid version and ethics

Stuart Luppescu writes:

 > Yes, indeed, R is not S. R is far superior to the commercial S-Plus.
 > There are many more specialized packages available for R then for
 > S-Plus.

Except that AFAIK most R packages also run under S-PLUS, no?

 > indications are that the tremendous growth in R development (and the
 > concomitant *lack* of development for S-Plus) is due to R being open
 > source, and S-Plus being closed and proprietary.

Of course.  But volume of development not what we're talking about
here, and is not an indication of quality as a product.  In fact,
having thousands of packages is a negative for some users, and you can
be sure that some are utter trash.

The questions are whether contributing to an OSS clone can harm people
by withdrawing resources from a superior commercial product that some
people would like to buy, and whether hobbyist software is higher
quality than that developed commercially (open or closed!) by paid

My comment about R was specifically in relation to the latter in the
light of the former.  S-PLUS is even today, with no releases in
several years, a better product for some of my purposes than R.

I'm not trying to argue that we should have more closed source
development.  But if we're going to advocate open source software to
people who aren't developers, we have to find ways for it to serve
their needs.  Some of those needs don't get much attention unless
somebody pays for them.


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