[etoys-dev] Suggestion to add in the download page

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Tue Oct 27 14:19:41 EDT 2009

On 27.10.2009, at 13:28, Hilaire Fernandes wrote:

> I agree, but many free software activists want to be able to view the
> source code with a simple code text editor. This is what developer
> without knowledge about Smalltalk ask me. Any way this is just an
> option to view the source code and I don't see how it can hurt.
> Hilaire

Here is how it would hurt:

By suggesting you can edit sources and changes with any text editor  
you are making false promises. In this regard Smalltalk is simply  
different from about any other programming system. People unfamiliar  
with Smalltalk would assume that editing these files would allow them  
to change Etoys, because that's how development usually works. But not  
in Squeak.

On the contrary, even if you did not have these files, you could still  
view and change Etoys source code perfectly fine. The only thing you  
would miss is comments and names of temporary variables. This  
illustrates that the primary artifact is the image, not the text  
chunks stored in the sources and changes files.

I don't see why you would want to put a misleading statement like  
"These files can be edited from any text editor" on the download page.  
Yes, you could also edit an MP3 audio file in any text editor, which  
is literally true, but deceiving.

I understand that you want to appeal to the "free software activists"  
who don't know how Smalltalk development works. But there is no need  
to misrepresent the truth. Etoys is Free software even to the letter  
of the FSF's definition. We do not need to resort to propaganda.

- Bert -

> 2009/10/27 Bert Freudenberg <bert at freudenbergs.de>:
>> On 27.10.2009, at 03:51, Hilaire Fernandes wrote:
>>> 2009/10/26 Bert Freudenberg <bert at freudenbergs.de>:
>>>> It is wrong to write "These files can be edited from any text  
>>>> editor"
>>>> because this does not affect the system except for breaking source
>>>> browsing.
>>> No, it is not wrong from the access to source code dude point of  
>>> view.
>> There is a huge difference between editing and viewing.
>> To be considered Free Software you need to be able not only to  
>> study a
>> program, but to be able to change its behavior. That's GNU's software
>> freedom #1:
>> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
>> Editing the sources or changes file in any text editor does not  
>> change
>> Etoys' behavior.
>> - Bert -

More information about the etoys-dev mailing list