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Re: Object epiphany: A new way of building widget applications

JD Smith (jdsmith@astro.cornell.edu) writes:
> I think it only fair to let people know that I tend to shy away from
> distributed code with people's initials in the name.  I know, it sounds
> stupid, but I'm not sure I'm the only one.  It seems to be a reasonably
> common practice here (Craig, you listening?), but one which I think
> might be best to avoid, for the following reasons:
> That's just my feeling on it.  Anyone else have an opinion?  

Yes. I've tried it both ways, and it's pretty much
a nightmare without some way to tag it to the author,
although I agree with you that it's extra baggage.
It does make it easy to know that you are using
someone's else's library programs, and whose it is.
You have to remember that more users than you would
ever expect really don't have *any* idea that there is
a difference between a built-in routine and and library
routine and how to order their Path. (And, really, 
why *should* they care?)

But ownership is not such a bad idea. You at least
have someone to complain to when things don't work
as you expect. You are, of course, free to modify
*any* code you get on a free newsgroup. And all these
"initialized" programs are distributed under the Open
Software Foundation license, so you can do whatever
you like to with them, even sell them if you think
you can make any money doing so. (Good luck!) I think
all the authors make extraordinary attempts to keep the
code up to date and maintained. I know that most of the
time I've reported a bug or made a suggestion I had new
code within 24 hours. 

I feel a little badly when I see Martin (to take just
the most recent example) essentially duplicating some
of my code. But once you put this stuff in the public
domain you just have to let it go. My library is mostly
maintained for me, and for the work I do for my own
clients. I really don't have the time to worry about
what happens to it later. (And, heck, I've already
got a better idea and I'm on to something else anyway. :-)

But, please, name the programs anything you like! Speaking
for myself, I'm just thrilled to know you are using them. 



P.S. I've tried to get people to make changes to some of
my programs, but many people prefer to have me maintain
the library. That works, of course, until I decide to retire. :-)

David Fanning, Ph.D.
Fanning Software Consulting
Phone: 970-221-0438 E-Mail: davidf@dfanning.com
Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming: http://www.dfanning.com/
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