I was on a conference call with a group of IT application architects, and, with a few minutes left until the end of the scheduled hour, the summary of the meeting began with that phrase: "History teaches us ...". As an amateur historian, my interest was immediately piqued. The end of the sentence was "that a three-tier architecture is the best architecture."
Had it not been for that three-word preamble, I would have let the assertion stand unchallenged. But Clio had been summoned -- and I had to disagree.
I've been writing code lately. Makes me feel young, again. Unfortunately, something terrible happened.
For some reason (and thereby hangs a tale), I decided to write the application in Brazillian Portuguese. You know, localized for pt-BR only.
In Adobe Illustrator I type the word copyright into the search box in the Help Center. The page that results includes the following paragraph:
"Did you know," said Gina, the other day, "that in Spanish, the word meaning to make is the same as the word meaning to do?" I don't speak Spanish, but it seems that the usage of the Portuguese fazer and the French faire supports this hypothesis. I'm going to have to back up and put this comment in context.
I met and had breakfast last week with Ben Hyde. A really smart and interesting fellow -- I wish I had recorded our conversation. We had fascinating and wide-ranging discussions all morning -- but like when trying to remember the really hilarious stand-up routine you heard last night, you can only remember one or two jokes. So it is with that morning.
After work, the question got asked. It came up in the context of another discussion about the relevance of Free/Open Source Software. Availability of the source code is probably only relevant to computer programmers. After all, if you aren't a programmer, what would you do with source code? In which case, a freely copyable binary would be equivalent to freely copyable source code. The ability to do something with the source code (i.e. to create a derivative work), is something only a programmer could do. Strikes me as the definition of a programmer. Yes, I know that benefits might accrue to the non-programmer indirectly, but conceding that there are no direct benefits to most people doesn't seem like a great debating point.