Stellar: A Free/Libre/Open-Source Game Maker Replacement


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Ziz

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Some ethics are subjective, maybe even very, very subjective, but keep in mind, that most of the western society rules and laws are based on some general ethics like "killing other people is uncool", "robbing other people is uncool" or even "parking in front of a gateway is uncool". ;)
 

Asiyura

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Oh, I understand now… an extremist that would not use anything related to binary blobs. That must be though, since about any device with electronic components in it have closed sources firmware  :p
Well that's less and less true. In the desktop world, you can have a machine with no binary blob what so ever (like my current one : all intell stuff and using coreboot).

But in the ARM world, indeed, there is no solution.
I wasn't talking about desktop computer (even if I guess there are quite few parts of it with binary blobs hidden here and there - keyboard, mouse, screen, power supply, …), but my TV, my dish washer, my electric razor, my electric toothbrush, the remote system to open my garage door, my fridge, even the sensors that turns on the lights in the hall to the lift have some micro-controllers with closed source programs in them…

I agree that closed source softwares can be a pain in the ass (I fixed so many problems with my internet when I flashed my router with the openwrt white russian firmware). But right now, if you refuse to use closed source binary in a pandora for the wifi/nubs chips, you should also stop using almost any devices with electronic in it.

I don't like extremism : open source is great but it doesn't mean that closed source must never be used.
 
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ZXDunny

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Some ethics are subjective, maybe even very, very subjective, but keep in mind, that most of the western society rules and laws are based on some general ethics like "killing other people is uncool", "robbing other people is uncool" or even "parking in front of a gateway is uncool". ;)
I beg to differ - all ethics are subjective. Many deaths have occurred throughout history because what is defined as "ethical" has been changed so often - try reading leviticus and see what passed for ethical behaviour a couple of thousand years ago. As for robbing, that was considered by some to be ethical during the second world war - providing that the victim fell into one of a small set of ethnic groups.

So describing a coder as being "unethical" because he or she won't release source is merely proclaiming to the world that you don't agree with their decision, and that you'd like others to see them as somehow being wrong despite the fact that the only yardstick you can measure them with is created by your own prejudices. Describing this as "ethics" is just trying to persuade people with emotional blackmail to agree with your own agenda.

D.
 

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So describing a coder as being "unethical" because he or she won't release source is merely proclaiming to the world that you don't agree with their decision, and that you'd like others to see them as somehow being wrong despite the fact that the only yardstick you can measure them with is created by your own prejudices. Describing this as "ethics" is just trying to persuade people with emotional blackmail to agree with your own agenda.
This.
 

moxie

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Some ethics are subjective, maybe even very, very subjective, but keep in mind, that most of the western society rules and laws are based on some general ethics like "killing other people is uncool", "robbing other people is uncool" or even "parking in front of a gateway is uncool". ;)
 
I beg to differ - all ethics are subjective. Many deaths have occurred throughout history because what is defined as "ethical" has been changed so often - try reading leviticus and see what passed for ethical behaviour a couple of thousand years ago. As for robbing, that was considered by some to be ethical during the second world war - providing that the victim fell into one of a small set of ethnic groups.

I beg to differ - There is a basis of ethics that is more or less consistent throughout semicivilized society. I wouldn't call it objective :) but at least contingent with our living in social groups. The reading of Leviticus and the pondering of war crimes does show something about ethics, but not that it is all arbitrary (better word here than subjective) but that there is another axis to ethics, namely the size of the group which is considered under the ethical compass.


Let's start with the basis first. There are, indeed, some things that are universal in ethical systems: It isn't generally OK to steal from your fellow man. Neither is it OK to wound or kill him. It is generally considered unethical to "not do your part for the society", be it not foraging for food or not pay taxes. The reason is that we live in groups, and we do that in order to get certain utility out of it. It is good to have a group, where people takes turns keeping watch and tending the fire, so that those free can sleep. It makes sense to be in a group, where  a day of bad luck in hunting or foraging is averaged out amongst more people, and so on. But for this to work, we need to be able to defuse the danger of being in a group - I.e. that that guy who is sleeping in the cave now will kill you while you're asleep.


So, we codify rules and call them ethics. Or divine commandments, or golden rules, or whatever. Thou shalt not kill, Treat your elders with respect, Share with those less fortunate than you. This, of course, applies to your fellow man, which originally was the other people in the tribe. Those other ones on the other side of the valley? They're not us, are they? Not like us. They're barbarians, and it serves them right if we ambush them, steal their food and drag their women over here in their hair. Barbarians, of course, being the word the ancient greeks used to describe those that weren't them. Non-greeks. People who spoke foreign languages, that sounded like Bar-bar-bar in the ears of the cultivated greeks. It is quite plain that people of that sort just isn't really worthy of the same treatment (neither were women, slaves or peasants, of course). Actually, serious attempts at making it a requisite for any good ethics to actually be universally applied is quite recent, and even so, we still see the same mechanisms at work. Those darned taliban, they're just not human, are they? Living in caves, dressing in sheets...I say we bomb them back to the stone age!


But: When applied to whatever circle is considered the right size to encompass "our own", then there is always some fundamentals that are the same. An ethical system which actually encourages killing your neighbor and stealing their food is possibly theoretically possible, but the society which embraced it would never survive as a society. It is a necessary prerequisite for being a society worth being a part of. 


This, of course, gives it a sort of sliding scale kind of feeling. A rule against killing is more or less necessary in an ethical system. Is it unethical to not pay taxes? Yes, well, most people would say it is, at least as long as the taxation is fairly distributed and that the money is used for the common goods of the society...but this is far less clear-cut and would be open for different levels of interpretation. Is it unethical to wear green lycra pants when grossly overweight? No. Unfortunately not. It is never a necessary rule for the well-being of the society as a whole. This all becomes a bit consensual, very language games a la Wittgenstein - There is a core of rules of ethics, and it is what our society deems is the core of the ethical rules. When the society changes, so the ethical requirements changes. Subjective? Yes, but subjective not to the whims of a single individual, but to the society as a whole. 


With all that being said

So describing a coder as being "unethical" because he or she won't release source is merely proclaiming to the world that you don't agree with their decision, and that you'd like others to see them as somehow being wrong despite the fact that the only yardstick you can measure them with is created by your own prejudices. Describing this as "ethics" is just trying to persuade people with emotional blackmail to agree with your own agenda.
...I agree completely with this. Saying "This is unethical" about something like whether someone releases source code is just blackmail. Or, a bit more favourably, wishful thinking: Ethics is shaped by people. If enough people think that something is ethically wrong, then it will be. So if we act like it already is, perhaps it will happen? But it isn't there yet, and so it is  just wrong.
 

ZXDunny

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So describing a coder as being "unethical" because he or she won't release source is merely proclaiming to the world that you don't agree with their decision, and that you'd like others to see them as somehow being wrong despite the fact that the only yardstick you can measure them with is created by your own prejudices. Describing this as "ethics" is just trying to persuade people with emotional blackmail to agree with your own agenda.
...I agree completely with this. Saying "This is unethical" about something like whether someone releases source code is just blackmail. Or, a bit more favourably, wishful thinking: Ethics is shaped by people. If enough people think that something is ethically wrong, then it will be. So if we act like it already is, perhaps it will happen? But it isn't there yet, and so it is  just wrong.
And there's the problem - something is only ethically wrong is a large enough group of people think it is. Ethics are, as I've already pointed out, purely a human construction and have no place in the "natural" universe. Saying that it's Ok to injure someone who "isn't one of us" means that injurious behaviour is not a matter of ethics - either something is ethical or it is not, regardless of who is doing it. 

This is why I try not to judge people based on my ethics (and in my line of work people are usually in trouble because of their value systems) - they're frequently irrelevant to anyone but myself.

D.
 

moxie

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I think that depends on what expectations you have on Ethics. If you're hoping for the universally applicable objectively correct system of Ethics, then you're screwed. If you're content with ethics as a set of rules in a specific time and place, which may vary depending on that particular society and its needs (although, as I said, varies within limits), then it is a useful thing to ponder and discuss.
 

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Wow, I didn't expect a discussion to erupt without my involvement... frankly, I'm uninterested in whether or not ethics are subjective, so I won't get involved, but if you think they are, then just accept that proprietary software is unethical from my point of view. If you don't think ethics are objective and want to argue with me about whether or not proprietary software is ethical, go ahead.

You're adults (I think), so when I say "proprietary software is unethical", you can fill in the blanks and figure out that I'm stating my opinion; you don't need to assume that I'm treating my opinions as unarguable truths.

I would check this project out, but unfortunately I am currently using a computer, and the computer wasn't free, what is more it is using damned electricity which the electricity board insist on charging me for (and the electricity board won't even give me the source code for their accounting systems, let alone release it to me under a compatible license). I thought I'd have a cup of tea and calm down, but then I realised that the tea I was drinking isn't 'open' as they won't give me the exact recipe to make identical tea myself without their magical bags. It is like I am surrounded by a world where money exchange is the accepted way of life.

Maybe it is time we all go back to living in caves and try to build a new society where everything is free. If we do that now, maybe in some hundreds (or thousands) of years we may have got back to this point, and I'll finally be able to check out this software.

Bloody society ruining it for the children...
Free as in freedom, not price. Price is a completely separate issue.

I don't mind debating about my views, but my view is not that all software must be gratis. It's that all software must be free. When I say "free", I don't mean gratis.

Describing this as "ethics" is just trying to persuade people with emotional blackmail to agree with your own agenda.
Blackmail?

black·mail

1 : a tribute anciently exacted on the Scottish border by plundering chiefs in exchange for immunity from pillage


2 a : extortion or coercion by threats especially of public exposure or criminal prosecution

   b : the payment that is extorted
Sorry, I don't see the connection here. I haven't made any threats by saying that proprietary software is unethical.
 
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ZXDunny

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Blackmail?

black·mail

1 : a tribute anciently exacted on the Scottish border by plundering chiefs in exchange for immunity from pillage


2 a : extortion or coercion by threats especially of public exposure or criminal prosecution

   b : the payment that is extorted
Sorry, I don't see the connection here. I haven't made any threats by saying that proprietary software is unethical.
Sorry, I meant option 1.

D.
 

moxie

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Blackmail?

black·mail

1 : a tribute anciently exacted on the Scottish border by plundering chiefs in exchange for immunity from pillage


2 a : extortion or coercion by threats especially of public exposure or criminal prosecution

   b : the payment that is extorted
Sorry, I don't see the connection here. I haven't made any threats by saying that proprietary software is unethical.
You did read the whole phrase "emotional blackmail"?
 

diligentcircle

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Yes, I did read it entirely. The only difference is that "emotional blackmail" would be blackmailing your emotions somehow, or something. Sorry, but using a modifier doesn't mean you get to use a word to mean something completely different than what it means. Blackmail is a type of threat. "Proprietary software is unethical" contains no threats. The term "emotional blackmail" only serves to try to silence my rhetoric my lying about what kind of rhetoric it is.
 

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I think that we should ALL agree to disagree....which is normally what I say when the conversation get's waaaay over my head and ceases to become entertaining.  I respect your views, onpon4, and I still don't quite understand them...so it's difficult...but good luck with it all.
 

ZXDunny

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Calling something "unethical" conjures up a certain mindset that the object being described is somehow evil or underhanded, self-serving and other attributes that people in general find distasteful. Equating a coder who doesn't release his or her source-code with that sort of behaviour is an intent to create a culture of fear around that person's actions or integrity, such that you manipulate the opinions of people who read your accusations in a negative manner towards that person.

You can find many examples where organisations (such as large corporations or oppressive governments) use these tactics against something they determine undesirable in order to manipulate the population's acceptance of that thing.

Which is what you're doing.

D.
 

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I have certain religious beliefs, and I do what I can do for my fellow man and all.  I do what I can for society at large - pay taxes, blahdeee blahh.  I agree mostly with these fine people here.  We are ALL unique individuals.  We can all freely give of ourselves our work, but that's time spent, it's a skill that I will pay for.  Companies will pay for.  A person who has created an unique game, or someone who has devoted a long time to support his/her work deserves whatever society deems as an equitable rate of recompense. I've purchased countless amounts of games and OS'es...in the tens of thousands of dollars.

I can't believe that 99.9% of these .pnds are free.  I still pinch myself.  There's the hidden VALUE of this great device....I wish that we all could be tree-huggers and happy and spent all day coding and having sex....but some of us are caught up in this rat race.  I like the DREAM of what you propose (or what I think that you propose), but unfortunately we're always going to be in a market-economy and that mostly works...
 

TrashyMG

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^Not sure where people who code all day have time for sex.

I mean I could multi-task with the best of them, it does hinder your train of thought.
 
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Franko

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I was trying to bring together the two extremes in this hypothetical Garden of Eden scenario...

Just make sure that Binky wears pants this time.  I'm still trying to score with the confused Malaysian chick in the corner behind that potted plant....at least I think she's a she.
 

diligentcircle

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EDIT: Franko, as I said before, it's free as in freedom, not price. Price is a completely separate issue. Free software means you have freedom in your computing.

Richard Stallman, and then later the Free Software Foundation, used to sell tapes with GNU Emacs (which is free software) on them for a substantial sum, I think $200 or $400. There was nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, Adobe Flash is not any better than Windows just because it's gratis; it's still proprietary, meaning it still doesn't give you freedom.

Calling something "unethical" conjures up a certain mindset that the object being described is somehow evil or underhanded, self-serving and other attributes that people in general find distasteful. Equating a coder who doesn't release his or her source-code with that sort of behaviour is an intent to create a culture of fear around that person's actions or integrity, such that you manipulate the opinions of people who read your accusations in a negative manner towards that person.

You can find many examples where organisations (such as large corporations or oppressive governments) use these tactics against something they determine undesirable in order to manipulate the population's acceptance of that thing.

Which is what you're doing.

D.
You called my rhetoric "emotional blackmail". It looks like you're silently backing out from that position and changing what you're saying about my rhetoric while still attempting to maintain the appearance that you have said nothing misleading. Do you or do you not still think saying "proprietary software is unethical" (an expression of my personal opinion) is comparable to extortion by threatening to release personal information?

You might think I'm picking on something small here, but YOU are the one claiming that my language is unfair. I will not just let hypocrisy slide. Calling my rhetoric "emotional blackmail" paints a false picture of what it does, and I don't think it's any better than simple name-calling or lying about my position.

Equating a coder who doesn't release his or her source-code with that sort of behaviour is an intent to create a culture of fear around that person's actions or integrity
First of all, calling something unethical does not equate it with any other unethical things. Saying that theft is unethical does not equate theft with murder.

Second, calling something unethical doesn't come with the intent to create fear of it. That doesn't make any sense. Unethical things are not necessarily scary. I don't think, for example, that vegans are quivering in their boots because they're so terrified of meat even though they think slaughtering animals for food is unethical.
 
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ZXDunny

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Calling something "unethical" conjures up a certain mindset that the object being described is somehow evil or underhanded, self-serving and other attributes that people in general find distasteful. Equating a coder who doesn't release his or her source-code with that sort of behaviour is an intent to create a culture of fear around that person's actions or integrity, such that you manipulate the opinions of people who read your accusations in a negative manner towards that person.

You can find many examples where organisations (such as large corporations or oppressive governments) use these tactics against something they determine undesirable in order to manipulate the population's acceptance of that thing.

Which is what you're doing.
 You called my rhetoric "emotional blackmail". It looks like you're silently backing out from that position and changing what you're saying about my rhetoric while still attempting to maintain the appearance that you have said nothing misleading. Do you or do you not still think saying "proprietary software is unethical" (an expression of my personal opinion) is comparable to extortion by threatening to release personal information?

You might think I'm picking on something small here, but YOU are the one claiming that my language is unfair. I will not just let hypocrisy slide. Calling my rhetoric "emotional blackmail" paints a false picture of what it does, and I don't think it's any better than simple name-calling or lying about my position.
I'm calling it what it is. If you want to stick to inflexible "definitions" of terms that's your affair; the rest of us don't see it as "releasing personal information", we see it as attempting to manipulate people's emotions to get what you want.

You want a world where everything is free, and you're willing to resort to underhanded tactics like the above (which I outlined and you nicely quoted) in order to force a change in people to bring them round to your viewpoint. Of course the statement of the ethics of source code is an opinion - yet you word it as though it should be obvious that it's a fact. That there is no room for misinterpretation, that if you don't see proprietary code as being "wrong" then you are yourself unethical.

Which is an awful thing to do, but you seem to be quite happy with it.

Equating a coder who doesn't release his or her source-code with that sort of behaviour is an intent to create a culture of fear around that person's actions or integrity
 First of all, calling something unethical does not equate it with any other unethical things. Saying that theft is unethical does not equate theft with murder.

Second, calling something unethical doesn't come with the intent to create fear of it. That doesn't make any sense. Unethical things are not necessarily scary. I don't think, for example, that vegans are quivering in their boots because they're so terrified of meat even though they think slaughtering animals for food is unethical.
You don't think the animals might not quiver in fear?

I really don't think you really have as good a grasp on the language you're using as you think you have - so you're either ignorant or deliberately a nasty person with an agenda.

If someone wanders into a forum that's unrelated to their interests and starts accusing people of being unethical, which would you say they were?

D.
 
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