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Is free software better quality than closed software?
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Freeware is a bad way to support the codebase of complex products

Complex software requires a substantial amount of time and effort on the part of the developer. However, these pieces of software are then sold at very low prices or at no price at all. This deters developers from creating such software and shows how the concept of freeware is a fundamental flaw.

The Argument

What exactly is freeware? Freeware means that people can study the code, make changes to it, copy the script, and redistribute it as they wish. Many people regard freeware or open software as a benefit to society. They say it is the same freedom as “freedom of speech”. This is because, with freeware, people are able to control the code rather than letting the code place constraints on the user.[1] However, when products become more complex in nature and they have large codebases, then offering them as freeware has more disadvantages than benefits. Think of it as having too many hands in the kitchen. Complex codebases have numerous lines of code and tampering with it can have huge negative implications. This leads to large rates of user dissatisfaction. Freeware is generally offered for free or at a very low price from the developer. As a result, people generally assume that the product is inferior in quality to the ones that are paid even though this is not necessarily true. Therefore, not many complex products that require developers to spend substantial amounts of time to formulate are even offered as freeware.[2] This makes sense as one realizes that they do not stand to make a profit from their product. Free software deters the development of more complex products.

Counter arguments

Freeware is an excellent way to support the source code of complex products. For one, when a large community has access to it, they are much more likely to find bugs, loopholes and make the code more efficient. There is also a lot more room for innovation when the public can become actively involved in the process of building the product. Some prominent companies such as IBM and Microsoft have also recognized this and readily stand in favor of freeware.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Jul 2020 at 01:23 UTC

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