Matt Barton's articles

The fine art of computer programming

The free software and open source communities are changing what it means to write code. Specifically, they are extending its audience from a few fellow employees to, theoretically, anyone in the world who wants to read it. Code isn’t just for computers and colleagues anymore and, gradually, we are seeing the beginnings of a body of literary critics and an appreciative readership for source code.

The risk of using proprietary software

About one out of every 200 people is allergic to peanuts. Depending on the extremity of the allergy, a person suffering from peanut allergies who was accidentally exposed to peanuts might develop an itchy rash. Others might experience anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that can prove fatal. People who are allergic to peanuts have a tough time in America, where more and more foods are manufactured in factories that also process peanuts.

The risks of writing proprietary software

Every software developer faces a choice when deciding how to release a new software product. That choice is whether the program will be free or non-free. Unfortunately, many otherwise knowledgeable programmers aren’t sure just what this choice means, and may complain that programmers with families really don’t have a choice at all—if they want to earn a living, they must charge for their work. However, free software is not about giving software away without cost.

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