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an open letter to lj client programmers [Sep. 12th, 2002|07:34 am]
LiveJournal Client Discussions

lj_clients

[psychjob]
[mood |hopefulhopeful]
[music |bad religion / i want to conquer the world]

the home page from this site says that the server and all the clients are open source. this is one of the reasons i signed up with lj. at the time, i didnt know anything about programming anything more fancy than html, but i was trying to learn, and i figured that once i had, it would be nice to know how the journal i used worked, and to know that if there was something goofy about the client i could change it, even if only for the copy on my own computer.

that was two years ago. i can now program fluently in 3 languages, and in 3 others with a reference book handy (dont you hate how languages that are so similar can be so differant?) i thought of a quick change that i would like to make to the client for my platform, (perhaps another few to add later on) but when i went to the page to download the source, i found that only five clients (across ALL platforms) had source available. i could prolly write the entire thing from scratch if i wanted to, but whats the point in doing what someone else has done a damn fine job of already, just so i can add a couple of features mostly for me? (of course, i would make them available to anyone who wanted them, or possibly, if the author requested, the source for the changes available to the author instead)

basicly, what i am trying to say--this project is open source. that is a great (and outside of unix very rare) thing. that is part of what makes lj so great, that everyone who wants to contribute can. even if you dont know how to make a socket connection you can fix, say, a slight interface oddity, a non-intuitivly placed button, a feature missing that you would like to see implemented. open source is a model for how software should be. by not allowing access to the source you are flying in the face of everything lj stands for. so i urge client authors to make the source for your clients available. (preferably under the gnu) that way, the people who use lj just to write their thoughts down, share poetry, keep in touch with friends, etc can choose the client that best suits their needs, and the users who know enough to make changes to the clients, but not quite enough to create from scratch what has already been well done (or just dont see a reason to reinvent the wheel), can become a part of this project, allowing it to live up to all the potential that it has.

thank you for your time.
joshie
linkReply

Comments:
From: xenofalcon
2002-09-12 07:15 am (UTC)
Several clients not listed on that page are Free/open source, particularly those that were added after that page was made.
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[User Picture]From: psychjob
2002-09-12 08:49 am (UTC)
perhaps, but phoenix (the only fully functional client for classic mac os) isnt open source (i emailed thorshammer).

besides, someone should update the page. if i had a unix box i would offer to keep it up to date. but i dont, so my mac would prolly mutilate the bml scripts.
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From: xenofalcon
2002-09-12 01:29 pm (UTC)
Phoenix is more the exception rather than the rule; given that there are so many *nix clients, it's almost a necessity to have open-source projects.

It would be nice if that table was updated, but the staff and developers on LiveJournal are spread rather thin these days. I would post a patch myself if I had an installation working, but I don't at the moment.
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[User Picture]From: psychjob
2002-09-13 11:54 am (UTC)
well, this entry was directed at thorshammer, actually. i had just wanted to mention it in an enviroment where other users would also pressure him to release the source, but i didnt want to single him out, because there are prolly a few other clients that dont have source, and if he felt attacked he might just get mad. i dont like starting flame wars, so an open letter just seemed the best way.
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[User Picture]From: hober
2002-09-12 10:43 am (UTC)
I wonder, which 5 did you count as having source available?

Did you download tarballs and check to see if they have source in them?
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From: xenofalcon
2002-09-12 01:14 pm (UTC)
He was referring to this page, which hasn't been updated in a while.
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[User Picture]From: hober
2002-09-12 02:48 pm (UTC)
Ahh. I had assumed he was looking at the client download page, and was somehow only counting five clients with source available from that.
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[User Picture]From: over
2002-09-12 10:58 am (UTC)
I was the author of the Tcl/Tk Client Tclj but I had abandoned the project some time ago. The link to the sourceforge site is broken. If anyone's interested I can provide the package, which, of course, being Tcl/Tk is pure source and is open.
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From: xenofalcon
2002-09-12 01:22 pm (UTC)
Would you be willing to announce this on the Tclj website and as a post in lj_clients? I'm sure somebody would be willing to pick the project up, provided you get the word out.
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