why commercial (proprietary) software sucks

People especially economists compare buying a software with buying a car. But this isn’t true. Actually the purchase is comparable to buy a license to use a special car with many restrictions.

e.g. you can’t

  • install it on as many pcs you want. In contrast everyone you trust and has driver license can drive your car
  • modify it (just a very little).
  • give it away/sell it
  • cannibalize it after it stopped working (a broken car you can strip from useful components)
  • go to a car dealer/repairshop of your choice (there are some movements in the car industry to restrict this either)
  • disable advertisments (in the car world they are optionally for your car)
  • have a choice which car you use. In software world nearly every company tries to lock in the users

One similarity is: you are the product.
Many people live from you by exploiting your nescience (in the car as in the software industry)

android and admins

The Android userbase is an hostile environment for admins and developers. Even android is technically a very good idea (except java).

Firstly every problem is appified. You don’t get any usefull information about internal stuff (e.g. where files lay around) by searching after the problem. The solution for every problem is: install app xy (and boost the download score of someone).

Secondly most android developers come from the windows world. They don’t share for free. Saying: this world doesn’t give anything for free why should I do so? Many apps say: hey I fix this, but lacking information how they do it. Sadly there is no filter to filter them away.

Thirdly transferring knowledge is risky. Some important features/bugs could be “fixed”. Or you could get legal trouble. Even android is under gpl this discourages people from transferring knowledge.

Fourthly you get logged and recorded on every step. I never thought about the normal world implications: Every app you looked, you installed, deinstalled is haunting you. Not the secret services, but the companies. They push advertisment crap. On a small display this is especially annoying.

Fifthly some apps have advertisements. They put you into the risk of beeing hacked by their advertisment crap (happened often enough). Also eating your internet, display space and battery. Imagine this on your PC. Every 10 Minutes something pops up and annoys you. I hadn’t this for years (since I switched to linux).
(I heard from a prof that the internet speed improvements are mostly for advertisments (that the speed penalty by them is noticed less))