D turns 20, Adam rants on software freedom

Posted 2019-09-23

D is about 20 years old now, and wow it has changed a lot over the years. Early D didn't even have templates! It is my opinion it has been reinvented about every five years: first to add templates, then to add immutable, then focusing on an era of more stability. We're about due for another change, and I'm encouraged to see D continue to develop.

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Adam's thoughts

I'm not a big fan of the mobile software ecosystem, and a big part of that is due to the near-total lack of user control. Things that cannot be uninstalled, forced updates, push notifications galore, never knowing for sure what apps are actually doing.

This is what free software is supposed to be about - end user freedom. No, not to bring an end to user freedom, but to bring freedom to end users.

We often tend look at software licenses in terms of just about everyone else - developers can (or can't) modify this code, distributors can (or can't) copy it, companies can (or would prefer not to) use it. And it is true, that's how many of the licenses are written and what the law is focused on.

But free software is meant to change the focus to *user* freedom, and just hacks the concept of existing law and licenses to that end, hence the term "copyleft". It doesn't necessarily require the end users to make their own modifications (though, of course it is nice when you can), but it does provide them an opportunity to get other people's modifications for themselves. The potential for free distribution lets even non-programmer users - in theory at least - choose from less offensive alternatives to the official version. And the mere threat of a fork like this - again, in theory at least - will help to keep the original authors from making excessively user-hostile choices.

I know we've come short to the theory, but in recent years, we've been going further and further away, and software is getting worse and worse for users. I'd like to see this turned around.

What does this have to do with D specifically? idk it is just something that has been on my mind, especially while I have been taking some baby steps to use D on android.