Tuesday 5 November 2019

Never look a gift horse in the mouth

One of the best things about the internet is free stuff!


I'm thinking specifically of information and software.

But its sometimes not good enough for some people.

Don't you think its great that so many people are prepared to give their time to answer my stupid questions?

Whether I'm looking for information on World War 2 or how to write better Gambas software, there are free-to-use forums where friendly people are happy to give me advice (e.g. WW2Talk, GambasOne & so on). If I need to know how to declare a variable in JavaScript or how to top up the Adblue on my Yeti, there is generally someone out there who knows how to do it, how to avoid making mistakes along the way, and is prepared to spend their valuable time putting me right.

And then there is software. Some generous people write software, and allow others to download and use it on their computers and devices ....for Free!

On the internet you can find anything from free code snippets (e.g. showing you how to use properties, events and methods) free device drivers, and often complete applications like Gambas and Gimp.

Hey, it doesn't even stop there; you can download complete operating systems like Linux!

But despite the amazing generosity of many people, there is a dark side.

rant alert

For some very strange, pea brained individuals it is irrelevant that this stuff has been offered free-of-charge. This does not stop them from abusing the author when there are issues or even selling this free software, for their own profit.

I'm thinking specifically about the case of Gordon Henderson and his excellent wiringPi software, originally written for the RaspberryPi back in 2013.

Gordon's horse Rocky

As a result of tremendous pressure from a number of selfish people, Gordon has decided enough-is-enough and has pulled the plug on wiringPi.  ...Read Gordon's post.

I've used wiringPi for a number of Gambas/Pi projects and Gordon has always been kind enough to answer my stupid questions. But I think he is doing the right thing by stopping now, in the face of this abuse.

I would just like to say "thank you Gordon and I wish you all the very best".


  1. I agree with this whole heartily. Why is it that a small minority of thoughtless people always spoil things for the majority?

    1. I'm afraid there are lots of unpleasant people in the world. The internet provides an easy medium for these cowards to liven up their sad little lives. I think you & Jornmo have been quite fortunate with your forum, as all members seem to be polite and well behaved.