michael from the not-in-anything-I-write-that's-for-sure dept.
eGabriel writes "One of the benefits of free software that I haven't seen explored here is that of the opportunity to study elegant, masterful code. Besides the fact that we can all share and enjoy applications, and reuse their source code, we can also simply download the code and view it for pleasure, to learn from masters of the art. Certainly there are different criteria for determining what makes a piece of code excellent or beautiful, and I am not as interested in discussing that. If however, anyone has found a piece of free software that serves as an excellent example for study because of qualities they as programmers hold dear, I would love to read that code also and be educated thereby. Equally interesting would be code that really is bad, as long as it didn't turn into direct attacks upon the programmers involved (they can't all be gems!) Any code that shows elegant and masterful design would make for excellent reading; the language in which it is written isn't as much a concern. 'Literate' code is a bonus."
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one,
an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
- Edmund Burke