1

I wrote this post in another website, I look for a software library. Is my usage of relative clause to describe it correct?

I use Aforege.Video.FFMPEG library in a C# project to create a video from a series of bitmaps. Recently for a weird reason the project doesn't work and gives an error on this library when I call WriteVideoFrame method.

Anyway, I decided to find an alternative for this library that is open-source and free. What do you recommend?

Could I say

I decided to find an alternative for this library to be open-source and free. What do you recommend?

Please note, I don't want to use adjectives because the description could be like

I decided to find an alternative for this library that works in Windows and has designed for .Net Framework 4.5. What do you recommend?

2
  • Personally, I'd construct it this way: "Anyway, I just decided to use a free open-source library as an alternative. What do you recommend?"
    – shin
    Sep 12 '15 at 19:39
  • @Ahmad (To the latest edit) Then, I'd suggest "I decided to try another library [that ...]." Sep 13 '15 at 6:06
2

The clause "that is ..." is ambiguously connected. The nearest noun phrase is "this library", and while we know from context that you didn't mean to link those two clauses, the mind can't help but to bring them together.

To avoid ambiguity move the defining clause before the noun that it defines:

Anyway, I decided to find an open-source (preferably free) alternative to that library.

3
  • I agree that the revised sentence is good. Just want to add that Nearly all open source software is free software, so the OP probably doesn't have to clarify that, or if he really wants to do so, I'd recommend "a free, open-source alternative to ..." Another minor point is that I think the/this/that library all work equally well in that sentence. Sep 13 '15 at 5:13
  • Thank you, here you could change the information to adjectives, but what if it was a sentences like "an alternative for this library that is designed for Windows and works in C#"? can I say this as "an alternative that is designed for Windows and works in C#"?
    – Ahmad
    Sep 13 '15 at 5:54
  • 1
    If you simply omit "this library" altogether, it might be easier to understand: "I decided to find an alternative designed for Windows and implemented for/in C#". Sep 13 '15 at 11:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.