Subject: Re: Opportunity lost? Challenge declined!?
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 13:59:26 +0900

>>>>> "Tim" == Tim O'Reilly <> writes:

    Tim> I have to say I agree very much with what you've said here.
    Tim> An "all or nothing" approach just hardens positions.  I tend
    Tim> to see lots of signs of people coming towards the free
    Tim> software world,

But I don't think they are coming toward the _free_ software world.

They're coming toward open source, which, though technically
equivalent in the license definition, is _very_ different in terms of
the dynamics.  Note that many of the economic benefits that Eric
pushes apply to published but proprietary source code, as well as to
free software.  Those benefits are what these "people coming toward
the free software world" are aiming at.  _Not_ the benefits that
accrue _only to free software_, such as encouraging independent
further product development.

So most of them have no intention of arriving anywhere near "free" in
the thread in question, eg, Adam Theo.  Yes, he wants to do free
software -- but definitely not for the product he asked about!

I submit that's OT on FSB by definition.  Sinful?  Of course not!
Important?  Yes!  Yes!!  But OT nonetheless.

    Tim> and many times they are sent packing with
    Tim> their tails between their legs.  This has always been true.


    Tim> We need to encourage signs that people are moving in the
    Tim> right direction, towards openness, even if they aren't all
    Tim> the way there.

True, there is a need.  But should serving that need be in the charter of
this list?  Especially when their goal is almost certainly not "free,"
and never will be?  I think that the problem of running a business
based on free (by the strict definition) software is interesting,
important, and relevant to enough developers to deserve its own list.
That's what FSB is, right?

We need a separate list for the purpose of encouraging movement toward
openness by people who are starting from proprietary.  I wish the term
"open source" hadn't been coopted as a marketing ploy.  It's the
perfect name: "Open Source Software Business."  Maybe "Published Source
Software Business" is a good enough alternative?

University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
_________________  _________________  _________________  _________________
What are those straight lines for?  "XEmacs rules."