Subject: Re: Free Software Report
From: rdm@CFCL.COM (Rich Morin)
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 93 12:58:24 PST

Since Michael Tiemann mentioned my participation, I will return the favor.

The Free Software Report seems to be aimed at business people, and it's
goal seems to be the validation of free software as a business tool.  I
think this is very worthwhile.  I would love to live in a world where most
source code was available to me, and I see freeware as the only way this
could possibly happen.  My contribution to FSR was a hand-waving article
on the ups and downs of using free software.

Although I think there is a need for something like the FSR, it is largely
irrelevant to my own needs as a distributor of freeware.  My product (Prime
Time Freeware) is not plug-and-play, contains mostly source code and related
files, and is, in general, unusable by "end users".  Because it concentrates
on providing "interesting code for adventurous programmers", it can carry
several dozen experimental languages, while ignoring any number of useful
toys and tools.  Mr. Businessman shouldn't, in general buy PTF.  His lead
programmer may grab a copy, however, for her edification and amusement.  It
is even possible that some of the code will end up being useful to the firm,
but that is not the design goal.

Consequently, I would like to see a rather different newsletter come into
being.  It would carry articles, reviews, and advertising  related to free
software.  Mr. Businessman would be welcome to read it, but the initial
target audience would be much more hackerish.  Finally, I think it should
be controlled-circulation (free to readers, paid for by advertisers).  I
would be happy to put PTF ads into such a newsletter, and perhaps write the
occasional article.  I don't have time to produce it, however.

-Rich Morin
rdm@cfcl.com