Subject: Re: street performer protocol
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 11:59:00 -0400 (EDT)

Ian Lance Taylor writes:
 > You omitted some other cases in which one FSB supports a product:
 > Crynwyr, Netscape, SleepyCat, OpenNMS, InterBase.

Not much packet driver support is called for now.  I've had no packet
driver work for nearly a year.

 > I note something interesting about your examples.  In the cases you
 > listed in which multiple FSBs supported a product, none of the FSBs
 > actually wrote the main product.

That's the case with qmail.

 > I still think the sample size is too small, but this suggests that it
 > may be unlikely for a company to write an FSB and for competitors to
 > then arise to support the same product.

That may be more a reputational and expertise matter than anything
else.  If the author-company goes out of business (what about Cyclic
and CVS?) does competition spring up?  Or is there an heir-apparent?

 > You seem to be arguing that because libre software often becomes
 > better than proprietary software, it follows that FSBs often become
 > better than proprietary vendors.  But that doesn't follow.  Good libre
 > software can kick out the underpinnings of a market, making it hard
 > for anybody to make money.

That's okay -- everyone gains from that.

-russ nelson <>
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