Subject: Re: Thoughts on GPL
From: Stan Shebs <shebs@cygnus.com>
Date: 03 Mar 1998 11:32:35 -0800


bostic@bsdi.com (Keith Bostic) writes:

> I said that you can't recover your engineering costs.  In this
> example, Cygnus' engineering costs are minimal,

*choke* Uh, no.  I think if you count up the "@cygnus.com" addresses
in ChangeLogs of released software, extrapolate the likely length of
employment, and apply market rates (we do pay competitively), you'll
see that the costs are hardly "minimal"!

> and scale with
> their customer base.  If they'd had to develop gcc from scratch
> to sell it, do you believe they could they have started the
> company on $20K?

Yes, we *did* develop everything incrementally.  But to me that's a
smart approach for big software, and I think it was one of the bright
ideas of the founders.  I don't think they anticipated at the time how
far the idea could go - we're now getting multi-million dollar deals
for doing "enhancements", and the deals are getting steadily larger...

> This whole discussion started with the statement by someone that
> you couldn't recover initial software development costs if you
> GPL'd the result.  We've wandered around a lot, but does anyone
> fundamentally disagree with that statement?

For a Microsoft-Word-like application developed under a conventional
financing and engineering model, I'll agree with you.

							Stan