Subject: The future of Freeware
From: nick@NSIS.CL.NEC.CO.JP (Gavin Thomas Nicol)
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 93 09:04:12 JST

One thing I've been troubled by for a long time:

It seems to me that there is a fantastic amount of talent available on
the Internet (and perhaps off it too). There are also a lot of people
working on Freeware. The problem I see is that there is no
plan/organisation to it all. Everyone is off writing his or her
favorite tool/program, but there is very little thought of how it will
integrate, or there is a lot of duplication. 

This worries me because it means that a Freeware software set will
generally never be as good as a even Windows, because every
application will have a different UI, and it will be difficult to have
them all work together (for example, importing a spreadsheet into a
wordprocessor). FSB's will forever be a niche market unless we can get
something as good as, or better than the current system out to the
users. It seems to me that a little planning early on will save a lot
of time later.

I am generally not in favor of too much organisation, but it seems to
me that Freeware suffers from too little. If someone/some organisation
were to produce a rough design for the future Freeware desktop (for
example, just mapping out the major components needed), and then just
had a kind of "project registry", it would be better than the current
situation, and I think people would buy into the "Unified Freeware
System" idea when they start developing.  

I know the FSF has a registry and a task list, but I connot see the
complete FSF system in my mind. All I see is a hodgepodge collection
of stuff from the Internet, not a unified system.

Anyone have any comments?