Subject: Re: Source code becoming less important
Date: 1 Jun 1999 13:45:28 -0000

>   From:
>   Date: 31 May 1999 20:00:20 -0000
>   I'll add a cautionary note about looking too closely to cars and cell
>   phones for guidance to the importance of being able to upgrade the
>   software in them.
>Although I'm sure I could have expressed it better, my basic argument
>is that the way software is used is becoming more like cars and cell
>phones and less like general purpose computers.  So I don't think you
>are actually arguing against what I am trying to say.

I don't think so either (based on what I remember about your post).

I was just sharing my increasingly byzantine ways of viewing this
whole equation.  That's why I said "cautionary note" -- analogies
don't always hold up.  Similarly, I view Linux' (media) success as
being fundamentally due to its being a *platform*, not just a
*product* (component), which IMO amplifies the benefits of its being
GPL'ed over some non-libre-virus license, so I try to be careful to
not assume, or promote the idea, that any *other* GPL'ed program
will be seen as having the same prominence vis-a-vis other, non-libre
products in *its* category.  (If it's not seen as a platform, it's
easier for users to switch products in that category, because getting
locked in to a particular product is seen as less problematic.
That means the advantage fairly unique to GPL'ed programs -- that
they offer a combination of *allowing* forks without allowing "walled",
or proprietary, forks -- is likely to be seen as less important.)

        tq vm, (burley)