Subject: Re: (Was Car Repair) Debian GNU/Linux project's model a good starting point for free software business models.
From: Brian Behlendorf <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 13:27:47 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 4 Jun 1999, R. Brock Lynn wrote:
> "Stephen J. Turnbull" wrote:
> > Software doesn't wear out, it
> > doesn't go out of tune, and it doesn't break in the present tense; any
> > analogy that requires that those characteristics are violated is
> > suspect.
> Yes.

I don't know about that.  The statement above presumes that the conditions
within which the software is used are static, when in reality, software
components both below and above in the hierarchy are constantly changing.
E.g., the Apache developers have to account for operating systems that
evolve (below), and new functionality and modules that users expect
(above).  I don't see this as functionally too different from "wearing
out" - both in the case of software conditions changing and in the case of
car parts wearing out over time, effort must be spent to even maintain the
status quo.  

> Planned Obsolescence: Just face it, IT STINKS. It is DETESTABLE. I REALLY DETEST
> long run such conduct will only come back to haunt you, or your children. Do
> people have values any more? Is there no sense of honor left in our business
> society? We really need to take the practices of planned obsolescence, and its
> kin, and basically replace them with more constructive measures. Eventually you
> will find a way to make money and cause the greatest gain for the whole system,
> and not just for a small part of it, at the detriment of a greater part.

I'm not sure if this fits, but I hear a countervailing force that says,
sometimes it's just time for old (OS's/API's/applications) to be retired
and die.  I think we're just plain lucky that no one's submitted a port of
Apache to MS-DOS to us, or we'd have to have a big long debate about
whether that platform was worth supporting or not.  =)  Again, I'm not
sure if this would fall into your definition of "planned obsolescence".