Subject: Re: The merger: a user's perspective
From: "Bradley M. Kuhn" <bkuhn@ebb.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 08:29:51 -0500

Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> >>>>> "Bradley" == Bradley M Kuhn <bkuhn@ebb.org> writes:
> 
>     Bradley> I sure hope it does.  It just seems to me too early for
>     Bradley> us to see the precious few companies that have any (even
>     Bradley> partial) corporate dedication to freedom merging right
>     Bradley> now.
 
> Well, I admit I approve of decentralization and competition on
> economic grounds.  But from the point of view of promiting freedom,
> are you sure companies are the right thing to count?  Shouldn't we
> count developers, and projects?

They are just one factor to count.  You are right that the other two you
mention are more important.

I guess I have a particular interest in free software companies, because I
am searching for a place to work where I don't have to compromise my FSF-ish
free software ethics.

> What Bob Young and Michael Tiemann are claiming is that the merger will
> help them support more developers (not _employees_) and more projects.

I hope that's true.
 
> DJ Delorie says he's worried that that won't happen.

That concerns me.  His opinion holds a lot of weight in my book.
 
> I think that's the relevant debate, not whether the count of free software
> firms goes up or down.

You are probably right.  I think that's the point Kragen was making in his
original post.  I am sorry if I skewed the discussion because I want to find
a job.  :)

> BTW, I suspect that Bill Joy at Sun (somewhat speciously) and Jonathan
> Shapiro at IBM (with IMHO somewhat better grounds) will be upset to hear
> you excluding their firms from the group with "partial corporate
> dedication" to free software, as small and fragile as that part might be.

I think it's great that there's a *tiny* division of IBM supporting free
software.  I thank them for their contribution.  But, when the overwhelming
force of the company is for proprietary software, I don't consider them as
dedicated the the community.

It's like a large paper company who is destroying old growth forests on a
daily basis giving $10,000 to Greenpeace.  Sure, it's a great contribution,
but when their day-to-day work is in completely opposition to what
Greenpeace does, are they really supporting Greenpeace?


As for SUN, have they released any free software (the SUN Community License
isn't a free software license)?

-- 
         -  bkuhn@ebb.org  -  Bradley M. Kuhn  -  bkuhn@gnu.org  -
                          http://www.ebb.org/bkuhn