Subject: Re: Is the party over? was Re: MSIE "Smart Tags" -- what's the real deal?
From: Thomas Hudson <>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 22:05:40 -0700

On Wednesday, June 13, 2001, at 07:29 PM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

> Be of good cheer.  Free software is alive and well in the heart of the
> beast.
No. I am having a bad day. I was just informed that I can work tomorrow
but I won't get paid. We needed an additional $200k to cover our second
round of VC and no one came through. And I work for a non-free software
company. But I did so for free software.

After Red Hat bought Cygnus the product I worked on was killed and the
Atlanta office of Cygnus was killed. I begged Red Hat to open the source
and they refused.

I moved to Portland, OR, to help Gobe Software port their productivity
app to Linux. This is not an app that mimics MS Office, it is superior
to Office. It reads and writes every office format. It is designed by the
brilliant authors of both the original AppleWorks and ClarisWorks.
It was started because Apple was too stupid to understand the
authors need for a rewrite of the code base.

They wrote a killer version for BeOS. They hired me to port to Linux.
I came because I saw the potential. I saw the code in action.
This was closed source but I couldn't argue a good economic model
for the product. But I felt that if there was a valid alternative to 
on Linux for cheap ($99) that could allow customers to read and write
office docs,  it could provide a reason to move away from the strangle
hold. Especially with the upcoming licensing. I thought that if we give
a valid reason to move to a free OS, eventually people would question
an MS world. I work to subvert from the inside.

Gobe Productive is a superior product to MS Office. It runs on Windows 
and Linux.
And just as the IDE I worked on for Cygnus, none of you will ever see
it. Gobe Productive can read in a Word document and render it to
HTML better than MS. Gobe Productive does everything in a single
canvas; a rotated spreedsheet is still live.  But I've done nothing in 
last three years...

Jobs (and I hope you read this) tried to buy us and backed out at the 
minute. You can sue me but I'm worthless. But I will say this product on
OSX would be the Nazz.

So I'm jobless after working on two projects that I truly believed would 
change the
world. There are no free software jobs. And the only really cool OSS 
(Cygnus) no longer exists. Red Hat will *never* be Cygnus. Tiemenn, you 
sold your