Subject: Re: Win32-OS/2 on other platforms?
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 13:59:51 -0500 (EST)

[ To fsb readers: timur@io.com is working on a freely-available
toolkit to make Win32 applications run on OS/2 Warp.  A web page on
the subject is at <http://www.io.com/~timur/win32os2.html>. ]

On Thu, 29 Jan 1998 timur@io.com wrote:
> No, it'll be free, we just don't want anyone to have the source code. One of
> the developers, whose clients includes some of the big OS/2 users, says that
> some corporations don't like using tools for which the source code is freely
> available.

I think they'll change their minds in a year or so, or go out of
business.  Here's why.

First, let me point out that any corporation using the Internet is
already using tools for which the source code is freely available.  All
DNS service is provided by BIND or by a modified version thereof;
nearly all TCP/IP stacks are BSD's, or modified versions thereof.
Every company that uses Unix workstations uses X, to which the
source is freely available, for a GUI.

Furthermore, many well-known companies are using gcc for their in-house
development, and also to support the hardware they make. Hitachi, Sega,
and Mitsubishi have entered deals with Cygnus to support their
microcontrollers and video game machines with gcc.  Wind River, the
makers of VxWorks, provide gcc for their customers.

All companies using Internet Explorer are using code from NCSA Mosaic,
which had freely-distributed source, although you couldn't sell it
without a deal with NCSA.  All companies using Netscape will be using a
tool with freely-distributed source within three months, since Netscape
is releasing Communicator's source on the Internet by the end of
March.

More than half of all Web servers are Apache, including
www.mcdonalds.com, www.kimberly-clark.com, www.harley-davidson.com,
www.kinkos.com,  www.starwars.com, www.Kotex.com, and
www.geocities.com.  Apache's source is freely available.

Why is software with freely-available source so popular?  Well, it
tends to be a lot more reliable, a lot more secure, a lot better
maintained, a lot more flexible, and a lot more fixable. You're not at
the mercy of your vendor's business plans or business failures; you
know that, if the software is freely redistributable and has source
available, *someone* will continue to maintain it.

Many large companies see source availability as a big plus, because
they often need to license source code anyway -- simply because the
product as shipped doesn't meet their needs.

Anyway, here are some thoughts for you; you're welcome to keep the Win32-OS/2 sources
to yourselves;, from my point of view; after all, you wrote them!  But I suspect that
the resistance to the idea in the commercial world is not as strong as you might th

ink.

Kragen