Subject: Re: Thoughts on GPL
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 25 Feb 1998 04:57:01 -0000

Jonathan S. Shapiro writes:
 > I don't recall Cygnus doing this prior to their venture investment.  I
 > contend that what you are seeing is a transfer payment derived from
 > their strictly commercial activities,

John Gilmore has said that you are not correct.  Seems to me like he
has more information about it than you do, so I'm more inclined to
believe him.

 >     > Microsoft is still able to sell because the GPL community largely
 >     > ignores Windows and because Microsoft has monopoly control on the
 >     > API's and alters them with high frequency.
 >    "and because"?  You mean "because".
 > I meant "and because".  There are two distinct reasons:
 >   1. The GPL community dislikes windows
 >   2. The monopoly protection lies in the rate of change to the API,
 >      not in the compiler.
 > The first *may* be because of the second, but I think a lot of it is
 > just a visceral dislike of Windows.

Jon.  I'm changing the subject for the duration of this paragraph.  In
general the free software community dislikes windows because of
monopoly control of the rate of change to the API.  It's a way for
Microsoft to shift its intellectual property protection costs to
parties who program for it's OSes.  Since free software folks usually
program at least in part because they enjoy it, they naturally
gravitate to systems which are easy to program for.

 > Note that EGCS cannot be readily found from the Web site.  Cygnus
 > clearly does not view the project as important to their core
 > positioning.  

Maybe you have to pay them money in order to get it?  Just because
software is freely copyable, that doesn't mean that it's automaticly
free of charge.

 > Also, the very fact that they needed to fork is a circumstantial
 > indicator that the system isn't working.

Where "the system" is defined as "The FSF's version of gcc".  No more
than that.

-russ <>
Crynwr supports Open Source(tm) Software| PGPok |   Freedom is the primary
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice |   cause of Peace, Love,
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   |   Truth and Justice.