Subject: Re: Proprietary software
From: "Jonathan S. Shapiro" <>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 19:04:05 -0400

> A number of Cygnus contracts did that, at least during the period when
> the hardware hadn't been announced yet.  E.g. we might add a new kind
> of instruction scheduling to GCC...

In support of what John is saying:

We were one of the customers Cygnus did this for.  Sometimes the
customer's hands are also tied; in our case by third-party NDA's.
Such NDA's *always* have an expiration clause.  My point here is that
there may be some external issue the customer hasn't articulated that
you can help them sort out a solution for.

One thing Cygnus did very effectively is manage the problem of which
enhancements could be released to which companies.  With the benefit
of hindsight, I did not appreciate at the time how much pain this must
be causing on our particular project.  I'ld be interested to here from 
the Cygnus crew how they actually manage this process; at some point
diff and patch just don't help anymore.