Subject: Re: Non-proprietary software?
From: Brian Bartholomew <bb@wv.com>
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 04:34:41 -0400

> I have a nearly infinite supply of zeros and ones that you are
> welcome to use in any way you see fit.  These ones and zeros are not
> branded, QC'ed, marketed, documented, and have no future.

I think that's silly and doesn't address my point.  When I buy a
railcar of corn, I get corn -- but I don't care very much who I buy it
from, and it has a very competitive price.

There is the technical question of whether software can be specified
or tested cheaply enough to ever be a commodity.  If it can't be
tested, then probably I'm stuck with a brand.  However, this brand
could be managed in the least proprietary manner that still preserves
the brand technically.  For instance, the FSF brand seems to survive
copying much better than the commercial Linux distribution brands.

> Well, it seems clear that what he wants is the instantiation of an
> idea, without paying someone for that instantiation.

It's not paying that irks me, it's paying proprietary-derived prices.

-----

> For each software construct that you create and place in the pool of
> shared software, you get a dynamic number of softbucks, which can be
> used over and over again to procure more software.

As a software creator I wouldn't be excited by such a plan, because it
seems unlikely to gain me credits in US Dollars, which I could use
towards the rent.


League for Programming Freedom (LPF) ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/lpf/patents.text
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Brian Bartholomew - bb@wv.com - www.wv.com - Working Version, Cambridge, MA