Subject: Re: contra-ESR and the principle of infinite exploitation
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 24 Dec 1998 03:51:32 -0000

Ian Lance Taylor writes:
 > I'm oversimplifying, of course.  Some advantages of open source come
 > from getting a wide array of testers, which essentially amounts to a
 > wide-spread beta distribution.  This is clearly helpful for a small
 > company in certain fields, less clearly so for a large one.

I think you're missing the biggest advantage of Open Source(tm) --
that it greatly reduces transaction costs.  Not only the transaction
cost of distributing the software, but the transaction cost of getting
information about potential improvements from customers back to
developers.  When the customers can *be* the developers, you're
tightening a very big feedback in the proprietary world down to zero
in the open source world.  And then, once that improvement has been
made, it can easily be given back to the project editors.

In any case, nobody is guaranteed an income.  Any plan to preserve
proprietary software to protect the pocketbooks of programmers will
likely make programmers richer, but everyone will be worse off by 
more than the amount the programmers get from it.

-russ nelson <>
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