Subject: Re: Do We Need a New Evangelist
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen Sitaker)
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 11:51:57 -0500 (EST)

Russ Nelson writes:
> Well, that's why we have a trademark on Open Source(tm).  We intend to
> limit use of it to those projects which we expect to be successful --
> that is, those for which programmer freedom is an important and
> necessary characteristic.

Are these two categories synonymous?  Does programmer freedom being
important and necessary [to the licensor, I assume you mean] ensure
that the project will be successful?  I don't think so.  Witness all
the word-processor projects and web-browser projects.

I fear that some companies will start "open source" projects, and then
not get all they'd hoped for, and loudly and publicly shut down the
projects.  Think of Corel's Java suite.

"Oh, I'll release this and then the Net will do all my work for me.
Everyone will be happy to contribute to my code, and then I'll have a
great piece of software I can license for huge sums to my competitors.
And it will be bug-free, just like Linux."

That's my fear.  Trouble is, it doesn't work that way, as we both know.

-- 
<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
This is exactly how the World Wide Web works: the HTML files are the pithy 
description on the paper tape, and your Web browser is Ronald Reagan. 
  -- Neal Stephenson, at http://www.cryptonomicon.com/beginning_print.html