Subject: Re: Do We Need a New Evangelist
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 1 Apr 1999 13:12:12 -0500

   Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 12:49:20 -0500
   From: Scott Goehring <scott@poverty.bloomington.in.us>

   I have long contended that ESR's "Homesteading" thesis is incorrect.

I agree that it is not essentially correct.

   The primary motivation behind writing libre software is
   self-enablement; that is, people write libre software to solve a
   problem that they need solved, usually for their own use.

I disagree somewhat: there are many motivations for writing libre
software.  I agree that the one you cite is a common one.


Understanding the motivations of libre software authors is important
for businesses like Netscape which want to encourage programmers to
work for them for free.  It is less important for companies like
Cygnus which simply pay people to work on libre software (*).  It is
scarcely important at all for companies like Red Hat who simply
repackage and distribute libre software (**).

Since I haven't really tracked Mozilla or any other ``dual license''
product at all, I'm curious as to what people can report about what
efforts they make to motivate programmers from the libre community,
and how successful they are.


(*) Cygnus does have a component of encouraging programmers to work
for them, in the area of eCos, but in the GNU arena Cygnus expects to
do all the work itself.  And, of course, the motivation of Cygnus
employees matters to Cygnus, but that is a fairly conventional
business issue.

(**) I'm overlooking Red Hat's increasing moves into funding libre
software development.

Ian