Subject: Re: Do We Need a New Evangelist
From: Ben Laurie <>
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 1999 15:38:04 +0100

Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> Yes, Ben, this is about marketing; I don't think we should be ashamed to
> admit that.  Unfortunately most people have a mental block that marketing
> equals deceit.  That's a ball and chain we'll have to carry, I guess.

Marketing is not inherently bad, but although it is not guaranteed to
mean deceit, it often does. Marketing can be, and is, used to sell
complete and utter worthless crap. Unfortunately, it works.

However, my fundamental problem with OSI is becoming clearer to me: I am
being asked to endorse[1] a term that is controlled by a closed,
self-appointed group that I have no control over. That group already
appears to be pushing the term in a direction I'm not particularly happy
with, and it doesn't seem to be particularly interested in addressing my
concerns. It seems I am not alone in having this view, either.

The advantage of "free software" as a term, in this context, is that it
is not controlled. Its definition is arrived at by common consensus, not
by the whims of some elite dictatorship.



[1] Don't say I'm not - every time someone describes Apache, for
example, as Open Source, and I don't jump up and down and say "no, it
isn't", I'm in a little deeper. I fear I'm going to have to start
pushing back harder than I have done so far.


"My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those
who work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the
first group; there was less competition there."
     - Indira Gandhi