Subject: Re: open source winter
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 2 Apr 1999 15:13:25 -0500

   Date: 2 Apr 1999 20:06:25 -0000
   From: Russell Nelson <>

   Ian Lance Taylor writes:
    > I think the effect will be to return free software to roughly the
    > state it was in five years ago: perceived as hackerware or hobbyist
    > code, not suitable for use in serious commercial enterprises.

   That would be a prejudice.  Free markets punish prejudice.  Those
   companies which continued to use free software on the basis of its
   benefits to them would prosper over those which reject it based on a

Eventually, sure, but it's a slow process.  Ideas that came out of AI
are creeping back into software packages these days (e.g., you can ask
Altavista a question).  Of course, they don't call it AI.

The point of free software winter, as I see it, is not that free
software will vanish from the earth.  It's that the process of
absorbing free software, and the lessons it can teach about making
software useful and reliable, into the mainstream will be slowed