Subject: Re: Exploring the limits of free software: Cygnus, and GPL
Date: 26 May 1999 03:13:47 -0000

>Free software standards, such as they are, tend to be defined by an
>implementation rather than a specification.

Indeed.  "We" have been, however, very busy the past 10+ years with
the job of cloning and extending proprietary "standards" so that they
run on a wide variety of platforms, and the source code for them
is reasonable manageable.

The question is, now that we're beginning to run out of proprietary
standards to reimplement -- I suppose the verdict's not yet in as to
whether we're outpacing the proprietary-development model overall yet,
but *those* folks are still busy reinventing each others' wheels for
pretty much each platform -- will we begin to take, more seriously,
the importance of thoughtfully designed, up-front-specified, products
and platforms?

It's easy for me to say "yes" based on the assumption that, since I believe
such things have value, and I believe the OSS development model finds
value of that sort better and faster than the proprietary-development
model, the market will *make* it happen.  But that's a bit of a cop-out,
since I don't know, offhand, *how* it'll make it happen, which means I
don't know if it's possible (to a sufficiently useful degree).

        tq vm, (burley)