Subject: Re: Sun, BSD, and GNU
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 10:07:07 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Craig" == Craig Brozefsky <> writes:

    >> Where is it written that a free software company must produce
    >> _only_ free software?  I'm willing to stipulate that for
    >> discussion on this list[1], but only after predicting
    >> If you insist on considering only "pure" free software
    >> businesses to be free software businesses at all, then your
    >> lunch is going to get eaten by free software written by
    >> non-free-software businesses.

    Craig> Wow.  That's a bold prediction with absolutely no evidence
    Craig> to substantiate it.

It's about as bold as telling red laser advocates that somewhere in
the spectrum there are going to be feasible lasers that work better
for optoelectronics.  (I don't know whether I lose that physics bet or 
not; let me know off line ;-)

Actually, it's a little bit more than just size of spectrum; the
non-free-software business by definition has proprietary revenue
stream to subsidize its free software development.  I'm willing to bet 
that by now somebody in Microsoft has proposed releasing the the
source to Windows NT 3.5 to kill Linux with.  That won't work, just as 
releasing Mozilla has been pretty disappointing in many ways.

But somebody with a better handle on how the free software segment of
the industry works (ie, developer as well as user psychology) will
apply that principle.  Restricting yourself to pure free software is
tying one hand behind your back in that kind of battle.  Thus, my

University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
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What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."