Subject: Re: the walls have ears
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 2 Jun 1999 16:22:11 -0000

Stephen J. Turnbull writes:
 > It's that freedom of software doesn't matter sufficiently much to
 > individuals in a certain class of users that they will pay for, or
 > even waste breath on demanding forcefully, source availability.  This
 > class will be large (IMO) and nearly invisible.

Okay, look at car repair.  I don't want to use Bob Young's example of
a car hood welded shut, because it's a contrivance to make a point
quickly.  However, there is a trend towards cars being more and more
complicated, and needing a higher level of knowledge.  That means that
people often can't repair their own car, or even hire their choice of
repairman for their car.

You're predicting that a large class of car owners won't care if this
trend continues to the point where only the original car dealer can
fix it.  Everybody knows that car dealer repairs are more expensive.
Do you *really* believe they're not going to care about this extra
expense?  Or are you saying that the cars which can only be repaired
by the dealer will be of sufficiently higher quality than cars which
have freedom of repair for the users to accept this expense?

Perhaps that might work in the automotive field, but it requires us to
believe that proprietary software is of obviously higher quality than
free software.  That's a stretch.

-russ nelson <>
Crynwr supports Open Source(tm) Software| PGPok | Good parenting creates
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice | an adult, not a perfect
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | child.