Subject: Re: the walls have ears
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 10:08:55 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "rn" == Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> writes:

    >> And some people will go for broke.  Thanks to Karsten Self, who
    >> advised me of http://www.abisource.com/.  I'm on record as
    >> saying it won't work, by which I mean it won't ever get
    >> significant share (>=1%) in the Windows market, nor will
    >> anything like 100% of Linux/Windows dual-booting types trash
    >> their copies of Word for it (make that ">=50%" for the purposes
    >> of keeping score).

    rn> I think you're setting their sights too high.  Maybe they're
    rn> not out to save the world from Windows, but instead just to
    rn> pay their mortgages?

To be argumentative, my friends in real estate economics tell me that
the best way to insure that your own mortgage gets paid is to go for
the big win.  You may end up with negative net worth for substantial
amounts of time, but the bank will let you ride until you do get that
big win if your trend looks positive (or at least less negative than
everybody else's!)  Support-oriented FSB's may not need to go that
way, but despite selling support, AbiSource looks to me to be
dependent on a single product, thus they need a fairly big win in the
development arena.  The same logic _may_ apply; I'll gladly hear (and
verify ;-) a proof that it doesn't.

But the real answer is:  No.  I'm setting _my_ sights.  _Some_ people
on this list are out to save the world from Windows (me among them),
but I do not propose that anyone sacrifice themselves or their
mortgages to that cause.

Tell me that the goal of saving the world from Windows is
inappropriate to this list and give me a definition to work with and
I'll happily reset my sights.  I'm a professional analyst, and
would-be "free software business" consultant (and probably a libre
"software business consultant", but I don't know how to do that yet,
I'm not going to do it if it doesn't support itself), not (in any big
way) a developer myself.

You can help by adding to this list of appropriate criteria for
success of a free software product.  They are not mutually exclusive;
one person can hold several simultaneously---of course, that's a good
way to not accomplish any of them, but we're in it for freedom, go for
it if you think you can do it ;-)---and surely several people will
have several different goals among them.  (Offline; I'll summarize if
length happens to exceed two within the week ;-)

1.  "Save the world from Windows."
2.  "Pay my mortgage."


-- 
University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
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What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."