Subject: Re: Open letter to those who believe in a right to free software
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 18:49:15 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Ian" == Ian Lance Taylor <> writes:

    Ian> Richard often seems to be saying that all software should be
    Ian> required to be free, but he rarely actually says that.  What

I know.  I know that I am not the only one who disagrees with Richard
who regularly has trouble understanding him.  I am fairly sure that
few of those who do agree with him understand him; they just don't
bother to worry about it.

I have taken to rereading slabs of
before I write a response to Richard, and that helps, but it is no

    Ian> he actually says is that we should all work on free software.
    Ian> He doesn't say that we should be somehow prohibited from
    Ian> working on proprietary software; he merely says that it would
    Ian> be better for us to work on free software.

This I disagree with.  Proprietary software has an important economic
role; working on proprietary software may detract from, but surely
does not destroy, the community we have created.  An all-free-software
world would be a poor world, just as an all-proprietary software world
would be.  I am going to proceed to try and confirm that hypothesis (I
believe it is true, but would not be surprised, and actually would be
gratified, if it were not true---that is, if it turned out that
proprietary software has no important economic role after all).

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