Subject: Re: Open letter to those who believe in a right to free software
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 23:03:05 +0200

On Sat, Oct 23, 1999 at 04:09:05PM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

> Please note that RMS does _not_ believe in an economics of abundance;
> if he did, development forks would be of no significance to him in
> terms of the community at large, they would purely be a matter of
> interpersonal issues.  But he consistently argue that they are a waste
> of resources.  Ie, he worries about scarcity.

Not quite, I believe ... "economics of abundance" is of course with
respect to available goods. The "waste of resources" refers to
manpower resources which does not seem not to vary much in proportion
to people using the resource (i.e. its scarcity does not vary over
time).  There may also be an intrinsic waste in terms of useless
compexity imposed on every one.

  However, an issue that is not sufficiently considered is that
diversity in itself is useful for ecological reasons : greater
evolutionary potential, greter resistance to threats (viruses, to take
a trivial example).

  Uniformity is, in my opinion one good reason to oppose proprietary
software, since, for various economic reasons (increasing returns in
particular), software publishing tends to be monopolistic (not just
for operating systems ... examples abound).

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