Subject: Re: Software quality: free vs. proprietary
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 09:53:17 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Crispin" == Crispin Cowan <> writes:

    Crispin> What is interesting is to observe the relative success as
    Crispin> each community tries to invade the other's space,
    Crispin> i.e. Compare GIMP (invading on Photoshop) to NT (invading
    Crispin> on Linux).  It seems to me that open source desktop apps
    Crispin> are doing a better job of meeting the needs of users than

Where they do it.  I must admit that the sheer waste of timeM-DEL
M-DEL M-DELeffort involved in putting together all the bitmaps and
stuff for the GIMP and Enlightenment surprised me, pleasantly.  Maybe
free software can do the un-fun nitty-gritty details even if nobody is
paid to do it.

But free fonts, especially for large character sets (Japanese,
Chinese, Unicode), still suck (less so than most $20 for 100 fonts
proprietary fonts, of course), and there ain't no free Japanese OCR
yet.  Still, the examples you pose give me hope that the dividing line
between what nobody even half-sane would do without being paid _a
lot_, and what might actually be done in the free regime, is on the
happy side of fonts and stnof (inverse of fonts == OCR feature data).

    Crispin> proprietary systems are doing of meeting the needs of
    Crispin> systems users.  I expect that as time goes by, GNOME/KDE
    Crispin> will eat more of Win98's lunch than NT will eat of Linux
    Crispin> and *BSD's lunch.

I should think so.  But Microsoft's marketing notwithstanding, AFAICT
NT's design simply wasn't tuned to compete with Unix in the Internet
market.  Actually, I've never really been able to figure out what NT's
niche is supposed to be; a techie trophy for Bill, I guess.

I would appreciate an education on this point.

    Crispin> However, such speculation (whether done by an "amateur"
    Crispin> like me, or a professional Economist) is just wanking^W
    Crispin> fortune telling.  The proof will be in the pudding.

    Crispin> Crispin Cowan, CTO, WireX Communications, Inc.

I'm sure your customers will be _real_ pleased to hear you're an
amateur.  Bodes not well for future support.  Good thing it's open
source (I assume).  :-)

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."