Subject: Re: Open letter to those who believe in a right to free software
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 17:11:08 +0200

On Thu, Oct 28, 1999 at 03:15:39PM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
>     Bernard> One has every reason to believe that proprietary
>     Bernard> developement is a lot more inefficient ... reuse is
>     Bernard> forbidden between competing product.
> What do you think a patent pool is?  What do you think sale of
> proprietary libraries is?  What do you think publication of external
> protocols and APIs is?

Patents pools share ideas... not code

and appropriation does introduce viscosity, which is especially bad in
a fast moving technology.

>     Bernard> modularization is far from marginal ... neither is
>     Bernard> promoting/enforcing standards. Multi-granularity
>     Bernard> competition is another. Effective debugging (and I am
>     Bernard> sticking to what concerns development).
> It _is_ marginal in the sense that the best-practice proprietary firms
> do it too.

Not so well apparently. I was yesterday on a panel with someone from
Computer Associates, and he told me that they are currently modifying
their production organisation to benefit from lessons learned from
free-software production.

but, for example, "multi-granular competition" is not possible in
industry... and it is a major quality factor.

And math develops slowly not because of its economic model, but very
simply because it is hard.

  The computer industry does not go any faster... the illusion of
speed comes from the flurry of not so difficult programs that the
industry is pouring out for a fast buck. But there is little real
creativity there, not much that is not fairly simply attained by any
competent professional who looks at the problem.

--             ,_  /\o    \o/    Tel  +33 1 3963 5644  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  Fax  +33 1 3963 5469
            INRIA / B.P. 105 / 78153 Le Chesnay CEDEX / France
         Je n'exprime que mon opinion - I express only my opinion