Subject: Re: The merger: a user's perspective
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 15 Nov 1999 22:46:45 -0500

   Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 17:19:08 -0500
   From: "Bradley M. Kuhn" <bkuhn@ebb.org>

   I think this merger appears to be more about business than about community.  
I don't think there is any question about that.

The free software community is composed of individuals.  You wrote
your note as though Cygnus and Red Hat were members of the free
software community.  They are not.  They are corporations.  A
corporation is a different sort of community, and it is more or less
orthogonal to the free software community.

Both Cygnus and Red Hat (or perhaps I should say the original Red Hat
and its Cygnus subsidiary) employ people who are in the free software
community.  In fact, a significant number of people at both companies
are members of the free software community.  This is because both
companies were organized to make money from free software.

You shouldn't let this obscure the fact that everything that Cygnus
and Red Hat do, as corporations, is about business (or at least it
should be--corporations do make mistakes sometimes).  This includes
the merger.

The merger will affect the free software community.  But it will not
do so directly; it will do so because of its effect on some members of
the free software community.  I personally don't think the effect will
be major, and I don't think the effect will be negative.

   In the end, mergers are all about money, and I always had hoped that money
   in our community took a back seat to helping people.  I guess in the case of
   Red Hat and Cygnus, I was mistaken.

Yes, you were.  Red Hat and Cygnus, the corporations, were created to
make money, not to help people.  Both corporations do indeed help
people, but that is a path to the goal; it is not the goal itself.

Ian