Subject: Re: street performer protocol
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 16 May 2000 20:46:41 -0700

   From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
   Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 12:28:07 +0900 (JST)

A couple of minor notes.  These don't argue against your main points.

   Looking at the history[1] of the semiconducter and biotech industries, I
   would predict that Red Hat's specialization in GPL'd code will soon
   end up in the garbage can.  (Presumably it already has, unless they've
   GPL'd Code Fusion.)  How far they go down that slippery slope is
   another issue; maybe they can even climb back up. :-)

My understanding is that Red Hat is in the process of putting the
elements of Code Fusion under the GPL.  I'm using quasi-inside
information here (sourceware.cygnus.com inside, not Red Hat inside),
but you can see it in this press release:
    http://www.redhat.com/about/2000/press_edk.html
if you note that the product is described as entirely open source.


   I think the best hope is organizations like Cygnus, with their roots
   firmly in several complementary fields: shrink-wrap proprietary
   solutions ("cash cow"), high-value-added free software consulting (ie,
   "Jonathan's market"), and infrastructure building (mostly pro bono,
   but also constitutes an investment in the consulting business).

When I was at Cygnus, the shrink-wrap proprietary solutions barely
paid for themselves.  They may even have lost money.  The hope was
that they would make real money eventually, but it's not clear to me
that that would ever have happened.  The real cash cow was the
value-added consulting, mainly gcc/binutils/gdb ports to new
microprocessors.

Ian