Subject: Re: street performer protocol
From: Brian Bartholomew <>
Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 00:21:35 -0400

Brian> The 3M strategy is one I particularly like.

A 3M strategy where the latest, selling version is proprietary, with
source available to customers, and old versions are GPL.  The
company's enduring advantage is that it can do development better than
many other companies.  The software price/performance profiles look
like a chip company: total software capabilities exponentially go up,
prices of old products exponentially go down as they're paid off, and
then go thunk to zero as they become commodities.  Anyone who tries to
compete for support and enhancements on any given product finds their
"3M" competition abandoning the field to them -- but the product they
wanted to support has become a boring commodity.

Stephen> But I think it is hubris in the extreme to think that a
Stephen> commercial developer with a hot product in a hot market can
Stephen> achieve that degree of perfection, then stop on the last
Stephen> dime.

I agree, there will be slop.

Stephen> If some customers really need dog, but GNU has abandoned cat,
Stephen> where do they get it?

I propose that GNU hasn't abandoned it to the point of deleting the
source from their ftp servers.

A member of the League for Programming Freedom (LPF)
Brian Bartholomew - - - Working Version, Cambridge, MA