Subject: Re: street performer protocol
From: Craig Brozefsky <craig@red-bean.com>
Date: 23 May 2000 22:35:00 -0700

"Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp> writes:

> Nor is the scenario of simultaneous implosion implausible.  Debian,
> for religious reasons, I presume, makes it quite difficult to install
> KDE.  But I bet they provide a lot of high-quality beta testers for
> Gnome, as well as a fair amount of development.  Still, suppose RH's
> revenue stream has a (prolonged) hiccup and they decide to cut
> Gnome/Gtk funding, emphasize former Cygnus projects, and buy into KDE.
> Gnome will survive, but I would bet that this would probably either
> force Debian to come to terms with KDE or get marginalized in the
> market for integrated desktop OSes.  Either way, the (core) Gnome
> vendors disappear all at once.

Stephen, your presumption that Debian's issues with the KDE license
are religious in nature are entirely ungrounded.  Not only has Debian
made public why they do not ship SOME KDE components (they ship the
ones which would not entail violating licenses for them to ship), but
they have spent hours working with KDE developers about the issue.

Debian has ALREADY come to terms with KDE.  Joseph Carter and others
have worked tirelessly to clear up the licensing issues many KDE
packages have and have met with limited, but some, success.  There are
KDE packages available for Debian from Debian developers but not
included in the main archive.  KDE components that are not subject to
the GPL/QT incompatability issues are included in Debian already.
Debian announced a straegic alliance in April of last year with Corel
and KDE.

I'm not sure your analysis of Gnome stands either.  But since I am not
heavily involved with the project to a point where I would know what
effects RHs "unfunding" would have, I have to give you the benefit of
the doubt.  If it is indeed the case I think it's a mistep for Gnome,
and not a general problem with FS projects.

> What I (and I think most FSBers) want to hear about is how OSS can
> preserve its presence in markets where it exists today, and extend it
> to markets where it isn't yet.  Your claim bears somewhat on the first
> issue (although it does not address the countervailing issue of
> technical stagnation that should occur due to the decrease in revenue
> you point out later in your post---where you ignore, as always, its
> impact on future development).  By definition, no bearing at all on
> the second issue.

I think an important thing is for FS projects to have communities
which can draw funding, if any is needed, from a diverse pool of
supporters, and are not reliant upon one or two major benefactors.
This can take several forms.  It could be having some people involved
with the project who are good at convincing people with money to help
the project along.  It could also entail having key personel for the
project spread across several companies.

Projects have survived for a long time without FSBs, and the same
strategies they deployed then can be re-deployed in the future if
funding from FS vendors becoms scarce.

For an FSB, this can mean ensuring that the community for projects you
supports extends beyond the bounds of your organization.  One can do
this by having project advocates that extoll the virtues of
cooperating with the project to other companies, or your clients.  It
can also entail making sure the the support infrastructure for the
development of the project is inclusive of outsiders and encourages
others to participate.  And lastly, it can mean making sure that the
license your project is distributed under is something that your
prospective developer community can understand and agree too.


-- 
Craig Brozefsky               <craig@red-bean.com>
Lisp Web Dev List  http://www.red-bean.com/lispweb
---  The only good lisper is a coding lisper.  ---