Subject: Re: Would people pay to choose what gets developed next?
From: Brian Behlendorf <>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 17:16:44 -0800 (PST)

On 26 Feb 2001, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
> Brian Behlendorf <> writes:
> > > BTW, there was an issue with this sort of "directed development" a few
> > > years ago.  As I recall, RMS was concerned that Cygnus would concentrate
> > > on things that its customers wanted, to the possible detriment of the
> > > needs of the rest of the user community.  I think that Cygnus sailed
> > > through that moral quagmire pretty cleanly, but others might not.
> >
> > I don't see any moral quagmire - developers & their communities are free
> > to scratch their own itches only, and are under no obligation to scratch
> > someone else's.
> There was a potential moral quagmire, because gcc is a fairly complex
> program.  It was entirely possible for Cygnus to add complexities to
> the compiler which were geared to specific customer requirements, but
> which made other ports more difficult.

But that ignores Cygnus's interest which is in getting more gnu tools port
business, thus making it less portable would work against them.

The other alternative is the typical one: if you don't like it,
submit patches, or if they're too quickly dismissed, fork.

> In general I agree that Cygnus handled the quagmire well, because a
> large percentage of the engineering staff was committed to the overall
> goals of free software in general and the GNU project in specific.

Even if they're only committed to the long-term health of the GNU toolset,
aside from the GNU project or the FSF, their interests would be aligned
with the community's.