Subject: Re: Opportunity lost? Challenge declined!?
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 00:36:48 -0400 (EDT)

Stephen J. Turnbull writes:
 > >>>>> "Tim" == Tim O'Reilly <> writes:
 >     Tim> I have to say I agree very much with what you've said here.
 >     Tim> An "all or nothing" approach just hardens positions.  I tend
 >     Tim> to see lots of signs of people coming towards the free
 >     Tim> software world,
 > They're coming toward open source, which, though technically
 > equivalent in the license definition, is _very_ different in terms of
 > the dynamics.  Note that many of the economic benefits that Eric
 > pushes apply to published but proprietary source code, as well as to
 > free software.

I don't believe this to be true.  The benefits derive from the freedom 
to fork.  Remove that -- and all proprietary code removes the freedom
to fork -- and you remove the benefits as well.

Very simple test case: BSDI.  Shared source business model, long
before Microsoft ever "invented" the idea.  And they even did it
right, by allowing BSDi customers to share source with each other.
So, how successful was BSDi over Walnut Creek, which served as the
commercial publisher of FreeBSD.  Or Wasabi Systems, which is a NetBSD 

 >     Tim> We need to encourage signs that people are moving in the
 >     Tim> right direction, towards openness, even if they aren't all
 >     Tim> the way there.
 > True, there is a need.  But should serving that need be in the charter of
 > this list?  Especially when their goal is almost certainly not "free,"
 > and never will be?  I think that the problem of running a business
 > based on free (by the strict definition) software is interesting,
 > important, and relevant to enough developers to deserve its own list.
 > That's what FSB is, right?

That's always been the idea.  You can see the first message to the
list by sending mail to

 > We need a separate list for the purpose of encouraging movement toward
 > openness by people who are starting from proprietary.  I wish the term
 > "open source" hadn't been coopted as a marketing ploy.  It's the
 > perfect name: "Open Source Software Business."  Maybe "Published Source
 > Software Business" is a good enough alternative?

Why not "Shared Source Software Business"?  You'd get a lot of

-russ nelson will be speaking at
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