Subject: Re: Studies
From: (David Fickes)
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 20:44:59 -0800 (PST)

> Someone said that one of the big differences between the GNU developer
> community and the Linux developer community is their attitude toward
> commercial software.  If I understand correctly, the FSF was founded on
> the premise that proprietary software is immoral, and should be stamped
> out, if possible.  

Not the really the case. My discussion with Richard Stallman four
weeks ago touched on this very issue and he's either mellowed with
age or simply has been widely misrepresented. 

> This attitude seems to be almost nonexistent among
> people whose introduction to free software was Linux.

> I think that the current amazing commercial acceptance of Linux is due, to
> some part, to the Linux developers' openness to commercial software.
> Schlumberger and Corel are two well-known examples; I suspect that there
> are many, many more companies who are closet Linuxers.

Actually, a lot of the commercial software such as Corel onto Linux
is not due to the "developers" but 1. demand from Universities for
software such as Mathmatica to run on Linux and 2. rather some rather 
well-connected people from the commercial software world who are
working for Linux companies (Corel, Adabas-D). (please note that 
companies considered in #2 are free loaders according to L. Peter). 
Largely the dynamics of free licenses work more to the benefit
of developers rather than users. Most of the software that we run
our business here is straight proprietary and costs some serious
dollars and a lot of the time the effort to track down, install
and use some freeware equivalents are simply not worth the time
or effort, when I can buy an off-the-shelf supported solution for
less than US$500. Interestingly enough, I've just moved my 
desktop to Solaris recently from SunOS and one of the reasons
was 1. Font support from Adobe and 2. Tom Christensen's Solaris
freeware site with freeware in pkgadd format (ie freeware that simply
installs and runs). 


David Fickes                             
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