Subject: Re: Open Source shareware?
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 12:39:18 +0200

On Mon, Sep 16, 2002 at 06:08:52PM -0400, Adam Turoff wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 16, 2002 at 01:18:49PM -0700, Rich Morin wrote:
> > I actually have quite a bit of sympathy for that position; I'd love to be
> > supported so that I could simply work on my research interests.  
> Who wouldn't?
> That's an idealized model though, available to a select few
> individuals in this world -- people like Steven Wolfram and perhaps
> the brilliant folks at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies,
> PARC, or whatever AT&T Bell Labs is called this week.  Most
> "researchers" need to both (1) keep their research relevant, and
> (2) spend a lot of time looking for funding.
> > I even
> > think it would be a good investment for the community.  I don't see this
> > happening, however, so I'm trying to develop a workable business model.
> Bucky Fuller and John Brunner had some interesting ideas in the 1970's 
> about paying people to "just think": one person in a thousand is likely
> to come up a really killer idea that would easily carry the other 999.
> Two or three brilliant people per thousand would not be out of the
> question.
> That's a nice model on paper, but I've never seen it close to being
> workable in this world.

you should look harder ...

  it is called scientific research ...
  and also venture capital

   much or most of it is wasted, but when it does produce, it pays for
everything and more.


> All examples of people working full-time on open source that I can
> think of involve (1) someone of significant means that doesn't need
> to worry about income, (2) an organization large enough to devote
> a significant amount of money on R&D, or (3) a business that's
> created to address a specific need in the tech sector through a
> dual-pronged open source strategy (some free code + fee-based
> services; Zope, Sleepycat, MySQL, Aladdin, and Easy Software (CUPS)
> come to mind).


already in place.

but somehow, it is not yet accepted to do that for software.
  For some time, I have been convinced that software development has
to follow an academic rather than industrial model.
  The role of industry, in my opinion, is more to develop specific
applications and build information systems.  But this is of course an
oversimplified view.

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