Subject: Re: Successful FSBs
From: "Forrest J. Cavalier III" <>
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 09:40:15 -0500 (EST)

> To:            "Tim O'Reilly" <>
> Subject:       Re: Successful FSBs
> From:          "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
> Organization:  The XEmacs Project

> >>>>> "Tim" == Tim O'Reilly <> writes:
>     Tim> But if I can, say, just go to cpan and get the module I need
>     Tim> without writing any code, I've just accomplished a huge
>     Tim> amount of re-use.
> I think you're overestimating how much you've accomplished.  But be
> that as it may....

I think there is an accomplishment.  Defining "reuse" is hard, and
I should have known better than to introduce the term into discussion
here.  But some easy-to-see advantages of Tim's example are:
   there was a definite place to look[1] 
   with a reasonable chance of success in a reasonable search time
   of getting something in a form you could likely use
   without invoking a (formal) purchasing process.

Closed-source software offers a penalty for each of
those.  There is no definite place to look. It is
hard to bound search times. It is hard to verify that
you can use something before acquisition. (There are no
standards. You can't inspect) The formal purchasing
process adds time and delay that a programmer might choose
to spend instead on redevelopment.


[1] - Perl has CPAN.  Without a corresponding "one search
place" for C and other languages, only some of the advantages
are present.  If you looked at rocketaware, freshmeat,
and sourceforge, I think you would be reasonably certain there
wasn't any open source already available to do what you want in C.