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Re: Google modules integration

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Google modules integration
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2010 11:50:26 -0400

    Google's primary proprietary "hook" there is, of course, its
    proprietary databases.  Given that raw data, rather than simply
    and affordably sell copies and let people write their own programs
    to use the maps, Google hords the data in order to gain a 
    monopoly over what programs may be used to process it.

This is a lot like the Google search engine: What the service does is
let you look through their data.  That is not SaaS.

      You would like it centered upon 
    a particular cemetary of historic significance, you would like to 
    highlight some famous landscapes, and you would like to 
    compute and highlight a route of travel that hits a customized 
    list of landscapes.

That is still looking at their data
rather than doing your own computing.

    Two elements are  involved in producing your map:  a lot of 
    data - a huge database - plus some programs that take your
    input, do some computations on them, and give you back results.

    That, per your definition is SaaS and Google Maps is an example.

The user's "input" is simply a specification of which part of their
data the user wants to see.

The point of SaaS is that the site does nontrivial computing that, by
nature, is your computing.  In these cases, it is trivial.  So I think
you are treating insignificant amounts of "your own computing" as
significant.  With that interpretsation, all web servers appear to be
SaaS.  Even in a purely static web site, the user provides some input
-- a URL -- and gets a result depending on the input.

So that is the wrong criterion.

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