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Yet another generic "free" vs. "open source" thread

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Yet another generic "free" vs. "open source" thread
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2011 23:33:25 +0900

This is my last post in this thread on this list.  I've created a
separate list on my own host, "address@hidden".
It's a mailman list, subscribe as usual.  It will be open post until
it gets spam, then posting will be restricted to members.  The only
on-topic content restriction is that you're not allowed to complain
that the list's name is inappropriate given the owner's philosophy.
Archives are available in /pipermail/fs-phil/.  GMane subscription
welcome, but I'm not gonna bother myself.

MFT and Reply-To set.

I plan to reply to other posts in the thread; I will CC: authors and
recipients who aren't lists.

I considered Glenn's suggestion about moving the discussion to
gnu.misc.discuss, but I'm not known there and don't feel like working
out those issues on yet another list.

This may very well kill this thread dead on both lists. :-)  But....

David Kastrup writes:

 > Creating free software sucks as a business model because access to it is
 > by its nature not constrainable.  Any non-trivial companies working in
 > that area are working as
 > a) creating software on demand where the customer does not care about
 > the license.
 > b) creating distributions of free software and selling copies.
 > c) trying to make a service model around free software.

You forgot to mention that you don't call it a business model unless
it is the foundation of your *whole* business.

In any case, while open source advocates do have their eyes on
business models, for the ones I'm talking about, it's their personal
lives, and quite often, their working environment, where they really
care about the issues.

 > And so on.  While the companies crash and burn, they leave behind free
 > software, but without a developer base and ongoing commitment.

Who needs a company to crash and burn?  There are plenty of projects
which never got close to commercial distribution that left behind free
software, but without a developer base and ongoing commitment.  And
then there's MIT/X which was basically a corporate venture and the
world's suckiest GUI, but still going strong at 30 or so, while only a
couple of the companies are left (and most of those are Japanese,
where old companies never die, they just turn into social institutions).

 > Beyond a certain complexity, having the source code in your hand
 > without the brains behind it does not help.

Aye, *there* indeed is the rub.  Where is Ben Wing?  And Gerd
Moellmann?  Or Chuck Thompson (the main author of XEmacs's redisplay)?
Those are important questions.

 > FLOSS software rates awful under the metrics that the Open Source
 > movement is interested in.

Name names, please.  I really don't think you know what you're talking

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