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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: arch and linux 2.7

From: Tom Lord
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: arch and linux 2.7
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2003 14:44:42 -0800 (PST)

    > From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden>

    > I'm sick of the gratuitous Larry-bashing.

Especially because there's no need for _gratuitous_ Larry-bashing when
there's so many ways to engage in _principled_ bashing.

But let me try not to engage even in that, but rather to paint a fair
and balanced picture:

To their credit, Larry and BitMover have "put revision control on
radars".   They have at least got people to think about the issue.

To their discredit, they brought the issue to the table in the context
of "Linus doesn't scale" -- but they have not taken _any_ steps to
prove the existence of such a problem or to prove that they have
solved or improved the situation.

To their credit, Larry and Bitmover have created a successful company,
employed several people and so forth.

To their discredit, they have done so without adopting a free software
business model.  This is really quite stunning because, by Larry's own
public accounts, he got business model advice from at least one Red
Hat executive -- Red Hat being a company that has on several occasions
publicly reaffirmed its own commitment to a free software model.  It
seems to me that one of five conclusions follow:

(a) BK is snake oil.   It is a waste of money for customers who pay
    BitMover.   The business model advice from RH execs was along the
    lines of "how best to sell snake oil".

(b) Red Hat missed an opportunity.  They could have encouraged BM to
    adopt a free software model and become one of their premier
    customers.  They could have, progressively, not paid merely for
    support, but have paid BM to "keep making BK better, paying close
    attention to customer feedback".  Given the relative scales of the
    two companies, even if RH were the _only_ initial customer, I 
    think it extremely plausible that BM would still have gotten off
    the ground and the expansion of what "free software business
    model" includes would have benefited everyone involved.

(c) The Red Hat executive is hypocritical.  RH is, in fact, a BM
    customer.  Their commitment to free software business models is
    hypocritical hype.

(d) The Red Hat executive is immorally opportunistic.  They dont'
    actually believe in free software business models in the abstract,
    they're simply willing to "talk the talk" if it benefits their 
    shareholders while, behind the scenes, actively undermining such

(e) The advice from Red Hat execs was random garbage.

To Larry's and BM's credit, they have tried to help the free software
movement by providing a gratis tool to anyone who will use it.

To their discredit, as a condition of use of the gratis tool, they
have failed to provide freely modifiable and redistributable source,
have forbidden those who would use it from developing free software
alternatives, and have hung a litigious sword of damacles over the
heads of those users who would interact with others developing free
alternatives.  In short, Larry's professed aim of advancing the free
software movement is undermined by his licensing actions aimed at
undermining that very same movement.

Overall, I have trouble shaking the phrase "bloodsucking leaches" from
my mind.

    > What do I (really X 1) mean?  A libel suit.  Naming Miles and Paul as
    > defendents.  The statements are public, defamatory, and not self-
    > evidently true.  

SINAL (Stephen Is Not A Lawyer).


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