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From:
"Crispen, Bob" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Crispen, Bob
Date:
Mon, 19 Feb 2001 10:50:42 -0600
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>Of course you can do what you like with the code you write and, in general,
I
>agree with the open source movement, having made the odd contribution
myself.

>I do believe however that I should be able to profit from code I've written
if I
>wish to and that, for large organisations, such profits are a source of R&D
>funding that, if the code was open source, would be vastly reduced.

It sounds as though you've mistaken "what's wrong with open source
if everbody does it" with "what's wrong with open source if somebody
does it".  That is, nobody in the open source community, so far as I
know, is suggesting that this is the best way for everybody to license
software.  Nor is anybody suggesting that you should be forced to
license software this way.  What they are suggesting is that there's
a financial model that may make it attractive for some people to use
the open source model for developing and licensing software.

To conclude from "it isn't attractive to me or to my company" that
"therefore open source licensing should be outlawed" is solipsism.

Since I don't think this is what you meant, perhaps you might want
to try again when you have a moment?

>I certainly believe that MS Windows would be a far more stable product if
it was
>released as Open Source, but at what expense? How many people work for
>Microsoft, and how many would be redundant if it was all open source?

I think "redundant" is an excellent choice of words.

Mind you, I think there are sizes of projects that are susceptible
to the open source model and sizes of projects that aren't.  I have
grave doubts about whether NT could be developed as open source, at
least under the traditional open source development model.

And there's more to it than size.  Sometimes the desires of the
customer community are entirely different from the desires of the
developer community.  Say what you will about Office integration,
there isn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind that every single feature
was the result of customer, not developer, desires and priorities.
I don't see much way for a traditional, voluntary open source
development model, such as exists in Linux and FreeBSD, to
accommodate that.

However, that doesn't say that a traditional corporate development
model couldn't be made to coexist with an open source licensing
model.  blaxxun <http://www.blaxxun.com/> has a Community Source
license, but I haven't investigated it very closely.  I have no idea
whether there have been contributors from outside blaxxun or not, or
whether useful spinoffs have been generated (though I think I might
have heard of the latter, and haven't).

I've also heard of offers to open up the source code under one scheme
or another for products that are no longer under development.  Again
I don't know how successful this has been.  I'm on the hypermail team
which restarted a project that Tom Gruber and Kevin Hughes worked on
and then stopped developing, so perhaps this is an example on a small
scale.  Certianly the continuing development of hypermail has added
some useful functionality.
--
Bob Crispen
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