Re: More math and open source

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From: Dave Winer (
Date: Mon Sep 18 2000 - 17:35:57 PDT

Roy, I already know that. We've been through this whole loop over the last
few years. I wrote about it in my What is Open Source piece. Most of the
open source developers ignored the hype, are honorable people who like to
share their work, and many of them also do commercial software. We've run
the surveys, had the flamefests, and reached exactly the conclusion you did.
Releasing source is one of the things that all programmers do. Me too. I've
been releasing source since the 1970s.

The way this thread started was Lucas made yet another statement about open
source that is true of most software. Developers who choose to work on the
stuff they love generally go broke for the privlege. Nothing new there. In
25 years developing software, I've had two profitable years. Luckily they
were very profitable years, otherwise I do it for nothing, even though much
of my software is commercial.

If it's all right with you, when one of those statements comes up, I'm just
going to say my piece and hopefully no more lectures or proposals of sex
with barnyard animals have to be part of the discussion.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Fielding, Roy" <>
To: "'Dave Winer'" <>; <>
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2000 5:32 PM
Subject: RE: More math and open source

> > Hmmm, do you remember how this thread started?
> Yes. Being able to point out OSI's mistakes, and actually learning
> from them, are two separate things. You are halfway there. The people
> who have been actively developing open source software never paid any
> attention to OSI in the first place, aside from the opportunity it has
> given us (through conferences and symposiums) to meet each other
> in person.
> I develop commercial software, and I develop open source software,
> and sometimes I develop commercial open source software. The notion
> that there is a difference in the *people* who develop this software
> is only held by the seriously deranged and paranoid, both from within
> the group that claims to develop free software and from within the
> group that claims to develop commercial software. Holding out any one
> of them as an example for portraying what is meant by open source
> is a waste of time.
> This doesn't change the fact that some open source software development
> produces better software systems than the same projects done in a fully
> supported closed source setting (and yes, it is closed source -- that is
> common English, not a pejorative term). It also doesn't change the
> fact that open source alone is not sufficient to make a project succeed.
> But this is all stuff that I've written about Apache a half-dozen times
> already and is part of the public record.
> If you want to understand software development, the wrong way to do it
> is to listen to consultants and marketing departments. Beyond that,
> get a grip on reality and stop FoRKing old bits.
> ....Roy

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