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Path: utzoo!watmath!bstempleton
From: bstemple...@watmath.UUCP (Brad Templeton)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards
Subject: GNU considered harmful to software quality
Message-ID: <5919@watmath.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 7-Oct-83 02:27:48 EDT
Article-I.D.: watmath.5919
Posted: Fri Oct  7 02:27:48 1983
Date-Received: Fri, 7-Oct-83 09:17:45 EDT
Organization: U of Waterloo, Ontario
Lines: 71

A recent proposal by RMS@MIT-OZ suggests a public domain Unix type
operating system.  This idea could be the most dangerous thing to
the world of software, and could result in tremendous setbacks in
the advancement of software quality.  The most dangerous element is
contained in this quote, which I feel is not out of context.

	  "Without a proprietary operating system,
	   how can my company get a competitive edge?"
	
	GNU will remove operating system software from the realm of
	competition.  You will not be able to get an edge in this area, but
	neither will your competitors be able to get an edge over you.  You
	and they will compete in other areas, while benefitting mutually in
	this one.  If your business is selling an operating system, you will
	not like GNU, but that's tough on you.  If your business is something
	else, GNU can save you from being pushed into the expensive business
	of selling operating systems.
	
	It is because of the aspect of mutual benefit that I am asking many
	manufacturers to donate, reducing the cost to each.
	
Scenario:  GNU has attained success, and is now widely used all over
the place.  Free operating system for everybody.

Programmer: "I have this great idea for a really wondeful operating system.
It's much better than GNU." (Let's assume he speaks the truth)

Other: But everybody can get GNU for free.  Nobody would be willing to pay
for it.

Programmer:  But it really is that much better - hey, venture capitalist,
what do you think?

Venture-Capitalist:  Looks really good, but that market is too tough. Even
a really good product can't compete with something free.  Sure we would sell
some, but not nearly as many as we would if there were a real competitive
market.  You would be much better off working on something else.

Programmer: But I want to do this!

Other: Why not do it for free then, like GNU?

Programmer:  What would I eat?  Besides, I really believe that's right.
But I'll try.  Rich-man, can you fund me while I do this free project?

Rich-man: Seems nice, but what's the point.  We already have GNU.  People
are satisfied with it.
---------------------

And so, nothing new ever comes along, unless there is a really big jump
or another group of "software socialists" better at design than the first.

This is NOT idle speculation.  It is from bitter experience.  I make most
of my money from a set of programmer's utilities for Commodore machines.
There is a similar product in the public domain.  It is not as good, and
arrived after, but it hurts my income a lot.  So much so that I have
seriously considered abandoning the whole market and doing something else.

One free medium quality program (and I am not saying GNU will be thus, simply
that if the state of the art advances, it will become thus) ruins the chances
of several high quality programs.  I ask all people interested in GNU
to consider this, and to question if they wish to risk destroying the work
of everybody else working in operating systems.


	GNU will remove operating system software from the realm of
	competition.

Is this what we really want?????????????
-- 
	Brad Templeton - Waterloo, Ont. (519) 886-7304

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Path: utzoo!watmath!watcgl!dmmartindale
From: dmmartind...@watcgl.UUCP (Dave Martindale)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards
Subject: Re: GNU considered harmful to software quality
Message-ID: <936@watcgl.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 7-Oct-83 15:07:27 EDT
Article-I.D.: watcgl.936
Posted: Fri Oct  7 15:07:27 1983
Date-Received: Sat, 8-Oct-83 00:44:57 EDT
References: <5919@watmath.UUCP>
Organization: U of Waterloo, Ontario
Lines: 19

Now wait a minute.  This is like saying that UNIX (which has always been
cheap for educational institutions) has had a detrimental effect on the
quality of software available to universities.  It is quite possible that
it made it uneconomic for someone else to develop a competing product
in that market.  On the other hand, the availability of a good operating
system which ran on cheap hardware at a low price probably fostered the
development of a large quantity of other useful software.  Besides,
what makes you think that a small group of dedicated, expert hackers
can't produce a public-domain system which is better than what most
commercial firms would come up with anyway?
Having public-domain software available is bad for potential producers
of competitive software, but good for software "consumers".

I don't think it is at all clear which route produces the greatest
"overall good".

	Dave Martindale
	decvax!watmath!dmmartindale
	allegra!watcgl!dmmartindale

Relay-Version: version B 2.10 5/3/83; site utzoo.UUCP
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Path: utzoo!watmath!bstempleton
From: bstemple...@watmath.UUCP (Brad Templeton)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards
Subject: Re: GNU considered harmful to software quality
Message-ID: <5924@watmath.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 7-Oct-83 23:54:28 EDT
Article-I.D.: watmath.5924
Posted: Fri Oct  7 23:54:28 1983
Date-Received: Sat, 8-Oct-83 00:55:06 EDT
References: <936@watcgl.UUCP>
Organization: U of Waterloo, Ontario
Lines: 12

Let's make one thing clear.  I myself don't think that GNU or any
other product like it could take over the market entirely.  Far from it,
people will always be willing to pay for a better, supported system even
when there is a free one around.  What I object to is the philosophy
behind the GNU statements.  If the GNU project changed its aims, I
would view it in an entirely different light.  RMS contends that the
current capitalist market for software does more harm than good, and
he wants to destroy it with GNU.  I suggest this is one man's belief and
that he should not try and destroy the system that others view differently.

-- 
	Brad Templeton - Waterloo, Ont. (519) 886-7304

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Path: utzoo!linus!decvax!tektronix!ucbcad!notes
From: no...@ucbcad.UUCP
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards
Subject: Re: Re: GNU considered harmful to softwa - (nf)
Message-ID: <390@ucbcad.UUCP>
Date: Sun, 9-Oct-83 22:11:38 EDT
Article-I.D.: ucbcad.390
Posted: Sun Oct  9 22:11:38 1983
Date-Received: Thu, 13-Oct-83 06:39:11 EDT
Sender: no...@ucbcad.UUCP
Organization: UC Berkeley CAD Group
Lines: 38

#R:watmath:-592400:ucbesvax:16700002:000:2015
ucbesvax!turner    Oct  9 15:29:00 1983

Since it looks like we're getting into the more religious aspects of this
argument, I feel compelled to add a few points of my own:

- Brad doesn't like to compete with public domain software.  Understood.
  From a marketing point of view, however, public domain software is
  just a product marked "$0.00".  It has a price, like any other.  Zero.
  You can't PAY people to take your software, so the only way to undersell
  public domain is to do a much better job.  Golly, Brad: looks like you'll
  have to do a much better job.  Isn't that what capitalism is about?

- A friend of mine took a z80 C compiler out of the public domain.  In
  terms of features supported, it sucked.  It was structurally sound,
  however, so he was able to modify it and pass it on a >$0.00 price.
  This was good, because he was broke.  Public domain software gave him
  some valuable experience, and much-needed money.  C got spread around
  a little more, and the resulting mobility gave some smaller companies
  a bit more leverage.  Now, of course, they are busy killing each other
  off (again, good capitalism), but with better products than they might
  otherwise have had.  So what's wrong with that?

- Is software a product or a service?  From the point of view of measuring
  units sold, it's a product.  But that's a simplistic rendering of the
  market--viewing it as a service is closer to home, from the perspective
  of the average programmer.  When I get a non-trivial piece of software,
  I want *support*--and I'll pay for that.  It doesn't matter whether
  my UN*X cost $0.00 dollars or $500.00--I'm gonna need bug fixes.
  And that's what pays the average programmer's salary: supporting code.
  Money saved by getting generic UN*X will almost certainly be spent
  (over a longer period of time) on support and enhancements.  Nobody
  gets rich quick, but maybe more people get a chance to make their
  ideas fly.  Again, that's good capitalism.

See you in net.flame,
	Michael Turner (ucbvax!ucbesvax.turner)

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		       SCO Files Lawsuit Against IBM

March 7, 2003 - The SCO Group filed legal action against IBM in the State 
Court of Utah for trade secrets misappropriation, tortious interference, 
unfair competition and breach of contract. The complaint alleges that IBM 
made concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of 
UNIX, particularly UNIX on Intel, to benefit IBM's Linux services 
business. See SCO vs IBM.

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