[svlug] cnet talking smack...
Karsten M. Self
kmself at ix.netcom.com
Tue Jun 5 16:41:02 PDT 2001
on Tue, Jun 05, 2001 at 03:59:13PM -0700, Margaret Wendall (mwendall at earthlink.net) wrote:
> I enjoyed the analogy between Linux/open source and automobile
It bothered me because it's apples and asteroid-orbits. Manufacture of
a single instance of a class is entirely different from the design used
as a basis of manufacture. The "assembly line" for stamping out
instances of a program is far more uniform than any mechanical line will
ever be: it's the bitwise copy of source or binary from one file to
It's the *design* of software that's opened up by the free software
process. If you want Joe's Standard Fuxinator, you ask Joe for it or
grab it from an archive. If you want Freda's Variation on Joe's
Standard Fuxinator, you get it from Freda. If you want to modify it
yourself, you do so. The cast of the flamebait...not that it was really
good enough to qualify as same...was that every single instance of a
free software program is different from every other. Simply not true.
The FUD level is increasing tremendously -- I'd suspected it might, but
am surprised at the intensity, speed of the ramp-up, and crassness of
most of it. Quality FUD is just so much more fun to trash, this is like
firing cannons at tissue-paper ghosts. Sure, you can punch holes
through it all day, but there's no real satisfaction in it.
Similar story with the MSFT pre-questions aimed at last Tuesday's RMS
speech. The overal tenor of Wagg-Ed's press-priming came down to "the
GPL isn't a proprietary license and we can't rip it off". Well, duh.
The problem with much of this stuff is that people in general tend to
have a hard time wrapping their heads around distinctions of real and
intellectual property, of the difference between an instance (a car on
the line) and a design class (a program, as opposed to a file of same).
The importance of standards. Copyright law. I don't think MSFT are
going to succeed in their FUD campaign from the perspective of
destroying the GPL. I do think they're going to muddy the water
somewhat. I believe more than anything they're tipping their hand as to
what their strongest fears are. But I'd recommend paying attention to
the hand that isn't holding the ball as well.
Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand? There is no K5 cabal
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