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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] More bad news about the GPL License: Fwd:[Gxl] GCC Licencing and XML extracts

Eric Armstrong wrote:    (01)

> Jack Park wrote:
> [...]
> The 94 versions of Unix the proliferated killed the platform more
> thoroughly than any machinations from Redmond. Granted, folks
> frown on branching a lot more these days. But...
> Folks who use the software want to work. It takes a lot of
> testing to make sure that changes work and are compatible
> with each other. It takes a lot of design review to make sure
> the changes use consistent conventions and are both well
> structured and well commented.
> Again, I see that happening in subsidized concerns and in particularly
> close-knit groups of folks who are tinkering with mostly-there code
> (e.g. GNU). I don't see anything like an extrapolation to collaborative
> design of new systems, which are maleable to an excruiating degree.
>     (02)

[...elided to below]    (03)

> As always, on this subject, I know I am flying in the face of
> accepted lore, and therefore bracing for flames...    (04)

Yes, of course it's a touchy subject since for many their paychecks
have come or not come due to these issues. I suppose I should put
on my flameproof underwear, etc. but hell, we all have our opinions,
as the adage goes...    (05)

Now, I'm a linux user, mostly because it's stable, free, works, is
open, and due to networking effects is gaining momentum and therefore
better support. I use SuSE linux because they seem to know what the
hell they're doing in packaging, documenting, and making it generally
easier for people to get things up and running. I've bought probably
eight or nine versions from them, and am happy to do so. They're not
particularly expensive, and while I've not had to use their human-
based support, I understand they've got pretty good service support.    (06)

Why didn't I use Solaris? Well, it didn't work on my laptop. Sun had
originally an Intel/Solaris project, but the thing that makes money
for Sun is their hardware sales, and I think (don't know) that this
was perceived as cutting into hardware sales, and also a distraction
from Sparc/Solaris.    (07)

I also didn't use Solaris because the developer community has
predominantly been putting out the latest software for linux, with
all the "buzz" happening there (despite what Windows users might
think). If there's an avant garde of developers, they're probably
linux users. IMO. Now that's too bad for Solaris, though it seems
that it's been marketed largely at large businesses doing really
intensive processing, where of course it's without peer. Having
worked within the Solaris group for the first part of my career
there, I can say without reservation that the people behind the
product are *extremely* professional, that the product is very
highly tested, and I doubt that linux could ever touch it, in
the areas where Solaris is targeted. It's solid. In the market
that it's in, it works, is extremely stable, and has very high
performance. That's what Sun's customers want.    (08)

 > Free to examine makes sense, and free to suggest improvements
 > makes sense. But free to distribute? Only when you assume that
 > testing, review, and all the other stuff are not important, or that
 > people are somehow free to do these things for other reasons.
 > (I sure wish I was one, I can tell you -- but who does lots of regression
 > testing without being paid -- or do the bleeding edge users take on
 > that role?)    (09)

I don't believe a product like Solaris could come from a free software
or open software project. There's simply too much investment
required to make it as solid, as well-documented, as i18n'd, and as
well-supported (service is important!) as is Solaris. There's an
enormous amount of *organized process* that goes into Solaris'
development.    (010)

BSD and linux operate in different markets, where they can afford
to be, and perhaps should be on the bleeding edge. I don't mind
if the SuSE documentation isn't perfect, and if my machine has an
installation problem, okay, I deal with it. Different than a bank.
As hardware gets faster and faster it's possible that linux will
eat more into the low end of Solaris' business, but not really.
Not too many large businesses want Red Hat doing their installation
and support, on eight processor and less stable Intel machines
than the water-cooled big iron, 64 processor Sparc machines, with
Sun's support. There's plenty of room for coexistence, and Sun
has provided (as you say) the community with Java, which I think
is a pretty impressive and laudible feat.    (011)

Anyway, it's getting late here and I think I'm probably drifting
from whatever thread we once had going here....  :-0    (012)

Murray    (013)

Murray Altheim                  <http://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/murray/>
Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK7 6AA, UK    (014)

      In the evening
      The rice leaves in the garden
      Rustle in the autumn wind
      That blows through my reed hut.  -- Minamoto no Tsunenobu    (015)