Re: [OT] Re: Troll Tech [was Re: Sco vs. IBM]

From: Stephan von Krawczynski (
Date: Fri Jun 20 2003 - 10:46:00 EST

On Fri, 20 Jun 2003 07:24:36 -0700
Larry McVoy <> wrote:

> > And that is exactly _the_ argument in this whole discussion. There seem to
> > be people out there who want to make a living from _others_ _ancient_ work
> > they bought for small bucks by sueing just about anyone.
> >
> > GPL has an inherent long-term strategy, you are talking of short-term,
> > Larry. That does not match. If I am using only GPL-software I know I am
> > able to use it as is in five years from now.
> Actually, my point is about long term strategy and what you think is long
> term I think of as short term. 5 years isn't long term in my book.

Call up your banker and explain in detail :-) A lot of the dotcom-hype
"companies" did not even make it 3 years. In todays' world five years are ages.
There are "operating systems" whos' live cycle is set to 3 years by the
manufacturer. How does a long-term strategy for a company doing application
software for such a system look like? Just like this:
- make a brand new, brilliant piece of software
- start to sell it and make money
- big company (the maker of your underlying OS) takes a deep look
- your innovation is borg'ed and re-furnished into an all-in-one OS-plugin type
  of thing
- your innovation is delivered together with the next OS version at zero bucks.
- your company is dead.
all within 5 years. Do you really argue that this "company-live-cycle" did not
happen? This is no SF, this is the simple truth. This happens if your OS
manufacturer is a monopoly and can therefore act like a vacuum cleaner, just
suck up the whole damn market.
And _that_ does not happen on a GPLed OS. It is one of many reasons why
application writers should really think twice about the platform they are
building their future on.
> I've said for years that the open source world is all about
> reimplementing and not about new innovation. Sure, people make
> the thing they copy somewhat better and maybe even lots better.
> I personally like Linux better than any of the Unices and I've been
> running Unix since 32v timeframe.
> But the deal is that if Linux and the rest of the open source world
> was creating their own stuff instead of copying someone else's,
> this wouldn't be a Linux problem, it would be an IBM problem.

I am not quite sure if you really spent the last years in *nix area. The real
kick behind this damn old basic platform is that a lot of the code can be
re-used. It is _meant_ to be re-used and brushed up. I'd really say this has
always been the basic intention of the people writing the stuff. Unfortunately
they were more programmers than lawyers or philosophers. I never heard
Ian Taylor say "shit, those bloody Linux-kids stole my code and use UUCP, SHOOT
If we follow your thinking no car would have wheels, because they are for sure
not invented by the car companies, they should have invented something _new_
instead. Have you really thought about it?

> The reason I take this point of view, unpopular though it may be,
> is that I see open source as basically parasitic.

Just about as any car company.

> It lives off the
> efforts of others and the big bummer is that it is killing its host.

I can feel your bank account grow ... ;-)

> If open source can realize this and change gears fast enough to learn
> to create its own work, great. But that's going to take a lot more
> money than open source is currently generating.

Ah, another very interesting topic. You have to be _rich_ to be able to do real
life-changing innovation. I really seldomly heard something ranking higher on
the stupid-o-meter. Sorry to say that.

> Like at least 3
> orders of magnitude. Sun spends more in a year on Solaris than all
> the other open source revenue put together.

It is not only a matter of how much you spend, it is truly very dependant on what
the money is used for...

> Think about that for
> a while. Then realize that a ton of the work in Linux was dreamed
> up by the Solaris engineers.

Question: then why is Solaris that "wide-spread" ? I mean you say its all the
same innovation, the company has lots of money and quite a good PR, anyway they
are not near the market share of linux, why is it then? Have you ever thought
about the possibility that the way decisions about ongoing development are made
in the linux-community is simply superior to other strategies implemented in
whatever company tried to sell a *nix style/any OS?

> Remember, I've been on the mailing
> list since 0.99 days or earlier and I worked at Sun, I know where
> stuff came from. There is very very very little new work in Linux.

Yes, and after all von-Neumann already said it all. Nothing new from then on.

> Better tuned? Sure. Leaner? Sure. Cleaner? Maybe. New? No.
> So where is the inspiration for new work going to come from when
> Linux kills off Sun and every other source of innovation?

Hm, ok, you wanted it, now I tell you :-)
Have you ever thought about the simple truth that a computer is only a tool for
reaching a goal that has in fact nothing to do with the computer itself? I mean
most people on this planet don't spend their time for "backstage work" in
computer business. It is only a tool for talking to distant people, for writing
books, for entertainment, for improving health, for flying to mars. And my
personal opinion is that the real important goals of mankind should not be
slowed down by people not wanting to let others (capable but _not_ rich)
improve the _tool_ because of a dead paper in a patent office. Understand?

> Don't get me wrong, Linux is better in some ways. The main thing,
> however, is device drivers. That's hardly innovation.
> I hate to sound like Bill Gates but I start to think he has a point.
> I wouldn't be surprised if I get sent to /dev/null in your procmailrc
> for this rant but that's my view of where we sit.

Look at what you do and ask yourself: is it really important for mankind?
Ask yourself: is it a good thing if your childrens' "passport"(tm) is given out
by the company.
Ask yourself: is it a good thing that the life of your children is influenced
by technology they are not allowed to understand because it is patented and
locked away somewhere?
Think about the real important things first, then come back to the discussion
about the _tool_ and see how narrow and short-sighted people react.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Jun 23 2003 - 22:00:32 EST