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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, August 27, 2000. Sunday, August 27, 2000

DaveNet: Michegas.

Doc asks if there's a beer event planned for Tuesday. I'm glad Doc will be there. Maybe he'll bring Eric Raymond and we can talk about Mac users and developers being doooomed. I'm sure there will be a few of them at Seybold.

About the beer, good question. I'm no good at planning these things. There used to be a Chevy's down the street from Moscone. I seem to remember it being torn down. I'd love to go somewhere for dinner and more schmoozing after talking about the Y2K Mind Bombs. Does someone have an idea? I'm open source on this. Easy to please.

NY Times: "We have seen no bears around here, largely because of a busy road and horses and dogs and an electric fence. That does not keep the bees from being bear-wary in their ancestral way."

Wired: Dot-Commers go home!

Matt Wilson and Andrew Wooldridge join the Leading Users list in my directory. Blades of grass poppin through the fertile ground. We're figuring this out as we go along. That's the best way to go, imho.

With apologies to Jakob Nielsen I thought this award he was given was pretty funny. Not sure I'd like to get one, but on the hand, maybe I would. Jeff Bezos was an early honoree, as was William Shatner and Lars Ulrich.

You get what you pay for 

Dan Bricklin: The Software Police vs the CD Lawyers. "Look at who the recording industry is suing. Not the people who actually want the different use. Rather they are suing the companies that are trying to figure out how to get those users what they want."

To Dan, we could teach them a thing or two for sure, but Dan, they could help us out too. At least in the music industry they let their artists stay artists. In our industry we have to become CEOs and CTOs. I think we both know, we aren't at heart those things. (To everyone else, Dan's first company was called Software Arts.)

Another thing they could help with is giving us the courage to once again charge for our software. Trellix is, as far as I know, free. To me, this is sick. It cost money to make the software. Why don't people want to pay for it? Is anyone making anything comparable? People ask me why outliners went away. I think this is why. Somewhere the idea got out there that they could have as much software as they want for free. I'm listening to BB King singing The Thrill ls Gone. "You'll be sorry someday." To users who think software should be free, where did all the outliners go? Ultimately you get what you pay for. Think about it.

Now that's pretty close to what the music industry is saying. See the connection? Even open source leaders see the wisdom of paying for music. Gotcha. Now maybe they'll show some flexibility and understand that, esp with user-oriented software, there must be a dollar value and competitive markets and user choice. In a way we've been living in the Dark Ages the music industry predicts. As in Atlas Shrugged, the people who we call thinkers are actually people who destroy thought.

Now if the open source leaders want to help rebuild, and undo the damage they caused, they can start doing some of the thinking they're so famous for, and help us rebuild an economy where people are rewarded financially for hitting the sweet spot with users. Think about what open source can and can't do, trust me Eazel is a long way from matching the Mac and Windows, so get out of the way of people who want to give the users what they want.

PS: If you don't get out of the way we'll drive right over you.

PPS: And stop dissing the Mac!

Heads up 

This morning a question came up on the Radio UserLand discussion group, and I want to get my response on the record so there will be no misunderstandings later.

The file format used by Radio UserLand will be publicly documented. Others will be allowed to build applications that use the format, whether or not UserLand's software is being used. However the format's name, still to be determined, will be a UserLand trademark, much as the Apache name is protected by the Apache Foundation. This is clearly spelled out in the Apache license, see items 4 and 5.

We were the first to get to this place, I'm sure most people don't even understand what we're doing. But you will, eventually figure it out. And then, if the past is a guide, some wiseass, or group of wiseasses, will want to take it over. They won't be able to do that.

To me the most important thing is our frredom to move forward. I'm quite disillusioned about the Web as a collaborative development environment. The people who say it's a fair environment are often the most vicious. Watch out for the politician who says "I'm honest." He's appealing to your honesty, not telling you about his. Actions speak louder than words.

I trust the universe, but I know there are pigs out there. Good fences make good neighbors. This is our format, we created it, our tools and servers make it work. We're open to competition, even seek it out, but on fair terms.

So now, while we're still at the starting gate, it's time to make this clear. If you don't like it, compete at a file format level now, or later. We will allow people to make backward-compatible formats, that's clearly a good thing, but we won't allow you to use our goodwill, our copyrighted material, or our trademarks.


Last update: Sunday, August 27, 2000 at 8:30 PM Eastern.

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