It's going to be a very light day today -- the networking here is not very good, and it's quite expensive.
I spent a few hours last night talking with people from Jabber-the-Company. This is the hard part of open source, they're marketing a technology, and there's a community, and the company has to make money if it's going to continue to exist. I am going to do a lot of listening, my goal is to understand how various open source projects can coordinate so that there's a roadmap that connects them together, and some kind of vision that makes sense to customers, and profitable businesses coming out of that. Somehow the customers must understand that open source is a feature, and that it's still software, and if they want viable companies backing the products, the software must cost money.
On the other hand, the individual contributor has to make a living too. Eric Kidd (see below) did a beautiful job of creating an XML-RPC toolkit for C and C++. Somehow, it seems, he should be able to pay the rent and buy groceries by continuing to work on that. But..
Eric Kidd: "I'm less than enthused about the number of people who use my XFree86-licensed code in their proprietary software, contribute no money or code to my efforts, and then have the gall to ask for free consulting advice."
On the Decentralization list, Tim O'Reilly explains his pov of the value of open source. I'll be seeing Tim later today and I expect we'll talk some about this. In the meantime a little pushback. The Mac creamed the IBM PC, not the other way around, because it had a better memory model than the PC. Sure the PC was more open, but that lead to competing methods of extending its memory. The market went with the Mac which had no such confusion. Of course then it swung back around to Windows, but I think that's because Microsoft did a better job of moving their platform while Apple was stagnating.
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