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SubjectRe: [OT] Re: Troll Tech [was Re: Sco vs. IBM]
On Wed, Jun 25, 2003 at 05:27:42PM -0700, David Lang wrote:
> Robert, nobody is disagreeing with this part of the discussion, that I
> hear Larry saying is that this process isn't producing innovations, it is
> almost exclusivly producing copies.
> the companies doing propriatatry work are doing the innovation and the
> fact that their ideas get copied quickly is reducing/eliminating their
> return on investment and is killing them (some slowly some quickly)
> one big reason why innovation is so much more expensive then copying is
> that when you are innovating you spend a lot of time going down dead-ends,
> you have to cover all that time spent and thrown away in the cost of the
> product that you produce. when you are copying you get to avoid a lot of
> these dead-ends becouse you know what the final product looks like, it's
> much easier to work towards a known goal then to work towards something
> that you think will work.
> Then Larry asks the question 'what will we do if we kill off the companies
> that are paying people to do this innovation and there isn't any more
> software to copy'
> David Lang

Perfect summary. Thanks. I know my point of view is somewhat extreme
but I've always done that. One of the things I've learned is to ignore
small adjustments to what is going on right now, look for the asymptote.
Where are we going if we ignore the next 10 years and look out beyond
that? So looking at the place where free software has killed off their
"hosts" isn't a near term event but it is a fairly likely long term event.
If the free software doesn't start figuring out how to backfill the
development efforts which produce new things, the future looks like a
very dull gray sort of world where all the programmers are the moral
equivalents of today's COBOL programmers. Not a place I want to be,
dunno about you.
Larry McVoy lm at
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