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SubjectRe: [OT] Re: Troll Tech [was Re: Sco vs. IBM]
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[Cc: chopped down to size]
David Lang <david.lang@digitalinsight.com> said:
> 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.

Wrong. The whole TCP/IP protocol suite was produced by this process, as has
most of the Internet infrastructure we enjoy today. If that isn't innovation,
I don't know what is. If you compare this with the "innovations" large
corporations so proudly announce in their adds...

Calling any random minor commonplace feature fix "innovation" is easy (and
also true but trivial), revolutionary innovations are _very_ far in between
(Web, email, GUIs, the Linux development model, flat screens, ...), and
soon tend to become part of the landscape, i.e., all but invisible.

[...]

> 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.

Right.

> 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.

The real cause to rally for is to pay for dead ends then. Won't be very
popular ;-)

> 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'

In that case an alternative model will have to be found to finance
innovation. The current state of affairs, where everybody has to start
essentially from scratch due to chinese walls isn't exactly a neat idea
either...

No, I'm not qualified to invent a model of software economics that works
better. The current MSFT et al model works (sort of), but is grossly
inefficient. The strict GNU model ("make stuff and give it to the common
pool, hope they ask for more and pay for its development") hasn't been a
stellar success either (but that might just be because it competes in a
world build the other way). In fact, I'd say that BSDish licenced software
and derivatives (X11, sendmail, TCP/IP stacks, ...) is in much more common
use than any other... wonder what that means in the end.
--
Dr. Horst H. von Brand User #22616 counter.li.org
Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile Fax: +56 32 797513
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