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Free Software in Enterprise Environments (was something else)

From: Derek Neighbors
Subject: Free Software in Enterprise Environments (was something else)
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 20:21:50 -0700

> That last message contributes to my fear that GNUE, from viewpoint of
> a non-developer is effectively, not different than a commercial and
> proprietary product.

I have no idea how on earth you can deduce that a Free Software project
that is part of the GNU project and has developers assign copyright to
the Free Software Foundation has any 'motives' of being proprietary!

> People who work everyday in businesses have good reason, historically,
> to view software developers as an interest group who build software
> for the purpose of ensuring revenue, and permanent roles for
> themselves.

I would think that anyone licensing code in a fashion to keep it parts
proprietary is building walls, preventing others from interoperating and
making them REDO work, so who again is building a honey pot of revenue
to dip their fingers in again?  EVERY single person I have heard say GPL
is bad is because they feel they can not make MONEY on it.  They my
friend fall in the category you list above no matter how willing they
are to interoperate.  

On the other hand the fellow who GPL's his work but has no desire to
work with anyone on the other hand is not ensuring steady revenue
streams.  Let me tell you why....

If I lock people out even if I play nice at any point I can pick up my
toys and go home if my cash cow is threatened.  Where as the GPL
developer even if THEY dont care to play with anyone, the code is there
for anyone WANTING to play to simply pick up and do the work.

That said, GNUe has never been one to arbitrary not interoperate, if
anything we kill ourselves trying to be all things to all people and
appease everyone's whims.

> One of the litmus tests for judging the intent of software developers
> is whether they seek more to vanquish other software than interoperate
> with it. I'm repeating this fact, for the good of all--not my benefit.

We are not out to vanquish anyone but propreitary software.  Unlike you
I dont believe Microsoft is the enemy, I think propeitary software is
the enemy.  Microsoft just has to be the ogre wielding the largest club
at this stage.

> It would be incumbent on GNUE developers to demonstrate the opposite
> -- a culture of respect for the other software in the world,
> especially something like Java that is NOT a commercial monopoly.  The
> way you respect the interests of the user and developer community are
> to understand these interfaces and business logic, when there is such
> a large new movement to a new platform like this outside Windows
> domination.

I am sorry I can not 'respect' as you say anything that violates my
freedom.  We certainly would interoperate on any level that does not
violate the GPL which we operate under, but we will not change our
license nor submit code to something that enslaves others.  If you
choose to call that 'hording our code for our own gain' go right ahead.

>  > If you read my emails, I stated WE TRIED TO DOWNLOAD and
>  > evaluate, and found we could not with out spending oodles of cash
>  > on non-free software!

> asked the guy whose Compiere I tested, and he said it was running on a
> freely downloadable Oracle database, with limitations against
> commercial use. Is that what you're talking about or the J2EE
> libraries?  I'm going to guess the main problem is you don't know the
> Oracle RDBMS or Java well enough to eval. the software (and if not, I
> certainly wouldn't blame you for that.)

Well truth be known one of our core developers works on an Oracle
platform daily and is far from a newbie user, his version of Oracle was
too old.  I do have 'free' as in beer Oracle disks with the newest
version, I went to install them on my GNU/Linux box (remember Im a free
nut its all I run) and lo and behold it wanted me to do so much crap to
my box to install it I would be able to use the thing for anything else.

> And we will be helpless to see it or control it from the GNUE
> community either.  The thing is so ungodly complicated to install and
> changes so often, we are reliant forever on developers.   So owners of
> businesses have to *trust* GNUE developers.  So we look for

WHOA WHOA WHOA.... This is the BIG difference.  You see right now if you
have a security hole in a properietary product who can fix it for you? 
The vendor.  The one and ONLY vendor.  With GNU Enterprise if there is a
problem, and the GNUe developers wont fix it for you.  You can hire one
of numerous GNUe consulting firms to do it for you. (Already there are
several of these, see our sponsors page) or you can hire any competent
python programmer to do it for you as you have the source code.  I hope
that not being a developer doesnt mask the IMMENSE difference here.

So when you say you are at the mercy of the GNUe Developers.  I say

> the Quickbooks schema. I don't think I am alone, in waiting and
> watching for the GNUE roadmap to interoperability with other software,
> running in other companies around the world.

You could always stop watching and start helping. :)

> the legal copyright.  Your GPL protects the GNUE dev. community
> against each other but does nothin' for the business owner.

I disagree, see my above example.

> out by Microsoft overnight, without warning.  We don't want a
> permanent relationship paying rent to GNUE support engineers anymore
> than Microsoft. So that means we want an exit strategy-- standard
> interfaces.

You have the damn source code.  What the hell more do you want?

> We don't want to rip-and-replace, bet the company on GNUE so that
> means it has to run alongside, incrementally awhile.  That means,
> standard interfaces again. We want stuff built standard so it will
> play well, and last a while.

You have the code.

> I think that if any of the GNUE developers could attend the OMG/
> OASIS Interop. conference in Orlando at the end of June, it would be
> very good.  Here is where they left off in December 2001-- 38 reasons
> and inhibitors, explaining why standards don't interoperate. These
> are coming from the top people at dozens of standards bodies
> and numerous TCs and workgroups, not only OMG, OASIS, HRXML, etc.

Problem is standard bodies are run by the big boys, always have been
always will be.  Plus they are too expensive for us to participate in.  


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