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GNUe doesn't absolutely control GNUe (was Re: Compiere now #1 on sourcef

From: S11001001
Subject: GNUe doesn't absolutely control GNUe (was Re: Compiere now #1 on sourceforge)
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 22:43:01 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.0.0+) Gecko/20020525

Todd Boyle wrote:
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 believe that whether a project is free or not makes a big difference in what actually gets produced. Interoperability, vendor independence, code reusability (and I mean in comparison to non-free sourcecode providing projects), portability, better security, and lack of backdoors are some effects that Freedom has on code. This is why I can say that even those who don't care about freedom are much better off with free software.

As for interoperability, for one example of the above, there is a GNU-RPC project, which I believe is part of GNUe, to provide *standard* Remote Process Communication (my personal redefinition of the abbrev.) across many protocols.

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

I will disagree with you on this point: Java is really a commercial monopoly, until Sun relinquishes legal control of it. For example, to release something as a Java platform, it must pass Sun's compliance tests. Java developers, platform and application, are at the mercy of Sun.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think that Sun will be tying royalties to Java anytime soon. However, I believe that it has always been their plan to do so as soon as Java reached critical mass. Also, I am a big fan of things Java; I love the class library; even version 1.1 is far superior to Microsoft's BCL offering. It's just not free, until they give up control. And that is something I do not believe they will do.

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

Yes, that is the problem, isn't it? As long as you find it beneficial to use computers, you are reliant on developers *forever*. However, this says nothing about GNUe developers themselves.

The higher-level goal of business users is interoperability, and the
long-term protection against high costs that comes from competition. GPL
for its own sake is not the user's goal.  When a GPL project is not
interoperable with other software, there is no protection for the owner
of the company against the mechanisms of churn and complexity and
support costs.  Those are stronger weapons of Microsoft today than the
legal copyright.  Your GPL protects the GNUE dev. community against
each other but does nothin' for the business owner.

See comment below

We have all got a masters degree in these strategies of the software
community, thanks to Microsoft who has made an absolute chump of us for
the past 15 years, so we're not so dumb anymore.  We're past the
point of (naively) buying from reputable software companies or companies
that offer good value, only to see them bankrupted or bought 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.

With GNUe, you have an exit strategy: the GNU General Public License. GNUe only controls the GNUe code base as long as the users want it to. Anyone who wishes to leave is free to take the code and ask another developer to work on it.

I need GNUE to succeed. A lot of users need it.  It is one of the most
significant business software projects in existence.

I'll agree with you on that one.

Stephen Compall
DotGNU `Contributor' --

To be a hacker, one had to accept the philosophy that writing a
software program was only the beginning. Improving a program was the
true test of a hacker's skills.
        -- Sam Williams, "Free as in Freedom"

According to Stallman, improving software programs was secondary to
building them in the first place.
        -- Sam Williams, "Free as in Freedom"

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