Re: [unrev-II] Species survival & open source funding etc. (was Re: Intel's new XML network devices)

From: Eugene Eric Kim (
Date: Tue May 09 2000 - 22:12:30 PDT

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    A few comments:

    1. Open source funding. I can totally understand how it is to agonize
    over doing something because it's right versus doing something for
    survival. Ultimately, people who do open source software (or any similar
    sort of societal contributions) are conscious of the tradeoffs. One
    important phenomenon with open source software right now is that ways to
    contribute without completely sacrificing monetary rewards are becoming
    more apparent.

    2. Funding for the OHS. The general climate for obtaining funding for the
    OHS seems more appropriate then it did in years past. There are also
    alternative ways of obtaining funding that haven't been adequately
    explored, but that Doug has been more than open to discussing. There are
    obviously no guarantees, especially when you're depending on so much
    voluntary time, but there have been some efforts in this direction, so
    let's wait and see what happens.

    I personally don't think that funding will be necessary to get an initial
    version of the OHS out and ready for bootstrapping, although it would
    certainly be nice. I also think that there are several good businesses
    that can arise from the OHS once some initial work has been done, and the
    people who contribute to the OHS now will be in a good position to profit
    from these opportunities, if they so choose.

    3. Purpose of this list. As Paul has pointed out, this list was created
    as an outlet for offline colloquium discussion, not for the development of
    the OHS. And I think it serves its purpose well in that regard. In my
    opinion, there is a need for a separate list devoted exclusively to the
    development of the OHS. This is something that will likely happen in the
    near future.

    4. The waterfall model. Contrary to how it may currently look, the OHS
    will not be developed under the waterfall model, which in my opinion
    violates the notion of bootstrapping. We will hopefully follow more of an
    extreme programming methodology, with a great emphasis on prototyping and
    rapid development cycles. Fortunately, we already have a wonderful
    prototype in the form of the Augment/NLS system.

    As some of you may be aware, a group of us have been meeting regularly in
    the Bay Area to plan and design the OHS. However anxious people may be to
    see an initial release of code, let me emphasize that this first design
    phase is an extremely important one. Our group consists of people of
    disparate backgrounds and levels of experience, and it's important that we
    all be on the same page both conceptually and technically before we can
    start making intelligent technical and organizational decisions. Let me
    reiterate, however, that this initial delay in releasing code is not
    indicative of us following the waterfall model of software development.

    I think we're moving in the right direction, and I'm optimistic about the
    amount of progress we will see in the next month. I wouldn't be surprised
    if, by the end of May, we had a license, an organizational model, a
    distributed coding infrastructure (mailing lists, CVS, etc.), a specific
    technical direction, and a small set of requirements for the first rev.
    We may even see some progress in regards to funding.


    +=== Eugene Eric Kim ===== ===== ===+
    |       "Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they        |
    +=====  can have an excuse to drink alcohol."  --Steve Martin  ===========+

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