Re: [unrev-II]MS exec: Open-source approach is flawed - ZDNet Discussion Zaplet

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 17:14:58 PDT

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    Grant Bowman wrote:
    > I should have checked Slashdot myself before posting. Here's Linux
    > Torvalds reply:
    Nice counter-post, Grant. Although I love the spirit of his reply,
    I'm afraid that I am not as yet persuaded by his arguments.

    He cites Enstein and Neils Bohr as counter-examples, but the comparison
    is faulty. We are not talking about the discovery of basic principles
    here, but the *implementation* of those ideas, the creation of products
    that bring the benefits to others, in exchange for filthy luchre.

    With that as a comparative basis, it is the chemical and manufacturing
    industries which have brought forth the technological revolution
    made possible by those discoveries. The computer manufacturers then
    built on that foundation, and produced even more.

    But in the software arena, if becoming filthy rich is impossible, will
    there be the incentive and the consequent developments that turn great
    research results into viable products?

    That, to me, seems to be the crux of the argument. Linus' counter
    argument, much though I applaud the sentiment, appears to beg the
    question. (And true, he could be right that we simply haven't
    found the right model yet. On the other hand, the original assertion
    is tantamount to a "non-existence proof" -- an argument which
    states that no such model *can* exist.

    I've argued that he may be right -- at least within the context of
    the financial world we live in, and that only by changing that
    world (to what, I have no idea) would it be possible for such a
    model to come into being.

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