I suspect we'd disagree on the details
Sun, 24 Aug 2003 23:48:00 +0000
I suspect we'd disagree on the details. In fact, we'd disagree on quite a lot of the general approach, never mind the specific details, if only because I'm quite attached to CL and have already invested significant time in it (the reader may harbour his own opinion on the direction of any possible causal relation there). But in general terms I really do think Tom Lord is onto something with his thoughts on free software architecture
For a long time, the right strategy for GNU was to build a basic unix replacement differentiated primarily by licensing. As software goes, the core of unix is a simple architecture, reflecting its history as a design first realized by a very small team of people.
Well, that part's done and the strategy won.
Nowadays, the proprietary competition is about databases, and productivity apps, and browsers, and middleware layers. The software we're competing against is not like unix: it isn't simple; it wasn't built by a small number number of people; it's a moving target. It isn't a tractable project to clone this proprietary software under different licensing.
If the goal is still "(a) build a free alternative to proprietary software", then a new strategy is called for: competition on softwarearchitecture_, not just licensing.