OSS (was Re: Stand Alone Erlang)
Fri Mar 12 12:42:00 CET 2004
I've always had a hunch about this, but you've made the reasons crystal
clear. Thanks for the political ammunition, it will be *very* useful.
On Fri, 12 Mar 2004 10:57:27 +0100 (CET)
Joe Armstrong <> wrote:
> > Perhaps I might kick off the issue of OSS on erlang-questions. How
> > does one convince the non-technical bean counters that using and
> > _providing_ OSS is of commercial benefit? And that opening source
> > code may generate goodwill (something that SCO Group is suffering a
> > severe lack thereof!) leading to sales.
> I would argue that S/W falls into several different categories
> 1) Pre-competitive
> 2) Competitive
> 3) General odds and sods
> 1) Is a when different companies co-operate with each other to produce
> a market - without the market there is no competition.
> 2) Competitive is what you live off - this you keep secret
> 3) Is general improvements to everybody.
> Now suppose you make better test-suits - who stands to gain? - your
> products might be useless unless they can interoperatate with the
> other guy's products - so I guess test-suits are a 1) - they are
> pre-condition that you get to the point of competing in the first
> If you are alone in the market - no worries - release all! - why?
> What can happen:
> a) nobody is interested -> no threat
> b) people find bugs -> great, a positive benefit
> c) people steal your ideas -> great - you were on the right
> the market *expands* (because you had the right idea) *but*
> (a big but) you were first - and will hopefully always stay
> ahead - by being first you have more knowledge of the problem
> that other follow (steal) acknowledges your leadership.
> Your can even sell updates to them :-)
> You can choose to be in the commercial market place swapping ideas -
> building upon the work of others - or sit in the corner keeping your
> ideas to yourself - but your ideas will not grow if you do not share
> Giving your software away is symmetric processes - if you give your
> stuff away, what do you get back?
> - bug-fixes (nice to have - saves you work)
> - feedback - ideas - every time I post S/W to the net I get
> feedback - people find bugs and have new ideas for great new
> Imagine - you post your S/W to the net - some guy takes the S/W has
> a great idea - mails you and ... wow ... this is your next product.
> > But hey! I'm a naive soft-hearted programmer who knows nothing about
> > the hard tooth-and-nail world of commerce!
> > Maybe geeks and suits will never really understand each other...
> They will - explain that the code is not really important but that
> the ideas
> behind the code are. Explain that by cutting off the flow of code you
> are cutting off the flow of ideas.
> Explain that without new ideas your products will fail.
> Explain that you are using Erlang because it is a new idea.
> If despite this you don't want to use new ideas - go and use Java -
> go and keep all your ideas secret.
> > Pete.
> > P.s. However, if what we're doing interests you as a customer, Hal,
> > please visit http://www.newport-networks.com/ and we can discuss
> > this at a commercial level :-)
> > On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 08:40:58 -0600
> > Hal Snyder <> wrote:
> > >
> > > Sounds interesting. Are outside collaboraters allowed?
"The Tao of Programming
flows far away
on the wind of morning."
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