OSS (was Re: Stand Alone Erlang)

Peter-Henry Mander <>
Fri Mar 12 13:51:18 CET 2004

Thanks Mike.

I've cast a feeler email on the subject to my bosses. They've been
receptive to the OSS idea until the "suits" came to play, and that was
when the dreaded "intellectual property" argument was put on us.

I agree wholeheartedly with you all; ideas don't grow unless they're
shared. Put ideas in a sealed box and they wilt like any living being
would. Send ideas to the Pastures of the Minds and they grow strong and

I don't think anyone else besides the suits need any convincing here.
But they're the ones with the money today. I hope that tomorrow we'll be
the ones with the money!


On 12 Mar 2004 11:18:11 GMT
 (Mike Williams) wrote:

> In article <>,
>   (Peter-Henry Mander) writes:
> |> 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.
> There is one one issue, MONEY.
> You have to convince the "owners" of the code (often, but not always
> the people who paid for the development of the code), that it is in
> their COMMERCIAL ADVANTAGE to contribute the code to Open Source.
> - "Add on" sales of other software for which you can get paid.
>    (MySQL is a good example of this).
> - "goodwill" and image of a company thus improving the company's
>   "brand". This is simply a form of marketting". Any (non bankrupt)
>    company knows that "marketting" costs money.
> - Service / consulting / support services which you can sell.
> (Companies like
>   Red Hat live from support and services)
> - Setting standards. By releasing SW as Open Source you can influence
> the
>   "de facto" industry standard in a direction which is good for your
>   company.(SUN have done a lot in this direction - for example the
>   primitives behind NFS).
> - Killing the oposition. You can kill a competitor by giving away an
> open source
>   product which does the same as his expesive product. Even if your
>   product isn't as good as your competitors product. Why do you think
>   Micro$oft does all it can throw dirt at Linux? Linux is a real
>   threat to them! SUN did the same for many years until they realised
>   that "if you can't beat them, join them". I am sure that a lot of
>   the companies whi are spending money on Linux are doing so simply to
>   try to reduce Micro$ofts power and monopoly
> - If you have a legacy product, or a product which isn't bringing in
> money
>   but you still need to support, you might make it Open Source if you
>   think it would be interesting to others. In this way you can get the
>   Open Source comunity to support it for you free (Open Office and
>   Mozilla maybe are examples of this).
> I am sure there are many more reasons.
> /mike
> (PS: The intelligent reader can venture a guess as to why Ericsson
> released
>  Erlang/OTP - as I am a "suite" nowadays, I won't tell you :-)
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"The Tao of Programming
 flows far away 
 and returns 
 on the wind of morning."

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