Subject: Re: Where's your Lisp software, Janos Blazi?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001 12:22:22 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Tim Bradshaw <>
> We've just been through a huge bubble where everyone threw money at
> anything vaguely high-tech.  One of the side-effects of this is that
> there has been so much money floating around that people in the right
> industries didn't really have to do any work, or not work they got paid
> for.  So they started doing other stuff at random, like churning out
> software for free.  They even started inventing reasons why free software
> was economically viable, based ultimately on their experience of all this
> huge money they had to wade through all the time.

  Interesting analysis.  I think there is an additional issue involved:
  marketing.  Businesses give a way freebies all the time and pay for this
  over their markting budgets.  A lot of free software is simply marketing
  for some "ulterior motive", such as is consulting, books, speeches, etc,
  and as such it might even work, if you can get the volume and excitement
  up about something.  This is not relevant in the "hobbyist" end of the
  spectrum, obviously.  Other than that, there is the obvious "preempt the
  whole market so nobody else can get in"-approach where a company gives
  away stuff for free to hurt their known and unknown competition.  I am
  strongly negative to this type of "free" software.

  I think the problem with free software has become the expectations among
  users that they should be able to make loads of money using free tools.
  It is therefore appropriate that those who build on free tools also give
  away the results, and those who pay for their tools charge for theirs.
  But as has always been the case, even when you got system software "for
  free" with some hardware, whether you get source code with a product is
  orthogonal to whether you can redistribute the product or the source or
  talk to people about it who do not have a proper license.  I am annoyed
  that the open source/free software communities have attempted to destroy
  this very important distinction.