Subject: Re: Questions about Symbolics lisp machines
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 17:00:08 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Bulent Murtezaoglu <>
| I suspect you are not idly nitpicking here though, so I'll contiunue in
| similar vein.  Surely my wiser elders will tell me that my funds aren't
| limitless and I ought to regard my friendly and kind-hearted monetary
| activities as investments with a possibility of profit.  They would be
| right probably, but I wouldn't like them to begrudge me mistakes of
| inexperience.  I would hate for them to mislabel my activities.  OK?

  Sure, but I am happy that you picked up on this, because the fairly
  obvious followup-question is "would you lend money to people with the
  proviso that they give away any profits they might get from their
  investments or lottery tickets after you got 'burned' the first time?"

  I believe that the Free Software movement grew out of a disgruntled giver
  who saw that those who accepted the gift just ran off with the huge
  amount of money he gained from his investment or lottery ticket and gave
  nothing of it back to you, and then the GPL got written which dictates
  that if you do something useful with the gift, you cannot keep it.

| These are all valid points, but I think you'll hear similar lines from
| people who sell GPL'ed software.  And for the record, I think (as in the
| example I deleted) Kent's and for that matter your advice here is worth
| money w/o accountability or refunds.  You both have good reasons for
| doing it for free, but the point remains that if you put it out there for
| free you are killing the market (at least partially as you outline above)
| for for money services.

  Well, I have to agree with you on this.  It happened in the SGML
  community, where I put up a fairly large archive of SGML stuff and after
  a while needed funding for it, because it was beginning to take time away
  from paying efforts.  What I basically got back from people I talked to
  was that asking for help in funding it and my activities in maintaining
  it was "not right" since I had done it without pay so far.  I was greatly
  puzzled by this.  Then one of the companies who had refused to fund me,
  put conditions on inclusion of their freely available software in the
  archive that I provide them with logs of requests for their software.  I
  just removed their software and, disgusted, froze the archive, which
  still hangs around, but has not been maintained for 6 years.

  However, I value the communities I take part in highly, and they reward
  me for it, too.  My intense distaste for stupidity and for people who
  abuse any forum with their unprofessionalism and their utter lack of
  respect for those who give valuable advice away for free to those who
  seem to want to learn, does not seem to deter those who _have_ respect
  for the community-building efforts or the value of the advice so given.
  Also, if they have any idiots on board, they graciously keep them out of
  my way at all times, which enables a great working relationship and much
  improved working conditions.

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.