Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(June 1998)

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Subject: Re: Big Picture
From: Eric Thomas <ERIC @ VM . SE . LSOFT . COM>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 16:01:07 +0200
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM, Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ PLAIDWORKS . COM>
In-reply-to: Message of Mon, 15 Jun 1998 21:16:54 -0700 from Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ PLAIDWORKS . COM>

On   Mon,    15   Jun    1998   21:16:54    -0700   Chuq    Von   Rospach
<chuqui @
 COM> said:

>How widely available are these things?  Is there a web site? and/or mail
>lists to discuss it?

There is some stuff on our FTP server, others want to have their tools on
their own site so  they can update them at will, yet  others send them to
you on request  (typically you search the archives of  LSTSRV-L or post),
because they figure that  if they put it up for  anonymous FTP, they will
be  expected to  spend at  least 1h/week  enhancing them  for OTHERS  :-)
Likewise we are  reluctant to put anything  on our site when  we know the
author graduated/left  and people will come  to us for support  no matter
how many  times we say AS  IS on the FTP  banner. THAT is a  case where a
commercial product has a disadvantage, no matter how many disclaimers are
shown, anything on  the vendor's site is expected to  work, be reasonably
bug-free and be fixed if it breaks.  This makes it more difficult for the
vendor to assemble a collection of tools. IBM had hundreds of top-quality
internal  tools that  it  took over  15  years of  lobbying  for them  to
release, because they were worried that  people would use them and depend
on them, and then  blame IBM if they broke and  millions were lost. There
used  to  be  a  "black-market"  operation, people  who  worked  for  IBM
temporarily would "bring a tape home"  and give their friends a copy. IBM
didn't mind at all (otherwise people  wouldn't have done it, nobody wants
to be sued by IBM!) Since it was illegal they weren't about to be sued by
their  customers, which  was  their only  concern.  Likewise people  knew
better than to depend on an illegal  copy of an IBM tool for anything but
personal  use.  Eventually, they  agreed  to  release selected  tools  on
limited terms. It was also possible to  get them officially if you were a
big enough  customer and signed  enough disclaimers (and they  would give
you the source code). Obviously the Linux team does not have this problem


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From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
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From: mark david mcCreary <mdm @ mail-list . com>
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