Producing the instruction implementations -Reply -Reply

Ray Whitmer
Mon, 12 May 1997 12:41:15 -0600

** High Priority **

>>> Marcus G. Daniels <> 05/12/97
>Commercial providers *can* incorporate GPLed code in to commercial
>offerings. Cygnus Solutions is an example of a company doing this.

I am certain some including the founders of GNU think it is possible for
everyone.  I am not certain it is practical for many commercial providers.  I
am not certain the IBMs, Microsofts, Suns, Netscapes, etc., of the world
find the restrictions of the GPL worth the code or standards which they
get in exchange.  I could never make it fly with any legal department I of
any company I have ever dealt with.  I do not attempt to trivialize the goals
of GNU in this regard, but I feel that without eventual wide-spread
acceptance, the VM is of no value, and I don't see major current players
buying in to the GPL.  There is no perfect answer, but I am much more
inclined to take seriously software such as James Clark's SGML Parser
( which seems much more attractive as a basis for
commercial work due to the more-open public license.

I believe that proprietary work can still be shunned and condemned as
such in a more open framework, but everyone gains if this free
foundation has widespread adoption, even if some nuances that give a
proprietary edge to a product (without being proprietary in and of
themselves in that they do not break the standards) could be good.

Perhaps it would be possible to still cover non-essential
non-standards-based performance stuff under GPL and the basic
implementation parts under some freer license.  But the easier it is for
commercial environment providers to provide it, the more credible it will

>>> Marcus G. Daniels <> 05/12/97 >It
seems to me a sourceware JVM code generator library and a
>Scheme interpreter falls under the category of `strategic decision for

Perhaps too much has been edited out here.  I do not understand at all the
point here.

>Note that it is Cygnus Solutions, not Cygnus Support.

Copying from the company profile:

The company was founded in 1989 to provide commercial support for
open Internet technologies. Cygnus pioneered the "free software" model
-- a business model which has allowed us to drive rapid evolution and
adoption of the GNU standard and enjoy profitable growth at the same
time. Under the free software model, we make source code available and
freely redistributable through our relationship with the Free Software
Foundation. We earn our revenues by providing commercial support
services directly to the world's leading technology companies, as well as
through directed R&D contracts. 

Sounds like mostly "Cygnus Support" to me, aside possible occasional
from custom work.  No disrespect intended towards that very worthwhile
market.  But it is a little different from typical commercial software
development company which seems to be an important place where the
acceptance/deployment of such a Decaf VM standard needs to come.  I
am not aware of any GNU standard which has the broad-based support
of, for example, the Java VM.

Ray Whitmer