Producing the instruction implementations -Reply -Reply

Ray Whitmer
Mon, 12 May 1997 13:23:47 -0600

** High Priority **

>>> Marcus Daniels <> 05/12/97 12:51pm >>>
>Cygnus' products include gnu-win32, and Kerberos, and
>package things like GNU binutils and GNU gdb.  They just so happen
>not to restrict redistribution of source code.

But the items you have mentioned are all GPLed source code.  I am
ignorant of Cygnus having developed these products.  I am not certain
what value Cygnus gives them besides support -- call it consulting if you
like, but Cygnus calls it support.  Distribution itself is a form of support. 
Even if some of the code were originally authored by Cygnus, the free
availability relegates Cygnus to a support role.

Most software developers are not willing to stop adding value to such
software environments in-house and keeping some rights to parts of their
implementations.  Perhaps the whole idea of useful free standards
implementations is absurd, but if it is possible, I don't think it will happen
through pure GPL.

Cygnus is only a clear example of the issue, which needs to be clearly
resolved at the outset of such an undertaking, or one way or the other
supporters would be disappointed, and the fallout from false expectations
could be catastrophic to similar efforts. 

I am tired of talking about Cygnus and would prefer to talk about the VM. 
But the issue will not go away, and if no consensus is initially built, it will
only cause grief.  Even Cygnus will wonder on the tail end why many
original supporters would not be willing to go forward with it to help it
succeed.  Because it does not fit most significant buisiness models today.
 I would not argue against a targeted completely-free base implementation
combined with a greater optional GPL environment which could be
reimplemented as desired on different platforms.  But I am not certain GPL
is compatible with this approach.
Ray Whitmer