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Re: [hackers-il] Talkback about flame wars being substitute for capitalistic cutthroat competition

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  • Nadav Har'El
    ... Indeed. However, it should be clear where the parallel ends: Competition between companies isn t just about you (as a company) being better than the
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 17, 2008
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      On Sun, Aug 17, 2008, Omer Zak wrote about "[hackers-il] Talkback about flame wars being substitute for capitalistic?cutthroat competition":
      > of an article about four famous Free Software related religious wars -
      > has, among other things, the following passage (quoted out of context):
      > "these debates (for want of a better word) propel the FSF Community
      > towards greater heights, replacing, in effect, competition between
      > companies"
      >
      > This is an interesting thought.

      Indeed. However, it should be clear where the parallel ends: Competition
      between companies isn't just about you (as a company) being better than the
      others. It also involves trying to keep the other companies not as good as
      you, by employing tactics like trade secrets, NDAs, patents, and so on.

      With competition between free software projects, you have no (acceptable) way
      to put your competitor down - basically, any code you write, any idea you
      have, this competitor is free to copy from you.

      This is what makes, I think, free software so much more interesting than the
      commercial software world.

      By the way, with free software, the stakes are also difference. A company
      has a lot to lose by losing market share to a competitor. What does Richard
      Stallman care if 10%, 50% or 90% of the people chose his Emacs over Vi?
      I mean, it makes you feel good all over to know that many people benefit from
      what you did, but do people really care if 90% or "just" 10% of the users
      use the code you wrote? Does Bram Molenaar keep awake at night trying to
      devise ways to push the balance more to the vi side, or just improves vim
      because he really loves vim?


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      Nadav Har'El | Sunday, Aug 17 2008, 17 Av 5768
      nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
      Phone +972-523-790466, ICQ 13349191 |Linux: Because a PC is a terrible thing
      http://nadav.harel.org.il |to waste.
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