The Community is the Company

loic at loic at
Sun May 27 18:49:54 UTC 2001

TonStanco at writes:

 > I was being unclear. What I should have said is "near zero
 > development cost,"

	I read your explanations carefully. Could is be summarized as:
Free Software cannot be developped if there is competition ? Or: 
If Free Software wants to compete with non free software from a
commercial market point of view, it must find ways to reduce competition
in order to better share the develpment costs ? 

	What I have troubles to understand is why competition would
harm people and companies working on Free Software. My assumptions are
that 80% of the commercial activity surrounding Free Software is
unrelated to development (packaging, support, training, counseling,
branding, exhibitions etc.) and the other 20% is related to development.
I also assume that in a Free Software economy you pay for software
development because you need it (internal software infrastructure,
missing components that will make packages sell better, improve your
brand etc.). 

	If you pay for a development to be done, it can be used by others.
This may be seen as a disadvantage but it's the game. At the same time you
benefit from the development paid by countless others. All in all everyone
	If you sell packages only and never pays for any developers (this
is a dream since we all known package makers have significant development
costs) then you provide a necessary added value to the Free Software
that you ship : it becomes available to the public. The public will
know and use the software and is more likely to pay for more development
to the companies that are able or willing to do this.
	If you sell training courses it is very likely that you won't
pay for development at all. However the people you educate will better
understand the software and are likely to require more developments
(to extend its functionalities or dialog with other software or catchup
with standards etc.).
	I could go on the same logic but I guess you understood
the logic I'm following.

	My feeling is that everyone selfishly pays for the bits it
needs and when you add all the bits it makes a great Free Software
universe. Also, not everyone doing business with Free Software pays
for development but to the very least the become dependant on Free
Software and this, in itself, is a value added. 

	I have troubles understanding why a structure should be built
to better redistribute the development costs. What is the major
drawback that needs to be fixed in this way ? I think you know have a
clear view of my understanding of the situation and will better be
able to fix it if needs be.


Loic   Dachary  loic at
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