Re: Mind Bombs for Y2K

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From: Dave Winer (
Date: Sun Aug 27 2000 - 22:44:35 PDT

I am familiar with InfoDepot. Perhaps if their users hadn't been such
skinflints and had paid a reasonable price for the software you'd be happy
now, instead of having orphaned software.

I opened a discussion group on (InfoDepot is an outliner) and
so much whining you see there! These people are reallllly cheap, and at the
same time they bitch about the companies going under. I haven't told these
people that Radio UserLand is an outliner, because all they would do is
present me with infinitely detailed feature lists and then tell me if I do
all that, they'll pay me $19.95 and want free updates for life. Pardon me,
but what a bunch of cheapskates. Who would want to make software for them.

Dude, the Cluetrain goes both ways. You want the software. Pay for it.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Eirikur Hallgrimsson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2000 10:36 PM
Subject: Re: Mind Bombs for Y2K

> Adam Beberg wrote:
> > I hear that over and over from open source advocates. Only one problem.
> > It doesn't work that way. If I want to copy something in a piece of
> > software, I really don't need the source.
> Hubris? Adam, I don't want to write a replacement for that cool Mac
> project manager (InfoDepot)
> whose startup evaporated. I don't want to write a replacement for the
> godawful copyprotected music editing software (whose company has
> abandoned it). Both of those left me with files that can't be read on
> contemporary versions of the appropriate operating system. This is what
> happens to you if you play with bleeding-edge software in the
> chained-software world.
> I won't make that mistake again. I won't save any work into proprietary
> formats, and I won't rely upon the operation of software for which I
> only have binaries. It's just crazy.
> And the continuing evolution of runtime environments (at ever-increasing
> rates) means that eventually, AKA real soon, the only sane distribution
> of software might just be source.
> With all respect, I really don't think that you could clean-room rewrite
> major applications, even granting you macho programmer status that I
> don't claim. Yeah, you see a feature, I would expect that you could
> copy it. A heuristic in a music or math processing package? I wonder.
> For non-trivial software, I think you do need the source. And it needs
> to be good source,
> because uncommented,undocumented, unmaintainable source is not worth
> having.
> I'm not really such a hard-liner, but I really have been burned by music
> software (proprietary project formats) and clever new applications from
> startups that fold. I'd rather use and fix the free software than spend
> money on such albatrosses.
> Eirikur

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