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FW: Your Open Source Acid Test Article.
This is the answer that came from the e-mail I sent to Ted Lewis about his
innane article about the "Acid Test"
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ted Lewis [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Friday, February 12, 1999 11:41 AM
> To: Schlough, Mark (NM IT)
> Cc: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Your Open Source Acis Test Article.
> I'll try to reply to each, below:
> At 11:38 AM -0800 2/11/99, Schlough, Mark (NM IT) wrote:
> >Thanks for your analysis of Open Source, it' always good to see it in the
> >mainstream press.
> >There are a few points in your article I do not understand.
> >I am confused about your mention of the install base. You say it's 7.5
> >million, actually it's more like 11 million. Check the new statistics
> >Redhat. Assuming the figure of 7.5 million is correct, a 10% server
> >share in the Unix market is a greater percentage than Mac has in the
> >desktop, the Mac is undisputed as a mature and accepted product in the
> I took the most-conservative estimate, which was 7 million according to
> several sources.
> I think a better comparison would be with another free product, actually.
> But the point is that 10% or 15% or whatever, is a niche market. The rate
> of change, however, suggests the Linux will become dominant in a few
> I simply don't subscribe to that projection for the reasons I gave.
> Mathematically, though, it is possible that Linux could come to dominate
> the "UNIX market".
> >The Gartner Group refutes this argument as well. They state plainly that
> >Linux is the only non-Microsoft OS to be gaining marketshare. Again,
> >the statistics at redhat.
> >Unlike the Netscape code, the GPL strictly prohibits the absorobtion of
> >GPL'd code into another product without the resulting product being
> >Thus is any vendor takes the Linux kernel, or any other GLP'd code and
> >incorporates it into it's product, the new product carries the GPL. This
> >guarantees that the code will remain freely available to change,
> >and modify. This defends the code from being "embraced and extended"
> >Microsoft or any other vendor that wishes to squash the availablility of
> Yes, I know. My conjecture was based on the notion that legal documents
> be amended - especially when greed sets in. But, the open source community
> isn't interested in money, I am told, so this is an unlikely event. Unless
> of course, mercenaries get ahold of the code!
> >It seems your misunderstanding of the basis of the GPL negates much of
> >I'm still puzzled why a program with 100kloc with 10 bugs is more
> >that a program with 50kloc and 6 bugs. This makes no sense. Look at
> >uptime to measure reliability.
> Yes, most of the open source community seems to be ignorate of the
> engineeing principles of defect densities. I was simply trying to argue
> from a scientific point-of-view rather than an emotional one. Impossible!
> >Unlike windows, everything and the kitchen sink is not in the kernel.
> >drivers are not in the kernel, they are in the X Server, or some other
> >server. It does not follow the Microsoft model that all the features go
> >into the kernel. Because it is developed on a more granular level the
> >components can simply be combined, rather than have then all
> >They are simply assembled.
> >I don't think that Micosoft can hold it's strong position with the old
> >techniques, because new rules apply.
> Yes, I agree. But exactly what "new rules"?
> >moving on to you "WILD CARD" section....
> >I wonder if you knew that Redhat and Caldera have been commercial for
> >years now. They are still linux; they still have to adhere to the GPL..
> >This keeps them from fragmenting into the UNIX flavors we currently have.
> >The licensing leaves all the improvements of one to be availble for all
> >use. Linux will be one Linux, the GPL guarantees it. It cannot fragment
> >with a fundamental change in the license.
> Yes, I agree. Infact, Linux may be what standardizes UNIX. Unfortunately,
> it may be too late as Windows NT is rapidly ascending the scale of larger
> and larger systems. We shall see.
> >After a more terse understanding of the power and strictness of the GPL,
> >perhaps you article would have been authored differently.
> >I look forward to you feedback.
> >Minneapolis, Minnesota
> Ted Lewis, Ph.D.
> Technology Assessment Group
> 13260 Corte Lindo
> Salinas, CA. 93908
> (831)-484-1240 v, -0730 fax (831)-596-0620 cellular
> www.friction-free-economy.com (Articles and book preface)
> firstname.lastname@example.org (Most-likely place to find me)