GNU discussion

David Schlesinger David.Schlesinger at
Sat Jan 27 20:04:53 CET 2007

>As you point out, with Apple taking BSD software and 'competing
>against BSD', the market share for vanilla BSD is reduced. You can't
>however know whether in the medium-long term this is an 'overall good'
>which sped up Freedom through other interactions in the future or an
>overall bad. Apple geeks may migrate more easily to vanilla BSD
>because they are exposed to the standard terminal, and are frustrated
>at the limitations they find.

More importantly (and very relevantly to this list) you can't compete for consumers on a basis of "Not as good, but _more free_." If completely open phones are going to achieve any sort of dominance, then the same kind of work will have to go into project to support the capabilities that consumers want.

More likely, this will prompt other phone manufacturers to try to find ways to compete with the iPhone in as reasonable a time as possible. Some of those ways will likely be based on Linux, and will likely wind up being a mix of proprietary and open source software, but the net outcome will be that there will be a larger amount of more capable open source software available in the product space, and more open source software being used in more devices like the NEO.

It's pretty crazy for folks to be saying, "But...those guys are _competing_ with BSD!" Of course they are, that's what they _do_. And to compete back, BSD would have to get better. But "BSD" doesn't have goals of this sort: someone would have to take the initiative to make it happen. Wishing won't make it so, and somehow keeping Apple from doing it on their own won't either.

But the suggestion that Apple's doing something wrong or something they shouldn't do by competing sounds...well, kind of like the stuff Microsoft likes to say about Linux, y' know?

"He who sets out to slay monsters must be careful that he does not become a monster himself in the process."--Friedrich Nietzsche
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