[Wolves] FOSS, who's it for? Us or them?

Adam Sweet adam at adamsweet.org
Tue Sep 16 15:10:35 UTC 2008

Kevanf1 wrote:
> 2008/9/16 Peter Evans <zen8486 at zen.co.uk>:

>> Just because the source code's available doesn't actually make it easier to
>> work with.
> But, surely it's got to be easier if you have full access to the
> source code rather than possible patchy access?  No, I'm not looking
> for an argument I'm just trying to get my head around what I've been
> told over the last 12 or more years about open source versus closed.
> Isn't this the reason it has taken the WINE guys and girls so long to
> be confident enough to release version 1.0?

I admit that I don't know whether being labelled as open source means it
was written from scratch by Google and released as open source or
whether they took a load of open source code and started from there (I
think it might be the first case).

The issue is I think that just having the code doesn't make it
straightforward to build a reliable product on 3 completely different
platforms (yes OS X is Unix based but the Apple way is sufficiently
different to any other).

Mozilla went away with the Netscape code and it took them 4 years to
come back with something and it still wasn't a usable browser, it was a
cross-platform toolkit they could build a browser on. It took them
another 2 or 3 years on top of that for the first useful builds of the
Mozilla suite. Counter arguments exist for this example though, I think
they reimplemented the wheel about 4 times.


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