"rights" and "freedoms"

David Johnson arandir at pm3a-32.meer.net
Fri Oct 15 02:28:39 UTC 1999

On Thu, 14 Oct 1999, L. Peter Deutsch wrote:

> That's the issue in a nutshell.  The Free Software movement verges on taking
> the position that the only legitimate way for programmers to make money is
> to provide services. 

I just installed the commercial abiWord word processor yesterday. It
looks very good, and I can't wait for it to be finished. Then I started
wondering how in the world they'll be able to make money with it. According to
ESR, the main ways commercial Free Software can make money is:

1) Support. Who needs tech support for a word processor? Particularly one that
designed correctly, has a proper UI, etc... The better the program, the less
support it needs.

2) KaputWare. Minimal functionality is free but the add-ons (or fonts, pics)
cost you. I've always thought that this scheme was pretty low. Plus, it doesn't
answer how developers get to eat when all software is free.

3) Software/Hardware combo. Drivers are free but hardware isn't. Doesn't apply
to abiWord.

and 4) Just sell the software. Enough people will buy it to support the
developers. Yeah, right! Why give $59.95 to AbiSource when I can get it for $2
from cheapbytes along with everything else on a Linux distro.

So, all in all, I don't see any way for AbiSource to legitimately make money. Am I missing something very


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