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[ox-en] Step-change by Free Software (was: Re: Software as society)

Hi Niall and list!

Last month (41 days ago) Niall Douglas wrote:
I once wrote an extension for Acorn RISC-OS called
Wimp2 which provided a preemptive multitasker to replace RO's
cooperative one. Now what was interesting about this was that for
many years preemptively multitasking existing RO applications was
considered near impossible and that while it probably could be done,
it would be too slow to be workable.

Ok, we heard that it was "considered near impossible and that while it
probably could be done, it would be too slow to be workable."

After some weeks spent slaving in assembler, I produced a working

Wow! Given the opinion others had about your deed to me this seems
like a step-change in this field! Congratulations!

If you do a google search, you'll get some idea of the social impact
of what was ultimately a very small bit of code.

Indeed Google took me to

Well, after your ranting endlessly about Free Software being not able
to make step-change - at least not if under GPL - I expected an option
to buy a license from you.

I was mildly astonished that I were able to download the software
right away. I did, unpacked it and found a file `Docs/Legal'. Of
course I was keen to know what would have awaited me if I really would
be interested in using this software. After all you said on this list
you may imagine my puzzlement when I read the first lines of this file

		       Version 2, June 1991

Now, Niall, something must be wrong here. Either your deed was not as
glorious as you are trying to convince us - and thus not a
step-change. Or you yourself gave us a very nice example of a GPL
licensed step-change in software - making your own xrants rather

Also, because this is another point you could not stop repeating again
and again, I'd be really interested if you wrote this code against
your will. If not there must have been at least some kind of volunteer
effort on your side - which you also say prevents step-changes. May be
you even have not been paid for your hours.

						Mit Freien Grüßen



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