Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Because...

Author:William Crim
Posted:8/24/2000; 7:23:03 PM
Topic:Next survey: Are you an open source developer?
Msg #:20143 (In response to 20117)
Prev/Next:20142 / 20144

Bret, you can't destroy the free market unless you are the government, even then its not easy.

Price is a factor in a free market. It can destroy your ability to sell software, but the market for software survives irregardless of your ability to sell software.

Yes compilers are complicated, but they are less complicated than an OS, and there are several of those. Many companies make compilers for many different processors that gcc also supports. People buy them. My current employer has bought compilers and whole development environments that could have been done on gcc. However gcc doesn't optimize code the way we need it to, doesn't have a nice interface, and so they are willing to shell out literally thousands to buy compilers and IDEs. However PC users and programmers really don't often care that their compiler is 5-10% less efficient than "Commercial Offering X" because they don't care about the difference.

It is only unethical to destroy worthy businesses through means other than competition. gcc competes fairly in the compiler marketplace, it doesn't stop you from using another compiler, it doesn't prevent you from writting a new compiler, it doesn't have any lock-in(or even significant barrier) to prevent you from using another compiler on a system that gcc is included with. It does prevent you from using gcc as your basis for non-GPLed compiler however.

As you might recall egcs and pgcc both forked from gcc in competition over slow growth in features. The same with emacs. The same with the Linux libc. The egcs/gcc eventually got sorted out, as did Linux libc, emacs however I think is still split(not sure).

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