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O'Reilly.net: A Response to Andrew Leonard on the Demise of Eazel

May 19, 2001, 13:50 (46 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tim O'Reilly)

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[ Thanks to Serge Boiko for this link. ]

We didn't link to a followup article by Andrew Leonard himself after his mope of a post-mortem on Eazel's fall because it seemed over-generous for what might have been a well-executed troll. We aren't even thrilled with the fact this article by Tim O'Reilly arrives in the form of a response to that. What piques our interest, however, is that next-to-last paragraph.

Prior to this, he mentions "ease of use" in the context of well-designed web pages, several of which are built on open source software. Then we're given this:

"I find myself completely baffled by the failure of the hardcore open source community (or really the free software community, which focuses so single-mindedly on the GNU part of the Linux heritage) to acknowledge and own its real business successes, while endlessly obsessing about the markets (the Windows desktop and office applications) where open source not only has a steep uphill climb but also a less compelling business model."
So is this a question of exemplary vision as the world hurtles past the traditional desktop and its attendant productivity applications, or resigned withdrawal from enthusiasm over the prospect of making a significant dent in the desktop market with anything the Free Software or open source developer communities have brought to bear so far?

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