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sendmail.net: An Interview with Michael Tiemann

Dec 02, 1999, 17:25 (0 Talkback[s])

"When the news of the Red Hat-Cygnus deal broke, one name was conspicuously absent from the PR statements and press accounts: Michael Tiemann, who co-founded open-source pioneer Cygnus Solutions in 1989 and helped guide the company to success in the ensuing decade. Also known to the hacker community for his work on the GNU C compiler, the GNU C++ compiler (which he authored), and the GDB debugger, Tiemann has long been a leading figure in the world of free software. He spoke with us at length and in depth about the Red Hat-Cygnus merger, forking Linux, post-PC computing, why Red Hat!=Linux, and where he was when the deal was announced - and revealed that a delegation of open-source gurus (Tiemann included) is meeting with a group from Sun Microsystems to discuss Sun's position on open source and open standards."

"It's been ten years since you started Cygnus. You were the first to base a business on the Stallman model and the first to succeed with it. After ten years, would you say the model works?"

"Well, Stallman's model is about software development. Stallman doesn't really have a business model per se. He would never say, "This is how you should make money." He would certainly provide advice on how you should write software, and why you should write free software. What I did was to see how Stallman's model for technical development could be applied successfully in a capitalistic, competitive environment. In that sense, it's been very, very successful."

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