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Re: Requirements for reliable message delivery

From: Jim Gettys <jg@pa.dec.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 11:45:34 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <200111281945.fASJjYW473226@pachyderm.pa.dec.com>
To: "Marshall T. Rose" <mrose@dbc.mtview.ca.us>
Cc: Jim Gettys <jg@pa.dec.com>, Discuss Apps <discuss@apps.ietf.org>

The short answer, with 20-20 hindsight, is that X stopped thriving the 
day the X consortium was established (in 1988).  We did not understand 
open source as a phenomena then, and the strings attached by the vendors
supporting the X consortium along with the continual fights among the
vendors really crippled progress shortly after its establishment.  More
importantly, it subverted the open culture we had developed for X, and
that killed it.  We may have not had a choice, but we didn't understand
we were making a choice.

Around '93 is when the UNIX vendors understood they had lost the desktop,
and things really didn't progress much after that, and their interest
and support waned.

It is has taken the emergence of Linux, XFree86, Gnome and KDE to again
give a Linux/UNIX desktop a new lease on life; that took a good 4-5 years
to gain enough momentum to start needing to push the base technology again
(i.e. Keith Packard's recent work), though I was amazed to see what they
had accomplished even before Keith started pushing the base system forward

I point you toward my USENIX 2000 invited talk:
Lessons Learned about Open Source
A bit dated, given the crash of the speculative bubble, but most of it
I get right....

I think you'll find it a fun talk to read through.  I had alot of fun
putting it together, and it represents months of my time from when
I was getting my head around open source in general.
                       - Jim

> From: "Marshall T. Rose" <mrose@dbc.mtview.ca.us>
> Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 11:31:37 -0800
> To: "Jim Gettys" <jg@pa.dec.com>
> Cc: "Jim Gettys" <jg@pa.dec.com>, "Discuss Apps" <discuss@apps.ietf.org>,
>         "Marshall Rose" <mrose@dbc.mtview.ca.us>
> Subject: Re: Requirements for reliable message delivery
> -----
> jim - i think we pretty much are in agreement, but one question:
> > Thousands of graphics apps have been built on top of X: the point being,
> > for the domain of graphics, one protocol was designed to support (almost)
> > all comers, and we succeeded at that up until about 1993.  Keith Packard
> > and I are conspiring to try to update X again to get back to that level
> > of universality (X, right now, does not include translucent windows,
> > which it needs, and a few other items, though Keith's recent work has
> > added antialised text and graphics with alpha blending, based on and
> > extending beyond Rob Pike's Plan 9 work).
> what happened exactly in 93? in general, once you start winning, it's hard
> to stop winning...
> /mtr

Jim Gettys
Cambridge Research Laboratory
Compaq Computer Corporation
Received on Wednesday, 28 November 2001 14:46:15 UTC

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