Subject: Re: Merger
To: None <,>
From: Peter Brewer <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 09/02/1994 00:29:22

The boycott of Apple is promoted by the League for Programming
Freedom.  The LPF isn't concerned with question of whether a program
is free software or not.  It's concerned with something more
fundamental: whether you are allowed to write the program at all.

I personally care strongly whether any given program is free.  But the
LPF doesn't share that view.  From the LPF's point of view, it doesn't
matter whether a program for an Apple machine is free software or not.

The idea of the boycott is that Apple is attacking your freedom and
everyone's freedom, so it makes sense to take your business
elsewhere--to buy a computer from someone else.


From the 'horse's mouth! Well there are alot of 'evil things' Apple
has done but my perception is that when they do these things they
usually pay for it... if not right away sometime down the road. By
this I mean they have succeeded in alienating their best and brightest
and now are in the unenviable position of having to take on the TRUE
monolith and monopoly of the 80's and 90's Microsoft. It is really
Microsoft who determines which machine we program on and what 
environment we work in. They now represent the force to restrict a
programmer's freedom. It is ironic that Apple perhaps more than IBM
helped make Microsoft who they are today. So, perhaps your boycott
should be redirected toward Microsoft? Notice how they succeeded
in forcing Apple to cancel Mac Basic as a product and almost
make HyperCard an orphan.

These are the forces which brought about the cancellation of the
DARPA project which funded Berkeley Unix. I will be interested
in watching how its descendent LINUX will do against said forces.
I think you over estimate Apple's 'current' influence over things.

We are all affected by these things but I think the Internet or the
'Augmentation of the Intellect' as Englebart would call it is the means
for empowering the 'common man' against corporate, government, and
academic elitism. It is here we find the 'tool' James Burke did not
foresee in his now famous 'Connections' science series which may
solve his 'Problem' with modern technology. That is that
most 'critical' information is 'locked' away within the above 3 entities 
and 'encrypted' by 'specialty' languages which one needs to understand 
this information even if it were accessible. But, now we have a rapidly
blossoming Net or 'Information Highway' which seems in the process of
creating the 'enabling' technology which allow just about anyone to 
access and understand legislation or strange 'Public Domain' software
patents, and 'bleeding edge' research as well as Corporate decisions
which affect stockholders and customer bases. I believe the Internet
is something which most 'powers-that-be or powers-that-were' never
expected and could not have predicted and thus is rapidly becoming
the thing which will allow any of us all to shake even the highest 
ivory towers. This is the place where I think our programming 
freedom will be defended and protected.

-- Peter