Re: Bug in 1.2.13 firewall?

Mike Kilburn (
Sun, 16 Jun 1996 23:21:31 +0200

> > (Dennis)
> The idea that a commercial vendor would invest corporate resources
> in a value-added software driver and give away source so that their
> competitors could use it is simply not practical. Perhaps for a bare
> bones or highly board-specific driver...but most of the "value-added"
> features that make our product attractive are portable to other products.

PPP and Cisco HDLC is pretty much bare bone. No great secrets, plenty
of source around. Only your frame relay code is not ( that I know of ) but
thats going to change in 97.

> So what you're saying is that you only want raw board drivers, and you
> guys want to write the frame relay and do all the value-added stuff

Some of your frame relay features are not freely avail. right now so I
understand why you want to protect them. The fact that you chose to increase
your profit margin by using the PC cpu and ram for these features is why
you cant make your drivers free and protect your code at the same time. If
your products were cheap as a result then I suppose it would be worth it but
that does not appear to be so.

You can make your software free and still make money. If you have good
hardware and support people will buy from you.

> America thrives on competition (and I recognize that you're not from here),

I am Amercian. Dont let my african email addresses fool you. Yes, competition
will show that free sofware is profitable.

> and there isn't enough difference between decent hardware to get
> people to buy your product without a price war. If we made source available,

The difference is quality, support, service and people.

> the first thing that would happen is that someone would port
> the features to a less expensive board. So then we have to drop our
> prices (which you THINK is a good thing), cut back on support and then
> we stop doing new development for LINUX and start concentrating
> on NT or something where we can make better margins. The effect
> is that the LINUX community loses.
No. You lose. What are your NT sales relative to Linux. What you describe
simply wont happen in the general case (maybe for you). For example: good
software for basic routers has long been freely avail. and there are plenty
of companies making a good living selling basic routers. The low end Ciscos
are still making plenty of money. By your logic this is not possible because
that software is freely avail. and good hardware to run it on also is.
If the only thing that keeps you in profit is a frame relay module then
I suspect your going to run into some problems next year because there
will be free frame relay for Linux in 97.

> The best one that I heard was the "let 'em put it in E-PROM". Tell me,
> why is that acceptable? You want to pay $100 shipping and handling
> every time there's an upgrade, or do you want to download from an
> ftp site? Another thoughtful quote from the peanut gallery.

Intel has this stuff called FLASH. You might want to look into it :).

I belive one can make a profit and develop free software. Simple as that.
For me thats what this thread has come down to. You dont belive in free
software and I do.