[Haskell-cafe] Re: Why Not Haskell?

Stefan Monnier monnier at iro.umontreal.ca
Mon Aug 7 13:00:53 EDT 2006

> Well I understand the "free as in free speech not free beer" motto, but
> suppose person A is talented at writing software but prefers a peaceful
> existence and lacks the contacts/refs/desire/energy etc to be a consultant
> or contractor, and has had the bad experience of being forced to work
> extremely long hours with low pay while in an employed position, and person
> B is outgoing, ebullient, and talented at marketing and advertising.  Now
> person A spends some years quietly writing some code, which uses a GPL
> library and is therefore GPL'd, and sells it, as is his/her right under the
> GPL to person B.

If person A really worked for years using a GPL'd library and hoping to make
money selling the resulting program (rather than services around that
program), he's a complete and total idiot.

In any case, making a living by selling a program (as opposed to services
around that program) is a difficult business.  Except when it's a program
written on-demand for a customer who pays you directly to write it (in
which case the GPL probably won't get in way, BTW).

> I can't entirely dismiss GNU/FSF/GPL but it poses a fundamental conflict
> with the only way I can see of earning a living so it's like a continuous
> background problem which drains some of my energy and enthusiasm hence the
> length of my rambling post where I made another attempt to understand my
> relation to it.

Maybe you should thank the FSF for making you doubt: you should really think
very hard about how you're going to make a living off of selling a program,
even if that program hasn't been anywhere near any GPL'd code.  In all
likelihood it'll be much easier to earn your money by selling services
around your program than just the program itself.


More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list