Re: NCSA's un-free browser - NOT

Nick Arnett (
Sat, 27 Aug 1994 22:45:14 +0200

At 10:14 PM 8/26/94 -0400, George Boyce wrote:
>I didn't mean to say they should give away the source code. I suggest
>the free binary we get from should be one built from
>the spyglass code, not from the original buggy code.

Ah, I see. I'd expect them to do so as a matter of course. It would be
sort of silly for them to maintain two sets of source code and try to make
the same improvements to both, wouldn't it?

As far as the government funding argument is concerned, it's clear to me
that if NCSA did nothing further, it will have already have paid back the
government investment, many times over. Mosaic was one of the keys to the
Web's rapid adoption, which is spreading fast beyond the
scientific/academic community into business. We have customers clamoring
for our search capabilities for their Web servers. I don't see that NCSA
owes the public anything more -- the benefits have probably wildly exceeded
the dreams of their funders. And I got a really great job out of it, too!
;-) Furthermore, we're going to hire a few more people, mostly software
engineers in the short run, but I can see our business alone growing really
large; we'll be one of many to benefit.

I hasten to emphasize that NCSA was only one of a number who contributed,
lest CERN and the many others get lost in the glare of publicity.


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