Subject RE: [IBDI] Re: (and a Jason rant on "free beer" again)
Author Paulo Gaspar

List founder or not, politics are off topic and this still is not
an USA-only list. Being a founder you (should) be an example.

When you mean GPL, please say GPL, don't say Open Source.

About national attitudes, just some perspective:

About America contributions to the world, there are a lot of good
ones and a lot of bad ones. And the result of a balance is at
least questionable enough to deserve some reserve.

Since you are into history, I advise you to try to study it beyond
what is in the primary school books as I did with the history of
my own country.

In the primary school books I studied all was great and perfect,
but when going trough other sources the balance is much more

I am sure you will be able to cover the history of your country
even much better, since it all is so much shorter and recent than

If you think that one can not compare Portugal's influence to the
one of the USA, maybe you should get some perspective: although
Portugal is a very small country, there was a time when its impact
over the world was immense. The marks (both good and bad) are
still there to see (if you know enough to recognize them) and
cover most of the globe.

A small example: the navigation techniques used to discover
America were perfectioned by the Portuguese.

There is also not so anecdotic evidence that the existence of the
continent might be a well kept Portuguese secret even before
Columbus went there. This and the similar Australia case are
controversial, but the famous "Secret Portuguese Maps" are often
mentioned even in fiction (e.g.: "Shogun").

Many other countries represented in this list have an history of
greatness and of enormous contributions to the cultural political
and technological evolution of the world. Many other countries
had their turn and left a mark.

However, all of them are much less influent today that they were
before. Some don't even exist anymore (consider the Inca people).

(Did you know that Inca constructions resisted very well to

Just from the top of my mind:
- Greece: wide Mediterranean influence, mathematics, philosophy,
navigation techniques, architecture, etc.
- Italy: the Roman empire, the roman alphabet we are using,
navigation techniques (the Latin sail?), architecture (the
use of the arch in bridges and buildings), etc.
- Arabic countries: besides a much larger geopolitical influence,
literature, architecture (the use of the vault) and
mathematics. The Arabic numeration we still use is the base
of the evolution of Arithmetic and Mathematics - example:
dividing two numbers was almost impossible before.

And I could go on with some which influence is still more
visible, like the UK, Spain, France, etc.

All this countries and some others I did not mention had
sometime in history a huge geopolitical influence and developed
technologies that are the foundation of things we now take for
granted. However, some of them look quite small and meaningless
now when compared with the USA.

Some great empires lasted for centuries, some just a few years,
but looking back at those histories, it sure looks like THAT
kind of greatness was a temporary situation. And a general
attitude of arrogance was the beginning of the end for most of

History also shows:
- Respect your neighbors and then just _maybe_ they will
respect you.
- Try to rule your neighbors and then it is _sure_ they will
kick back.

The world got small and we are all neighbors today.

Have fun,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jason Wharton [mailto:jwharton@...]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 7:58 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [IBDI] Re: (and a Jason rant on "free beer" again)
> Just to clarify a few things:
> I am fully aware that probably MOST of the subscribers here are
> international folk. I wrote much of what I did with that in mind.
> I didn't intend to convey the notion that America does no wrong and I am
> sensitive to the gross injustices of our aristocrats, political and
> otherwise. I was not alluding to any current political scene but
> the entire
> history of our country. I'm not much into politics, just history.
> In the big
> picture of things, I think America in general has been a useful
> contributor
> to the global well being of our planet. I believe it continues to be so
> today. If you disagree, I can handle that and would be glad to
> consider your
> opinions in private. I did not intend to spark off a big
> political war here.
> As for my rant regarding "free beer" related stuff. I clearly stated the
> principles my complaint was based on and simply stated I saw some
> things in
> the big picture I felt could go awry if we are not more forward thinking.
> Free is just all too seductive to schmooze into without any
> thought. I used
> GPL's virulent nature as an example only. I have only asked that
> my remarks
> be considered food for thought.
> I support full source availability and open collaborative
> development 100%.
> I just don't like to see force and control tactics used to any
> degree in the
> process of encouraging that. Nor do I like to see concepts and
> tactics used
> that are harmful to our industry's economy. That is the gist of
> my point and
> I am sure it is valid food for thought. This is also why you will notice I
> am one of the sponsors of bug fixes and enhancements to Firebird. I've got
> more things I want to sponsor as well and will gladly do so as I am able.
> What happened with InterBase is a VERY valid use for OS. Borland
> had decided
> to kill it off and so opening the sources was a commendable and
> responsible
> thing to do. I have no bones with Firebird, other than I know it will
> struggle and suffer for lack of a financial footing. Even if Firebird is
> unable to thrive, it gave us an opportunity as a community to put some
> finishing touches on the IB6 code and have something very usable.
> Also, if there are those of you who think I should act more conforming and
> tread more lightly with my opinions and comments, let me just tell you a
> little more about my nature. I'd rather say something to one's face and be
> corrected on the spot if such was needed than harbor some ill
> misconception
> and never have it challenged. If I'm wrong about anything here, I trust
> people are going to correct me and I welcome it. Life is too short to go
> through it with blinders on fearing this or that. Truth, nothing less will
> do.
> Perhaps I'm taking some liberties here since I co-started the IBDI and
> filled a significant role in influencing things so we could even have the
> opportunity to continue using the InterBase technology as we
> are... If you
> think that's wrong of me to do, my apologies.
> Jason Wharton
> CPS - Mesa AZ
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Paulo Gaspar" <Paulo.Gaspar@...>
> To: <>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 3:05 AM
> Subject: RE: [IBDI] Re: About IBX and Firebird (and a Jason rant on "free
> beer" again)
> > Jason,
> >
> > 1 - This is NOT an USA-only software forum;
> >
> > 2 - You should get better informed on how Open Source works, which
> > includes getting aware that Open Source is NOT a sinonym to GPL.
> > You just have to consider Apache, where there are several
> > projects sponsored (with commiters paid) by companies like Sun,
> > IBM, etc. and its resulting software being used in commercial
> > products from IBM, Sun, Borland, Oracle, etc.
> >
> > 3 - You should get better informed on potitics. CNN and NBC are not
> > that good at providing you with the full picture you know? I
> > would advise you to follow the news at these sites:
> >
> >
> >
> > and even some others at:
> >
> >
> > (Did you noticed that I included I couple of American
> > publications?)
> >
> >
> > Have fun,
> > Paulo Gaspar
> >
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