Re: [rp-ml] terminology and all that...

From: Steve Baker (
Date: Fri Aug 12 2005 - 03:15:29 EEST wrote:

> Like Sheba, I loathe the very sound of the word "fab." It might have been
> gear in the 60's, but it's uncoolly retro and cacophonous to my ear. I find it
> and its variants repellent, and more importantly - it's thoroughly meaningless
> to John Q. Public. If this field is ever to progress and become meaningful to
> a broader audience, that's who you must reach. R.I.P. - F.A.B.

I don't think the general public cares about how meaningful a term is. They
are very happy to talk about DVD's without knowing that it stands for 'Digital
Versatile Disk'. I'd prefer that the world settle on a name that isn't
plain *wrong* - but amongst 'right' names, I don't think the public needs to
know what it means.

> Open source? How does Red Hat make money? Do they?

RedHat takes about 1,600 individual pieces of software from 1,600 separate
websites and picks out the good stuff - discarding the junk. Then they
package it in a way that makes it easy to decide what you want to install -
and they sell it on CD-ROM so you don't have to wait days for it all to
download - and they put it into an attractive box with nice printed manuals
for people who don't like to read manuals off the screen. They also sell their
services answering the phone and helping people who have gotten stuck or

They do make money doing this - but I don't think they'll get rich quickly.

Designs for a 3D printer wouldn't need to follow that model. You don't need
someone to put together 1,600 designs onto a CD-ROM. People can find a
design they like on the Internet, download it in minutes and ship it off
to their 3D printer immediately.

The business model of seems much more likely for an
OpenSource redistributor of 3D designs in the future.

---------------------------- Steve Baker -------------------------
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