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[Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@canada.com>] [viavoice] RE: Open source speech applications, was: Re: Other Asian Languages

for example ...

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I am sure we on the GPL side do not mean to be nasty ;) I think that
goes without saying, but Tom raises a good point about the advantages
that could accrue if VV was integrated into Gnome or KDE and shipped
as freely as all other GPL software --- pure GPL is a religious issue
with a small minority (most of us use the Netscape Navigator and
RealPlayer) and to some extent it started as a game, "Let's see _if_
we can construct a complete system in pure GPL".  When we started this
game in 1995 or so, it was not possible beyond a C/C++ developer
workstation, but today, there is precious little which is not
available as GPL or equivalent.

What has happened in the past 10 months, though, was nothing short of
amazing.  All us open-source hippies had been preaching peace love and
free software, but no one took us seriously.  What does a geek know
about Doing Business, they would say. Then, all of a sudden, thanks in
no small part to the bravery and vision of IBM, we became respectable,
and from there, Corporate America felt safe enough with the _concept_
of free software to give us a go.  And what happened next was exactly
as foretold by the Prophet RMS: They discovered that open source gave
them _power_ over their own destiny.  They discovered that what we'd
been preaching for 15 years was true.

Two years ago, I was still looked upon as the token open source
hippy. Today, even in the halls of stodgy Bell Canada, I am seen as
just another developer, nothing special.  Today, the benefits I so
passionately delivered in that board room which lead to our first pure
open source public web app are considered mainstream and obvious
ideas, and when I propose any new solution to them, there is an
automatic questioning of each and every component which is not open
source.  I find today I must just as passionately defend a choice of
DB2 over MySQL or PostgreSQL 7!!

It reminds me of a bibilical paraphrase given by Nostradamus in his
1557 letter to King Henri: "He who is now called 'prophet' was once
called 'seer'".  Many of us old timers who support free software do so
because we saw the benefits in our own work.

As for Sphinx, there are many reasons why it may be failing.  "Open
Source is not magic pixie dust" is Eric Raymond's pet phrase.  It is
only one component, although without it, no magic can happen.  The
other ingredients are to have a critical mass of code which actually
works (open source is not a good way to start a project, as is
evidenced by the high percentage of non-functional and stagnant
projects on SourceForge).  The code itself must be amiable to
multi-programmer development by being highly modular and well
designed. The MVC pattern seems to work best of all. Open source also
needs charismatic leaders who inspire the respect of other developers
and who are clearly devoted to the goals of the project.  Finally,
open source needs a mature understanding of the technologies afforded
by the internet.

It seems to me that ViaVoice has all these ingredients ;)

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications
Inc Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems:
http://www.teledyn.com "Computers are useless.  They can only give you
answers."(Pablo Picasso)

For information about the IBM ViaVoice SDKs and Run Time Kits for Linux visit http://www.ibm.com/software/speech/dev/sdk_linux.html. To view the archive of submissions visit http://viavoice.sparklist.com. To view the
Frequently Asked Questions visit http://www.ibm.com/software/speech/dev/faq_linux.html.
To remove your subscription to this list, simply send a note to:
remove-viavoice@laser.sparklist.com. If you are experiencing any problems using the list, please send a note to viavoice-owner@laser.sparklist.com.

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Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)

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