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Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 17:20:39 -0400
From: Judith O'Brien <juditho@corel.ca>
To: Jonathan Corbet <corbet@eklektix.com>
Subject: Corel Linux

Hi Jonathan. Thank you for taking the time to write to us and ask us
what we're doing. Unfortunately there has been a huge amount of
misunderstanding out there and I'd like to clarify a few things.

First, let me assure you that our beta agreement is not intended to
infringe upon the GPL. We are only referring to the portion of Corel
Linux that was developed by Corel and has not been publicly released
yet. The reason why we've asked that this not be distributed yet is

1) simply put, we're not comfortable with it yet. For instance, we're
not sure that the installer is going to partition your hard drive the
way it's supposed to and we want to be comfortable that the features
we've built have reached a certain level of stability and completeness
before we release the code publicly

2) we also know that this isn't the way the Linux community usually
works, however, we have other considerations that the Open Source
community doesn't - namely to our customers and shareholders. Release
dates and repuation are very important considerations for us that we
must take seriously. We can't afford to release bad code or to miss
release dates. It impacts our reputation and that in turn dilutes the
value we offer to our shareholders. If our reputation is damaged, that
affects the financing we can access, the calibre of employees we can
attract and our overall competitiveness. While the Open Source community
doesn't face those issues, I'm sure it's something everyone can

I also want to let you know that we fully intend to release the
modifications we made to GPL code in the next week to 10 days. We've
stated all along that we were going to do this and we are sticking to
our promises. We are not, however, releasing the code to the features
we've built from the ground up until a later date. As stated earlier,
we're not fully comfortable with it at this point and aren't ready to
send it out there with our name all over it just yet.

We also intend to initially keep the number of  beta testers to a size
we can manage. Again, I know this isn't the way the Linux community
usually works, however, we've learned through our many years of beta
development, that a manageable group size actually improves our
development process.

I hope this answers a lot of your questions. We will have statement to
this effect ready for tomorrow so I'll send it to you when it's done. If
you have any questions, please give me a call anytime.

- --
Do you know about Corel's involvement with Linux? Visit us at

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