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> 1. Indefinite continued development of not-charged-for Web browsers is an
> unsustainable business model
I don't think it matters whether it is a sustainable business model. The
question is whether it is a sustainable _practice_. There has always
been at least one and usually several open source web browser projects
since the invention of the Web. The practice seems sustainable. If
Netscape goes out of business, someone else will pick up the torch for
the simple reason that the open source world (ranging from individuals
like you to huge corporations like IBM) would abhor that particular
vacuum. If you want to claim that open source software needs a "business
model" to survive then you'll have to explain the existence of
technologies created without any clear business model such as Linux,
Gnome, Emacs and Apache.
Open source is not a business model and does not depend upon any
particular business models. And even if it did, I would say that the
relationship of this argument to XHTML is quite remote.
> But if, hypothetically, AOL/Netscape realise that they can create a
> rich client for which they can charge
ROTFLMAO! Who do you know that is getting money for rich clients?
> will they, in a fierce business climate, continue to subsidise
> Mozilla? Would an alert shareholder population allow
> them to?
AOL does not sponsor Mozilla because they have not noticed that it costs
money. They have a variety of strategic reasons for avoiding absolute
reliance on Microsoft, their feircest competitor. They realize that the
only way they can catch up is with the help of the open source
community. Therefore they do the only thing they can, which is develop
Mozilla. And if they go out of business, IBM or Sun will run with the
ball for the same reason. Do you think IBM wants the Web to be owned by
Microsoft the way that the PC was?
> XHTML 1.0 and 1.1, to be fully implemented, need a new generation of
> browser clients. Which companies are going to invest in clients to
> support these when better business cases can perhaps be built on rich
> clients using alternate technologies?
There is no business case in rich-clients-for-sale. Anyone who tries
that survives only until they are commodotized out of business by either
Microsoft or open source (if not Mozilla then something else). There is
no venture capitalist insane enough to fund this business model and
that's saying quite something.