From: Piotr Banski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Apr 06 2002 - 09:13:51 EST
This is to suggest that you include Sam's digression quoted below as an
addition to your 'expectations' doc. This seems *very* relevant for some
issues raised on the user list (to which I crosspost this), so it would
simply be a waste to let this get forgotten in the list archive.
I have taken the freedom to add a few 'e's and such where Sam forgot them
so that all you need to do is add the markup -- I hope that's ok with you,
On Fri, 5 Apr 2002, [iso-8859-1] Sam Trenholme wrote:
Open Source software development works differently than proprietary
With proprietary software development, all one can do is scream loudly
before a bug gets fixed. With open source software development, the bug
will not be fixed if the developers do not feel it is important to fix the
bug; this is offset by the fact that anyone can quickly become a developer
for the project. If one is not a programmer, one can pay someone else to
supply the patch.
Another advantage of open source software development: There is no line of
technical support reps whose job it is to make it as difficult as possible
to converse directly with the devlopers. When you reported a Linux kernel
bug, you got a response from Alan Cox himself. If you reported a similiar
kernel bug in the Windows NT kernel, you would get no farther than talking
to a technical support rep, who, while being nice, would not actually get
Of course, there are advantages to talking to a tech support rep. No
matter how rude and uncivil the person is talking to the technical support
rep, the person has an obligation, based on the values our society has, to
be gracious to the complainer.
With open source software, however, there is no obligation to stay polite
if someone is being rude; the open source developer is free to respond by
being rude to the complainer. Of course, any respectable open source
developer will simply give the complainer a frank answer: "No".
The complainer is free to continue whining after hearing "No". However,
such whining will usually result in the complainer getting flamed by other
people. Compare this to the technical support rep of a proprietary
software solution, who can not, under any circumstances, give a whiner a
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