Subject: Re: People only buy support for bad software ?!?
From: Brian Bartholomew <>
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 15:01:59 -0400

> Did the Cygnus marketing department think about gratis copies?  Yes,
> they did.  Did they take any steps to actively prevent customers
> from making gratis copies?  No, they did not.

I simply don't find that argument convincing.  Please don't conclude
that I'm insulting your honesty.  I'm simply not convinced yet.

> For example, it's common sense that somebody who makes certain types
> of accusations tends to be guilty of the very things he or she
> accuses other people of.  After all, most people don't think of what
> other people might do wrong.  It's the people who consider doing
> wrong themselves that think that other people might do it.  Now,
> Working Version claims to distribute a version-control filesystem,
> but the link on the web page goes to a file dated over a year ago.
> I think it's safe to conclude that you are actually withholding
> sources from the net.  After all, it could be worth money to you,
> and I haven't seen any other copies of WVfs anywhere.

Excellent!  Now that's a highly plausible speculation.  By comparison,
my explanation that development is on hold isn't very convincing.
It's an easy and obvious excuse that preserves my presumed moneymaking
opportunity.  I wouldn't believe me!  The fact that I know it to be
false doesn't reduce my appreciation of your analytical skills.

I think you'll find more truth, more of the time, if you extrapolate
from the profit opportunities you've uncovered, than if you
provisionally believe PR claims until you have facts to contradict them.


Versioning and deliberately writing poor software are two different
things, I think.  Versioning says here is a $10 piece of software, but
you'll probably pay $1K in support before you get it working.
Deliberating writing poor software has a fraud component; it says here
is a $10 piece of software, it's great!  And denies all the extra
payments users are being maneuvered into making.

A member of the League for Programming Freedom (LPF)
Brian Bartholomew - - - Working Version, Cambridge, MA