Subject: Re: Cost of support (article in NY Times)
From: Dan Doner <dan@LONGS.LANCE.COLOSTATE.EDU>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 93 00:18:48 -0600


>     They had a column by Peter Lewis in the business section of the
>     Sunday NY Times called
> 
>     Free Technical Support: An endangered Species of Service.
> 
>     I think I'm going to write them a letter detailing that 
>     the only true form of support is source code, whereby you
>     have choice (instead of hope).
> 
> I think this is silly.  This is like saying that the only true form of
> food is forty acres and a mule.  In the food world people are
> rediscovering the benefits of growing their own vegetables, whose
> quality in the growing season certainly beats the chemical-induced
> products of the agribusiness, but for real reliability, we have all
> grown dependent on professional, timely delivery of our provisions.
> 
> Source code should only be used as a last resort.  When nobody makes
> a business of providing the kind of support you need, only then should
> you get into the business of supporting the source yourself.
> Otherwise you are reinventing the wheel--an uncompetitive endeavor.
> 
> If no free software business provides good enough support for you,
> then perhaps there is a business opportunity for you.  But to tell the
> NYT that the lack of such a business is somehow a feature for any
> other economic reason is nonsense.
> 
> Michael
> 

I must agree.  The software should be free- the expertise, knowledge &
experience to provide good support should not be free (unless you are feeling
charitable).

Dan