Subject: I think I'm beginning to understand.
From: "Russell Nelson" <nelson@CRYNWR.COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1993 11:42:48 EST

I think I understand what Michael and John are getting at.  If
everyone had to sit down and develop their own GhostScript, no way
could they afford to do it for free.

A proposal: Stumblebum Software Development -- keep the cost of
software R&D low enough so that it can be paid for my a support
organization.

What is the big problem with free software development?  Keeping the
private cost below the private gain.  One way to do that is to get
the software into people's hands as soon as possible, EVEN if it is
buggy, incomplete, poorly documented, etc.  Yes, Peter, I realize
that this is offensive to your sense of what constitutes good
software.

However, getting software (whether free or proprietary) out to people
very quickly accomplishes two goals: You hear about bugs early, and
of course early bug reports are cheaper to fix than late ones, and
you also get product feedback.  The free software advantage is that
you can get bug fixes, not just bug reports, and users can improve
the product themselves.

AND, more to the point of a free software business, it gets you
support customers.

-- 
-russ <nelson@crynwr.com> What canst *thou* say?
Crynwr Software           Crynwr Software sells packet driver support.
11 Grant St.              315-268-1925 Voice  |  LPF member - ask me about
Potsdam, NY 13676         315-268-9201 FAX    |  the harm software patents do.