Subject: Take this analogy and fix it (car repair? _not_)
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 18:35:38 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "rn" == Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> writes:

    rn> Stephen J. Turnbull writes:
    >> It's that freedom of software doesn't matter sufficiently much
    >> to individuals in a certain class of users that they will pay
    >> for, or even waste breath on demanding forcefully, source
    >> availability.  This class will be large (IMO) and nearly
    >> invisible.

    rn> Okay, look at car repair.

I don't think this is a correct analogy.  I haven't liked it for a
while....  Freedom of software isn't about me buying some tools and
posting "Tune-ups: $25" on my lawn.  Software doesn't wear out, it
doesn't go out of tune, and it doesn't break in the present tense; any
analogy that requires that those characteristics are violated is
suspect.

In fact it arrives broken---you just don't discover it for a while.
So if repair really matters, you're accusing vendors of deliberately
delivering broken software.  Regularly.  So they can make money on
service.  I just don't see it.  Does Microsoft really make money on
service contracts?

I would think they make a lot more money on turning out
"Microsoft-certified" tekneeshuns than they do on service.  And in
fact they seem to be quite happy setting up lots of competition in the
repair business.  So sorry, guys, but welding the hood shut just
doesn't cut it as an analogy to closed source for me.

Seems to me it's more like the case of the electrician nailing the
wall on instead of using Velcro, making it relatively a lot cheaper to
hire him back two years later when you decide to string twisted pair
for your home network.

So where are the mass demonstrations for velcro wall fasteners?

-- 
University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
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What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."