Subject: Re: gdb
From: La Monte H Yarroll <>
Date: Thu, 01 Jan 1998 22:52:36 -0600

"L. Peter Deutsch" <> writes:
> > How responsive are the vendors to fixing the tools?
> How responsive are freed software vendors to fixing the tools?  How much
> will they charge to fix the tools?  How many times will they charge that
> amount to different customers?  (cf the comment about FSF sometimes "lucking
> out" and being able to charge a large amount for delivering something that
> they had already done)

I'd like to relate a customer support story.

Quite a few years ago, I was trying out the beta version of a new
shell.  I was flipping through some glossies and found the claim that
there were "no arbitrary limits".  Intrigued, I tried the following:
$ PS1=`cat /etc/termcap`
The product promptly dumped core :-).  However, before dumping core,
it emailed a bug report.  Within minutes I was contacted by a
developer.  Two hours later I had a fixed version.

The shell was bash, the developer Brian Fox.  In the much of a decade
since then, I've encountered a handful of organizations who provided
this level of support.  Only one was commercial (Auspex).
La Monte H.P. Yarroll   Home: 
   If you remember nothing else:         NIC Handle: LY
   GPL - "Just give source a chance."