Subject: Advertising by Sendmail, Inc.
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 20 Mar 1999 21:36:56 -0000

I received an advertising piece from Sendmail, Inc. today.  Apropos
Keith Bostic's objection to the incentive for free software businesses
to break their products so people will buy support, the piece talks
about how hard the free sendmail is to configure, and how much simpler
your life would be if only you'd buy the proprietary Sendmail Pro.

I think Keith is right to an extent, but the free market isn't as dumb
as he thinks it is.  *My* reaction to any failing in a free product
where there is also a commercial product would be to wonder how they
expect to sell anything when their advertising is so bad.

Rob Kolstad has (rightfully, IMHO) advised me not to promote qmail's
security by talking about sendmail's failures.  He says that the
airlines tried competing by claiming improvements over the
competitor's safety, but that just made customers fear flying on
*anybody's* airline.  So imagine the damage caused by advertising how
bad your own free software is.

-russ nelson <>
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