Subject: Re: Why Open Source Sucks for the Consumer
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 16:11:17 -0400

Jean Camp wrote:
> The larger point is that OS/FS is supposed to be THE arena where the
> network economy is truly understood.. The network economy would argue
> billing and phone callls could be transferred to different entities
> the user having to establish distinct contacts with each and every
> contracting entity.  Just like I do not have to know every contributor to
> integrate the patches.

There is considerable friction involved in distributing fee based
support or revenue.  That is where people start to argue that they
should be paid more and do less...

> The seamless interface issue I have is with the business relationships
> which are so  traditional. RH and Dell have an integrated ad campaign and
> production -- why not integrate the customer support? Wouldn't further
> integrating with independent consultants solve much of the feeding jr
> programmers problem as well?  I suspect that there are people in Cambridge
> who would love to help me out with an extremely wide range of  support
> services for an even wider range of prices.

Free? :-)

Seriously, for some definition of support, you can get it free or
nearly so.  (Order pizza!)  Your local LUG is a good place to look for
this.  If you are a "fun" person to support (ie you have the right
friends, and are willing to learn) you will find this support quite
good.  If you want to dump the problem in someone's lap and get it
back when it is working, well then nobody will want to volunteer.  I
suspect that support for that (rather large) population does not
distribute well.

The latter is what most people want, and most businesses require.

Hence an economic opportunity for fsbs despite the abundance of top
notch people who spend a lot of energy giving away advice that took
them a lot of energy to aquire...