Subject: Re: FW: Why would I pay for Ximian software?
From: "Perry E. Metzger" <>
Date: 03 Jan 2002 11:23:22 -0500

Tom Lord <> writes:
> "As easy to use as proprietary alternatives" is (for the moment) a
> very low barrier.  In my experience, GNOME was there several years
> ago.

It really was not.  To you and me, the level of complexity in OSS Unix
systems is much more tolerable than it is to him, and the low level of
productivity app functionality was fine because we don't care.

However, my CFO can't use an open source desktop -- he really needs
the level of functionality that Excel provides (and he's a real Excel
power user -- he'll notice the difference), not to mention Word and
PowerPoint.  Since everyone else uses those products, he needs to be
able to exchange files with them. He also needs it to be mind
bogglingly simple to use -- he has considerable difficulty setting his
preferences for his mail reader and needs help from our secretary to
set up his POP client preferences when he upgrades outlook. (Oh, yes,
he also needs something like outlook.)

Well, gnumeric 1.0 just came out (haven't tried it yet) and there is
now Evolution but certainly most of what is needed didn't exist
several years ago and it is hardly polished now.

I'd love -- really love -- to kick him off of Windows. I spent hours
yesterday trying to fix a problem on his laptop and I have a company
to run. However, I can't actually do it, no matter how much I'd like
to. Maybe in a year. Of course, in the meantime, who's paying Ximian
so Battery Ventures won't pull the plug on them, eh? (And after they
finish, will the money I pay them, if I pay them anything at all given
that they don't put out binaries for NetBSD so I can't even buy a CD
from them, actually enable them to continue developing?)

> The problems were bugs and a level of inconsistency (in areas such
> as on-line help) that reeked of amateurishness and were a constant
> source of low-level annoyance.

Also lack of functionality and ease of use.

Perry E. Metzger
NetBSD Development, Support & CDs.