Subject: Re: gdb
From: "Brian J. Fox" <>
Date: 13 Dec 1997 17:03:35 -0000

   Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 01:41:56 -0800
   From: Chris Maeda <>

   Oracle, SQL Server --- gdbm? yeah, right

   None of these tools are available as free software and we wouldn't
   use them if they were.

Well, that's just plain stupid.  If the tools are useful the way
they are, they wouldn't stop being useful if they were freed.

   The economics of software have changed in the last few years.
   Programmers are now too expensive and tools are far too complex to
   have your people dicking around with the source to their tools
   instead of doing real work.

Absolutely.  What does using freed software have to do with "dicking
around" with the source?  That's a separate decision.  Of course, with
freed software, you have to make the decision yourself, and with
proprietery software, the decision is made for you.

I've had the dubious pleasure of installing Oracle several times.  It
took Henry Minsky three days the first time, and it took me one day
the first time.  Neither of us are idiots, and neither of us are
afraid to call technical support.  I've installed mSQL and Mysql more
times than I can count, directly from the source distributions
available at their respective sites (I'm a masochist, I should have
used binary RPMs).  Total time to install either package is under 20
minutes, including the time to download, configure, compile, and install.

I don't have a problem with someone preferring specific versions of
proprietery software over freed software, but I do have a problem with
software bigotry -- people who assume that proprietery software is
automatically better than freed software.

Anyone who has had experience with Windows 95 and with Linux can tell
you right away which system crashes an average of twice a day, and
which one stays up and running for months at a time.

     Brian J. Fox                           
      "What's all this stuff about `websites' anyway?  Does this
       mean that I have to dust more often?"  -- Martha Davis, 1996