Subject: Re: gdb
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 24 Dec 1997 16:36:20 -0000

L. Peter Deutsch writes:
 > Direct cost to user of getting a particular problem fixed:
 > 	Proprietary - lower
 > 	Freed - higher

Probability of getting a particular problem fixed:
	Proprietary - unknown
	Freed - certain

That's why I maintain that the only software appropriate for
mission-critical use is freed software.

 > Community of potential fixers:
 > 	Proprietary - smaller
 > 	Freed - larger

I would say:

Community of potential fixers:
	Proprietary - one
	Freed - many

It's rare that proprietary software has multiple sources of support.
I can't think of any examples myself.

 > Skill level of potential fixers:
 > 	Proprietary - higher (if they can't hack it, they're fired)
 > 	Freed - variable

This presumes that the proprietary vendor assigns a high-quality
employee to fix your problem.  Perhaps they assign someone who, while
competent in other ways that ensures that they will not get fired,
cannot fix the problem.

 > Financial incentive to fix problems:
 > 	Proprietary - larger
 > 	Freed - smaller

It really depends on how many other people have the same problem.
Perhaps the "problem" is more along the lines of an enhancement that
the proprietary vendor decides not to do.  In that case, the financial
incentive is $zero.zerozero.

-russ <>  | Freedom is the
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