Subject: Re: gdb
From: Brian Bartholomew <bb@wv.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 18:47:12 -0500

> It depends on how important the solution is to you, for freed
> software.  It depends on how important the solution is to the
> vendor, for proprietary software.  You have control over the former.
> You have very little control over the latter.

I think that description only applies to edge cases: the worst case
for non-redistributable software and the best case for freed software.
Here are some examples for other cases where the statements apply to
the opposite party:

	It depends on how important the solution is to the core
	developers (vendor) for freed software, because it's
	impractical for a user to learn enough about the guts of an
	Xserver to fix it in reasonable time.

	It depends on how important the solution is to you for
	non-freely-redistributable software, because a good support
	contract with a good vendor will allow you to get something
	fixed even if the vendor thinks it's unimportant.

The distinction breaks down even further when the vendor sells you
source, allowing you to debug and fix it yourself if you want to, but
not the rights to use it without paying or redistribute it.


Another member of the League for Programming Freedom (LPF) www.lpf.org
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Brian Bartholomew - bb@wv.com - www.wv.com - Working Version, Cambridge, MA