Subject: Re: Kent, why do you use free software
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 03:09:12 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kenny Tilton
| true... true... OTOH, I did hear one bright IT guy say Oracle had been
| the death of the most companies since the Great Depression. Hyperbole,
| sure, but I have heard that crud is insanely expensive (both to license
| and to live with since you need their $$$$$ people just to get it to
| work).

  People seem to have a problem, in general, to see more than what stands
  out the most, and then they think that what they do not see is just an
  extrapolation of that to which they have paid attention, although the
  opposite is generally true -- if something stands out, it is because it
  is in contrast to something else -- so when I hear that Oracle is the
  cause of these deaths, I think it is a case of a large amount of money
  and a clearly visible cost center that makes it stand out, but all of us
  know that we are less careful with many small amounts than few large, so
  when you run out of money, it is probably not because of your large
  expenditures but the sum of the small wastes.  Rest assured that people
  who enjoy accounting work very hard to make many small amounts just as
  visible as few large amounts, but still, when it comes to reducing costs,
  money people always look at the largest amounts first because they offer
  the most savings with the least amount of effort, or so humans seem to
  think, which would seem to give credibility to the argument that if you
  were heading for a financial problem, you would get rid of the most
  expensive things first, which means that the choice to continue to pay
  licenses to Oracle will be reviewed every single time anyone needs to
  save money, if it is such a huge factor as you claim it is.  If you
  cannot cut that cost, what it pays for either is necessary to your
  business to run at all and it costs more to use any other solution that
  are within reach at any time.

  I find it utterly unlikely that any operation would fold because of such
  a highly visible cost.  I would be much more sympathetic to a suggestion
  that many much smaller licenses, such as those for Microsoft's crud,
  would eat up everything in small bits rather than going down with one big
  chunk.  People have been known to use smaller database servers to reduce
  licensing costs, but if you have such a large operation that you cannot
  scale down, the only possible interpretation is that you sell your goods
  or services at insufficient profit.  It is not like this comes as a shock
  to anyone, though.  I mean, Oracle are quite up-front about their license
  agreements and you do not have to go through a lengthy lawyer-enriching
  process to figure out what they want, right?  So factoring this into the
  prices of your goods and services should be simple and doable.  This in
  contrast to such variable and unpredictable costs as taxation, which, at
  least in this country, regularly ruins companies with random changes and
  interpretations and an aggressiveness in their predatory collection that
  is unparalleled in the entire animal kingdom.  So I kind of doubt that
  Oracle is worse than the IRS.

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.