Subject: Re: Kent, why do you use free software
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 03:44:23 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Nils Kassube <>
| If they aren't able to produce something better than a group of
| volunteers then they don't deserve to stay in business.

  I wish it were that simple.  Many software products are much better than
  any commercial entitty has produced in the same category, for instance
  GNU Emacs, because you have had so many volunteers over such a long time.

| Sorry, I don't understand you.  With Open Source software you can either
| fix the problem yourself _or_ pay someone to fix it for you.  With
| proprietary software you are the hostage of the vendor.

  This is a curious way to look at the customer/vendor relationship.  I
  keep seeing from people who favor open source of free software, but not
  so much from those who pay for their software.  It is not proprietary
  software that holds you hostage, it is your own attitude towards it, and
  it is a rather curious attitude that just because you feel a certain way,
  all others must feel the same way about the same things.  

| If they change directions or fill for Chapter 11, you are in big trouble.

  Why?  What part of the software you have purchased self-destructs when
  that happens?

| When you've been hurt often enough by tool vendors, you will understand
| why many developers prefer Open Source tools.

  It appears that many people have a problem learning from pain -- they
  tend to learn the wrong thing and are satisifed with any change that they
  think _should_ reduce pain, even if it does not, and even if it is not
  specific about what it prevents.  Avoding pain is so important to some
  people that they even avoid clearly reasonable and good things, too,
  because they refuse to look into the exact cause of the pain.  "Once
  bitten, twice shy" is such an understatement.  If you get hurt the same
  way several times, there is something wrong with your ability to learn
  from experience.  I therefore consider it extremely unreasonable and not
  particularly intelligent to "learn" to avoid something _completely_ just
  because it can be painful in some respects.  I mean, some people have a
  such a fear of being perforated by needles and injected with things that
  they do not just stay short of heroin, but also medical treatment for
  serious illnesses, avoid vaccinations to prevent them, etc.  This is not
  smart.  Preferring Open Source because you have been hurt is the wrong
  reason.  As has been attempted explained here, you cut yourself off from
  your own future if you avoid making money on your own work simply because
  you have been screwed by others who failed in their attempts.

  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.