[Fsfe-ie] Princeton troll

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at nedprod.com
Thu Nov 6 20:11:02 CET 2003

On 6 Nov 2003 at 1:37, adam beecher wrote:

> > However, I can't say too much for planning, accountability and
> > support for end-users - plus free software projects usually deliver
> >
> It depends on the project too though, don't you think? I was mulling
> the particular paragraph you quoted myself when I was reading it and
> thinking of the PHP project...

Well, in terms of what I said, actually no it doesn't. The only 
exception I can think of are DARPA funded free software for the 
planning bit.

> > project planning
> An enormous amount of planning goes on on php-dev, plus there are
> major PHP conferences now.

Ah but that's ad hoc planning ie; what are the *immediate* issues we 
should tackle. Very rarely do I hear of free software being 
studiously planned years into the future like is more common for 

> > accountability
> >
> This is a difficult one to call. I personally feel that PHP's vast
> install base creates accountability and major responsibility, but I
> guess many Chief Something Officers won't see it the same way.

No, they don't. They want someone to sue to satisfy their 
insurers/shareholders. That is the single biggest reason corporate 
users have not moved en mass to free software.

> > version control
> >
> This one strikes me as a little odd when you consider just how many
> projects are stored in CVS. Perhaps CVS isn't considered good enough?

I think they meant that when there are fixed versions with fixed 
ABI's, it's easier to code for them. Release often release early is 
good and all, but it's real bitch for downloading prebuilt binaries.

> > support
> >
> And this one is like accountability, I could link to hundreds of sites
> here. I personally would take community support over "proper" support
> any day of the week, but I would concede that there's a certain amount
> of skill involved in seeking it out.

Support for users is VERY lacking. You get none even for Linux for 
people who don't know the difference between the three mouse buttons. 
Remember, support is not helping technically aware users, it's 
helping the unaware.

And that, no coincidentally, is where free software makes most of its 
money ATM. My big concern with that is it's not long-term viable as 
someone in India can tell you why the left and right mouse buttons 
are different cheaper than someone in Ireland.


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