[svlug] Re: Open Source Criticism Questions

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Wed Aug 20 16:27:41 PDT 2003

begin Daniel Howard quotation of Wed, Aug 20, 2003 at 02:36:18PM -0700:

> The motivation behind this question was to determine
> if open source advocates welcome the same mistreatment
> and fault-finding that commercial software vendors
> endure in reviews.  Lots of reviews have mistakes and
> some fault-find to the point of abuse.  It is not
> uncommon for reviewers to use the word, "suck", when
> reviewing Microsoft products.  So far, open source
> software has gotten a free ride.  Nobody ever uses the
> word, "suck", to describe open source software, no
> matter how bad it is.  Open source products are often
> held to a lower standard; open source software is
> often rated better than it should be.

Which software, and by who?  Can you provide any examples so people
know what you're talking about?

> It also helps to clear up whether open source
> programmers owe anything to their users or whether
> being an open source product relieves the open source
> programmer from all responsibilities.

All open source programmers are relieved from all responsibilities,
and owe absolutely nothing to anyone, unless you specifically hire
one for development or support.

> Example
> responsibilities might be: having a clear statement of
> their level of dedication to the code, being clear
> about the quality or lack thereof, being clear about
> their own qualifications to write good code or lack
> thereof, committing to a certain minimal schedule,
> quality and feature set, statement of intent about
> their competitiveness with similiar projects.

Two words: NO WARRANTY.

If a customer wants support, there are certainly companies that will
sell you a support contract.  If you want a feature, there are people
you can hire to add the feature.  But it's completely inappropriate
to ask a developer to provide this as a "responsibility".

Don Marti                Reform copyright law -- return abandoned works
http://zgp.org/~dmarti   to the public domain after 50 years:
dmarti at zgp.org           http://www.PetitionOnline.com/eldred/petition.html

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