Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Nov 26 12:03:17 UTC 2009

On Thu, 26 Nov 2009 06:41:06 -0500, Jerry <gesbbb at> wrote:
> BTW, I totally disagree with your statement regarding "commercial
> product' vs "open source" and quality.

I beg to differ. Bad software exists everywhere - in open
source world as well as in the commercial sector.

> If that were really true then
> Open Office would be equal to or superior to MS Office. In actuality,
> it is at best equal to Office 97, and that is even stretching the
> point.

I've worked for a long time in a cross-platform (Mac, Linux,
BSD, Solaris, "Windows") environment where OpenOffice has
been used successfully. A MICROS~1 product couldn't work
that good when it's about interoperability.

There are many things "modern" MICROS~1 office products
lag behind open software, be it interface design, conforming
to standards, useful (!) functionality or operation speed.

On the other hand, I admit that there are often problems
in quality with open source programs, but not as you may
think: I'm talking about the lack of proper documentation
(try "man opera" and "man firefox" for a comparison) and
insufficient attention paid to internationalisation. KDE's
german language version is a good example. Sometimes, I
think it's just "quick quick, add more features, quick
quick, and release the whole thing" instead of having a
result that is acceptable in every way it claims to serve.

(Sidenote: I'm running all my programs in their native
language, which is english, with OpenOffice being the
only exception, simply because using the german variants
is so unpleasant.)

> Commercial software is written with the end-user in mind.

Haha! Very funny. :-)

You meant to say, and I may correct your statement: Commercial
software is written with the end-user's MONEY in mind. In order
to make him buy incompatible, slow and outdated software,
aggressive advertisement is used. This advertisement has taken
the place of good coding, or: The worse your program is, the
more money you put in advertising it's "greatness". This is
the way software is sold.

Free software, on the other hand, isn't sold per se. It
is used, and so it is created with the end-user in mind,
because he doesn't give money anyway.

That's quite generic, I know, but it can be summarized that
way without contradicting to reality.

> Commercial software that does not sell will not be around very long.

That's true, and a logical implication of what I said just

> On
> the other hand, open-source software tends to be written with the
> developer as the focal point with the hope that others will share their
> point of view.

Maybe that has been the case, but it's not anymore. Maybe
you're true in regards of operating systems, their interfaces
and APIs, but that's logical again, because the end-user isn't
interested in how to program for a certain OS, but the application
developers who write the software for the end-users are - and
need to be. The change of this attitude isn't new.

> Neither philosophy is inherently superior.

Yes, I agree.

> In the final
> determination the end user has to determine which meets their
> "suitability to task" requirements; whether that be "cost",
> "suitability" or both.

That's the problem: The tasks are adjusted to fit the software
currently in use (or promised to to come out soon). Educated
judgement, sadly, isn't one of the strengths of the average
PC user. "PC on, brain off" is a setting you find more often
than you'd like to.

In the past, I have mostly used free software, but some
commercial products, too, e. g. Solaris and IRIX (and HP-UX
for some special cases), and they served well in the places
they were intended to use.

I would not claim that free software serves better than
commercial software in general, because this often depends
on supporting various hardware, and we all know that the
hardware vendors still are focused on a monopoly of "Windows"
and don't care for other operating systems because they
don't exist.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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