Re: Linux (free s/w) support

Michael H. Warfield (
Mon, 29 Sep 1997 23:59:22 -0400 (EDT)

> In some mail I received from Darin Johnson, sie wrote
> [...]
> > Ah, but Sun, and *many* other commercial companies, will NOT
> > necessarily help you. You get NO guarantees. And you most certainly

> That's if you don't have a support contract.

That's even if you DO have a support contract! Read them licenses
carefully. No guarentee's of fitness for use and all that. All that a
support contract guarentees is MAYBE a shorter wait listening to Muzac
on hold. They will take your report but there is no guarentee they will
fix it. If it's a bug and it's in the next release, great. If not, they
don't guarentee they will fix it. They even state so, right in the license

Sorry, but I've been on both sides of this fence. People come to
you with obscure problems that you can't reproduce, you tell then that you
are working on it and then hope it disappears in the next major release
that they will have to pay to upgrade to anyways. I personally contributed
to a maintenance release of AutoCad. I had Dr Watson logs and everything
showing a bug in AutoCad where it would blow a GPF in OLE. What did their
support people tell me? "Oh, we don't use OLE." I listed the module by
module traceback and even told them what AutoCad module was calling the
OLE module with a bogus screen handle. Fortunately, I use to work with
someone who NOW works for AutoDesk. That blew a hole in that release!
Support was next to useless - no worse than useless - their job was to get
in my way!

Major point to remember first and formost... Primary job of all
first line support at ANY outfit with commercial software support is to
weed out the "Ta Duh Ta Duh's" and prevent a support call from being
escalated to second (or third) level support. Don't expect anyone technically
competant until you hit about forth level.

As the old rate schedules goes:

Answers: $1.00
Requiring Thought: $2.00
Correct: $4.00
Dumb Looks: Still Free!

> Basically, Linux is supported by anarchy. Is that what you want to sell
> to management ?

Beats the hell out of the organized obstruction and deliberate
obfuscation you get with commercially "supported" software!

> Darren
> p.s. That Caldera is providing Linux support is news to my ears. It will
> be interesting to see if they become like other vendors doing Unix support,
> over time.

What planet are you living on?!?! There are several outfits doing
quite well providing commercial Linux support! More power to them!


 Michael H. Warfield    |  (770) 985-6132   |
  (The Mad Wizard)      |  (770) 925-8248   |
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