mx odbc

Alan Kennedy alanmk at
Thu Jul 10 12:59:52 CEST 2003

Kim Petersen wrote:

> I have no idea about the support (obviously) - but then i hardly ever
> buy/use support for development tools [especially not open-source ones].

Well, that just about says it all for the theory that "open source
developers should make their money from services".

What many people seem to forget is that maintaining high quality
software *is* a service: in the case of mxODBC, a very high quality
service. If M-A-L didn't charge licensing fees, then he'd be providing
a high quality service, i.e. well designed, maintained and up-to-date
software, without any income at all, since, in general, developers
don't buy support for development tools, unless they absolutely must.

Kim Petersen wrote:

> [snip] paying 70$ pr.
> customer, is the equivalent of paying you for 1hr of support for each
> customer [not installation mind you], where our own licence/supportcost
> is already getting lower and lower

It's a free market: pick another (cheaper) ODBC driver and use that
instead. Just make sure that your customers understand that they will
get a poorer quality product from you because they're paying you less
money, so you have to use lower quality components in your software:
I wonder how long they'll be your customers.

Kim Petersen wrote:

> We work in teams - so that would be 1250*4 making the below calculation
> 18*4 (and we're not able to pull in freelancers on this kinda stuff then
> - other than paying another 1250). 

And how much would you pay these freelancers? Probably quite a
substantial amount over the weeks or months that you retain them,
and probably *far* in excess of the developer license cost for mxODBC.
How much improved productivity will you get from those developers
because they're not spending a week chasing weird bugs in the
database/ODBC code?

I feel quite annoyed when people give out about having to pay money
for software: someone, somewhere has to write that software: that
someone has to pay the rent, the utility bills, etc, etc, etc, etc.
Demanding that everyone work for nothing is completely unreasonable:
just because you're too stingy to pay for what you get. Some OSS
developers are fortunate enough that they don't have to charge money
for their software, because the government, or the education system,
or some charitable foundation, pays their wages. But that's not true
for all OSS developers.

To those who continue to complain about having to pay for software,
I say: If you don't like paying, fork the software, maintain your
own product and let it be free (both in the free-speech and the
free-beer senses): see how you long *you* last.

not-biting-the-hand-that-feeds-ly yrs.

alan kennedy
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