This column argues that Free Software has uniquely contentious
support issues to deal with:
"It is true to say, as Stallman does, that "Non-free
software pollutes society's most important resource, the spirit of
cooperation and goodwill towards other people." It does. I don't
doubt it for a moment that if you have given two days worth of
effort helping someone, for no fee, you would be indignant to
discover that he is using your hard work to earn a thousand-pound
support fee in his own commercial operation.
But that mutual support provided by the free software people
isn't the slightest good to me when I'm running a business selling
airline tickets, and the booking system crashes. It may be
completely true that the newsgroups will come up with a problem fix
within a day.
But it may also be true that nobody has the time, or that the
people who have the time are busy earning a living, and have higher
priorities. Or it may even be that the programmer who can solve
your problem didn't like something you said to him in the support
newsgroup. Whatever the excuse, you have no claim on anybody to get
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