Linux and Philosophy

tuxgirl at tuxgirl at
Sun Jul 17 00:41:24 MDT 2005

On Sat, Jul 16, 2005 at 10:51:01PM -0600, Levi Pearson wrote:
> On Jul 16, 2005, at 10:22 PM, Doran Barton wrote:
> >
> >I would suggest you use some of Eric Raymond's essays for source  
> >material.
> >He goes on at length about the ethical issues of software development,
> >business, etc. For example, Raymond argues the only real value in  
> >software
> >is the support that comes along with it. He points out an obvious
> >illustration of this: the price of a piece of software from a  
> >company that
> >has gone out of business is very near to free. Think bargain/ 
> >clearance bin.
> >
> >
> The idea that the only real value in software is the support that  
> goes along with it is not exactly on very solid ground.  Just like  
> any other tool, software has value corresponding to the utility that  
> it offers to those willing to pay for it.  Complex tools do require  
> some support, in which case there is a second source of value, but  
> claiming that it's the only source of value is ridiculous.

i'm going to agree and disagree with levi here.  I'm agreeing that
support is not the real value of software, but disagreeing with his
I would argue that a piece of software which performs the needed action,
but is so user-friendly and so well-written that it does not require
support has more value than an equivalent software which had an
extremely good support system, yet wasn't as user-friendly, or had bugs.  

Erin Sharmahd           TuxGirl at
CS Student              Unix Users Group
PGP Fingerprint:
F352 FF41 EA0A 67E4 566B 3B5B E65A D3DC 083E 9336

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