It’s about choice, freedom and responsibility.

When showing off Visual FoxPro working with Open Source tools last weekend, there were concerns voiced by the attendees:

  • Who provides the support?
  • How do I chose the right tool?
  • Who fixes the bugs?
  • Learning all that *stuff* looks hard.

It’s about choice, freedom and responsibility.

  • You provide the support to your customers; that’s what you’ve always done. You get your support through newsgroups, associates, and paying experts who know more than you. That’s where you get your support now, right? How many times have you gotten support – how many times have your even bothered to ask – from BigCompany’s 800 number?
  • How do you choose your tools now? Now you get to shop around a little; read reviews, experiment, pilot test. It’s what you’ve always done, isn’t it?
  • Anyone can fix the bugs if everyone has access to the source code. Chances are, someone will. Usually pretty quickly. Usually better than you can. And there’s a peer review process that tells you the fix is good and right and proper. Isn’t that better than what you have now?
  • Learning is hard, but if you don’t enjoy that, the computer field is probably not the place for you to be. I’m exhilarated when learning a new tool; yes, I curse and stay up too late and drink too much caffiene and sweat bullets when the deadline approaches, but the thrill of getting “Hello, World” to work in yet another language/application/platform is worth it to me. And don’t tell me that the latest thing you learned from BigCo was any easier!

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.