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RE: COMP:Freeware?

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-----Original Message-----
From:	J. Strua [SMTP:jstrua(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Monday, October 12, 1998 8:19 PM
To:	seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject:	Re: COMP:Freeware?

A bug is a bug. Majority of bugs are bugs not users mistakes. Not 
knowing what you are doing is very different from a case when you are 
following the instructions in the manual and the program does not 
perform as stated in the same manual. 

[Bill Polhemus]  

I heartily agree with this assessment.  I abhor the software "help desk" that tries to tell me that it's MY FAULT if the software won't run.

Not long ago, I had the developer of a well-known bridge design package--whose product I returned when it was a complete and utter FAILURE on our Windows NT systems--tell me that he'd NEVER had the software returned before.

How realistic is that?  There isn't a software product in existence that hasn't been returned by someone!  He left me feeling it was somehow "my failure," even though he admitted that he'd had to hire an extra programmer to address the problems we found as a result of trying out his package--which until recently had been DOS-only--on Windows NT.

[J. Strua]  

 There is no question that a commercial piece of software that is in use 
by many practicing engineers has a much better chance to be "less buggy" 
than a software written by an individual and used by very few.
[Bill Polhemus]  

Actually, I'd prefer to put it that "software that is in use by many practicing engineers has a much better chance to BE debugged by the users."  Yep, that's right:  A good many software producers use their user base as "Free Labor" in the debugging operation.  Fine, if they call it "Beta," but they ask for money for the privilege of your finding the bugs.

[J. Strua]  

Until I have a chance to use a package on a "real" - read "paying" 
project, I would not recommend it (even to my competitors as I value 
their opinion also).
[Bill Polhemus]  

That's why I totally disdain, and decline to accept, "non-working demos" of a product.  What good is a canned presentation?  It serves only to highlight the product working in a carefully controlled environment.  Sort of like taking the "Intourist" tour of the Soviet Union back in its heyday.  You only saw what the officials WANTED you to see.