"Volker Hetzer" <volker.hetzer / ieee.org> wrote in message news:<c7o7il$u0k$1 / nntp.fujitsu-siemens.com>...

> "Quirk" <quirk / syntac.net> schrieb im Newsbeitrag news:4e20d3f.0405100025.fd32875 / posting.google.com...
> > edwardh / highstream.net (Edward Lloyd Hillman) wrote in message news:<109o67992jbs0c1 / news.supernews.com>...
> > 
> > > > You have no such right, ever, the only right you _can_ have is the
> > > > right to modify it yourself or contract someone to do it. Please read
> > > > your licence.
> > > 
> > > 
> > > Got a news flash for ya...
> > 
> > Oh boy, it's Seseme Street News, OK Kermit, keep talking.
> >  
> > > If you have a maintenance contract with a vendor and something of
> > > theirs' is broken, they must fix it if you need it.
> > 
> > Perhaps, but when the product in question is proprietary you have no
> > recourse when they fail, because no one else has any right to modify
> > the source code.

> I have, at most,  the right to sue them,

What cold comfort that is. I would prefer the right to make my
aplication work without their good graces.

Before you consider suing them I suggest you reiview your contact with
an actual lawyer. So you can understand exactly how painted into a
corner you really are.

Good luck in your legal adventures. I prefer to solve my problems by
programming. (my users and clients seem to prefer this too)

> at least, the right to cancel the
> contract which hurts them way more

How can you cancel the contract when your entire application is
dependanton there product? Can you afford to throw away your
application too?

> than if I go to a postgres developer
> and tell him I'm not interested any more. So, unlike open source developers,
> they actually have an interest in doing something.

What on earth are you trying to say here? Why is a postgresql
developer any more or less interested in your contarct than one who
pedals proprietary software?

> > When you have a right to the source code you can sign such a contarct
> > with any firm you like, and fire their ass and hire another when they
> > fail.
> But it doesn't make sense to use any other firm than the guys who wrote it.

Why? What magic powers are possesed by the firm that holds the
copyright? Expcet the power to prevent anyone else from touching or
looking at their code?

> See my other postings and the reply about division of labour. You might
> also read up on Maos Great Leap Forward and north coreas policy of doing 
> everything themselves.

You're not seriously trying to draw me into to a discusion on
communist history are you? If so, please go ahead, it may be
intersting. I've been reading the Fabian writing of George Bernard
Shaw recently myself.

By the way, I am _not_ arguing that one must do everything
themeselves, only that one should not get locked into being dependant
on a single provide.

As I'v said, I'm baffled that this is so controversial that you all
expect me to defend my good name merely for saying it.

> > I'm not sure what this example is supposed to illustrate. The vendor
> > failed to fix the bug originaly and ony did so under dures,

> The point was that contracts work.

It was quite a poorly demonstrated point, as they nearly did and could
well have lost their own customer under the arrangement.

> 
> > which only
> > shows how vulnerable you where to begin with,

> Why was he vulnerable if he had a contract that required the vendor to work?

Because there is no such requirement, you can not really force an
unwilling vendor to do work that do not want to do. If you think you
can, you are delusional. If you have enought legal might, you may be
able to get a refund, usualy limited to the whatever you originaly
paid, not compensating you for you own ivestment.

As the old joke goes: "if this fire alarm fails, and your house burns
down, we will refund the entire purchase price (not including the
battaries)."

> > if you had the right to
> > say 'OK, were going to fire you and give someone else the contract'
> > they would have fixed your bug pronto with no back talk.

> Maybe, but in case of open source software they'd say 'Good luck
> working into our source code, see you in two years'.

Were do you get this idea? You can contract many companies, large and
small, to support your open source product, the difference being that
you can hire another when when they fail, because you have a right to
the source code, where as you have no recource when the provider has
all the rights.

> > > The only way you can get that kind of support is with a maintance
> > > contract.  With Open Source we'd have had to spend many extra
> > > man-hours trying to find where the problem was and how to fix it
> > > without breaking anything else.
> > 
> > Why? You could have the exact same contarct with a vendor supporting
> > an open source product,

> Yes, but then it would cost like any other product, right?

Yes, developing applications costs money, it is this investment I am
advising people to protect by not getting locked into third party
dependencies.

> > or negotiate access to source for the vendors
> > product, the only difference being that you then have leverage.

> The access to the source means nothing, see above.

It means everthing. It means the difference being being the master of
your applications and contracts or being a slave to a third party
vendor.

> > Or
> > failing that, your application could have been designed to to give you
> > alternatives,

> Right. And the customer throws away years of experience with one db system
> and pulls a finished, reliable and maintainable alternative installation out
> of the hat.

Maybe not 'out of the hat' but with less expense and retraining that
having to reprogram the entire application which was programmed with
proprietary bindings everwhere instead of properly abstracted code.

> Including people who have been trained on it.
> In what way is a change from oracle to db2 easier than a change from
> postgresql to mysql?

Well, for one, you would never have to change away from the open
source products because of a dispute with the developer. But in
anycase, my argument is not, and never was, oracle and db2 versus
postgresql or mysql. But rather for abstraction when you do not have
source code, or sometimes then too.

> > But you put yourself in a position were you may have been unable you
> > support your own customer _AT_ALL_ except for the good graces of your
> > vendor.

> Why? He doesn't support the db. The db vendor does that. All he has to do is > to show that it's othe db's fault, at which point his customer's maintenance
> contract with the db vendor kicks in. Normal business practice.

Yes, passing the buck is unfortunalty the normal business practice,
however good firms neither do it or put up with it. I certainly would
not expect my clients or users to be satisfied when I told them, I'm
sorry the application I provided for you doesn't work, but you will
have to discuss this with Larry Ellison. Nor would I be satisfied
giving such an excuse.

BTW, this latest response is much better in tone than your last one, I
hope this is a trend.

Cheers.