Linked by Stefan Michalowski, M. Sc. on Thu 19th Aug 2004 08:27 UTC
Editorial Lately posted on Slashdot, an article written by Joel Spolsky mentioned the trouble through which Microsoft went to make each version of Windows backwards compatible. In one case, for the game Simcity, they even changed the way memory handling was done when running that application. You can find additional stories of software tricks that recent versions of Windows have to perform in order to run these bug-dependant applications on the web. After reading the story, I discussed with a couple of friends how weird this was and how Free Software completely avoids this problem.
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RE: Is the Free way really better?
by Stefan Michalowski on Thu 19th Aug 2004 12:22 UTC

> Yes, I know, there are packages and package-handling
>software, but quite too often, those fall just short of
>doing "the thing" for you. More often than not, I had to
>take manual action - because the ebuild for Subversion
>wasn't yet up to 1.0, because the RedHat db4 RPM was
>compiled with an option that hickuped on my server...

Let me ask you this, what would you do with closed-source software if you had the same problems? You would have to contact all those companies and ask them to fix the problems and then wait. With Free software, you fixed all this yourself.

I agree that fixing is not easy and free, it does require time and money, but it's better spending that time and money on fixing the real issue instead of creating workarounds that create wholes in other software (A has a problem and I fix B to make it work with A but at the same time I create a whole in B).