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Free Software is Supported

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Apr 28, 2005 12:23 PM
There are many resources available for obtaining help for free software. People find that these resources are often more accessible and have a faster response time than most commercial software vendors.

"When I entered the world of GNU/Linux a few years back, I didn't know much about the freedom philosophy that empowered it, I just knew "Linux", as I incorrectly picked up from the mainstream audience. That, apparently, was great but hard to learn, and thus came Ubuntu, which was known for its user friendliness."

"A lot of my friends tried it out and told me I should try it. I fell in love with the capabilities that the GNU software provided for most of the part, I just couldn't believe this was all done by the community."

"Then after hearing about GNU, I did some reading, and dug in on the philosophy and it completely inspired me. I immediately ditched Debian (I started using Debian because I disliked how Ubuntu got bloated with non-free software, which caused lots of issues for me) for gNewSense."

"To me, free software is unavoidable now. I came from the harsh proprietary world. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so even the slightest mistakes in software bothers me, and I have to beg to developers whom I paid for the product I'm using to fix it, and most of the time if the issue wasn't obtrusive or harmful, it wouldn't get fixed, because that meant the company had to get paid programmers on the job, for something which they already received the money for, so why bother?"

"My first experience like this with GNU/Linux? I looked up the package maintainer to report my first bug, and got a reply within hours, was told it would be taken care off, and it indeed got fixed swiftly. I was amazed."

"We have found GNU software to be better supported and of better quality than any proprietary software that we've tried."

M. Carling
CIO, Axis Personal Trainers and Spa

"I have never had problems with stability or lack of features, rather, it's only been once that I've ever seen a program that didn't have a feature I might want, and upon suggesting it to the authors, it was incorporated within two or three months."

David Allen
Software Developer

"I have had better support from the [free] software community than from Microsoft, DEC, and Gateway. Often I have had questions answered online in under ten minutes."

William S. Yerazunis, Ph.D.
MERL - Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory

There are some commercial entities which have entered into the free software arena to offer support services:

"Companies like Cygnus and Cyclic are doing a great job at filling the support gaps. I think there's more of this business model on the way."

Wade Stebbings
Computer Consultant

"As we discovered here at CESCOM, there were quite a lot of resources available for us when we encountered a problem - be it a web page or a HOW-TO document. At times, I even started up my IRC (Internet Relay Chat - - online discussion forums) program and talked with people ... This has proven to be a very valuable resource for me - I can get help almost right away ..."

Jean-Francois Gadoury
Internet Software Developer

"I could no longer imagine having to wait many months for the technical support departments of proprietary software companies to fix the problems caused by our use of very recent hardware in large but unusual combinations."

John Hayward-Warburton
Co-producer "Ads Infinitum" and "TV Offal" BBC, England

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