Micro$oft Biz'droid Lusers (was: OT email response format)

From: Richard Erlacher <edick_at_idcomm.com>
Date: Sun Apr 21 19:24:51 2002

I wouldn't say it's better, but (1) it's better documented, and (2) I don't
have to look at the code.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Sean 'Captain Napalm' Conner" <spc_at_conman.org>
To: <classiccmp_at_classiccmp.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 21, 2002 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: Micro$oft Biz'droid Lusers (was: OT email response format)

> It was thus said that the Great Richard Erlacher once stated:
> >
> > That's not been my experience. In fact, until LINUX, which I don't
> > use either, I had never seen any software of any use at all other than for
> > software development for UNIX. The EDA stuff I saw was not terribly
> > but some folks managed to beat it into submission. I can't forget the
> > tradeshow when I ruled out UNIX in my mind. A vendor had essentially the
> > software for DOS and UNIX. The UNIX version cost 50x what the DOS version
> > cost, and the hardware also cost over 10x the cost of an adequate PC. The
> > software packages "looked and felt" as well as worked, indistinguishably
> > one was inside the application.
> I did some work for a company who's only product was originally written
> under MS-DOS, and I was hired to help with a UNIX port of the product. They
> were planning on selling the UNIX version for about 10 times the MS-DOS
> version even when (after the port) the source code is the same (except for a
> few portions that hit hardware and was fairly isolated). They even refused
> to sell a Linux version (even though that's the system they used for the
> initial port) because they were afraid of not being able to sell it at 10
> times the cost.
> The reason for the disparity? Because UNIX customers are accustomed (or
> were, maybe still are to a degree) to paying such prices and would view a
> product that was too cheap as not being good enough. And they wanted to
> offset the higher support costs that might come with the UNIX version. They
> refused a Linux version for as long as they could, because they knew they
> could not sell their product at their inflated price for Linux (as most of
> their customer for the Linux version would be customers from their MS-DOS
> version moving over to Linux).
> Another company I did work for (helping with the UNIX port of their
> primarily Windows product) sold the same product, from Windows at about
> $1,000 a copy, to a Stratus mainframe for $50,000 a copy. Same product.
> Same code base (for the most part). Why? Because they could. And the
> $50,000 version fit on a single floppy.
> > and, for the most part, the freeware is often better than the commercial
> > products. I've seen little "source-available" freeware that was very
> > however. The LINUX stuff is a good example. Much of the code sits, full
> > ugly hacks and undocumented modifications, among comments relevant only to
> > original code that was abandoned six or seven revisions back, though it's
> > obvious. It's a wonder any of it works, but it seems it does. It's
> > there'll ever be UNIX/GNU freeware that's as useable as the comparable
> > DOS/Windows stuff, though, since what looks to be the case is that nobody
> > wants to document the UNIX/GNU freeware.
> So you are assuming that commercial code is somehow better than UNIX/GNU
> code? Having worked at a few commercial software companies (except for IBM,
> always hired to port code from MS-DOS/Windows to Unix) I can tell you that
> the commercial code is full of ugly hacks and undocumented modifications,
> among comments (when they actually exist---the first company I mentioned
> above had, as part of their coding standards, mandated that no comments be
> added to the code) relevant only to the original code. At the second
> company I mentioned, the core of the product was written and maintained by
> *one guy* and only *one guy* because no one else in the company could
> understand the code. I saw the code in question and yes, I could see why no
> one else wanted to touch this code. So code quality is just as bad (or
> worse) in commercial products.
> -spc (Was horrified at how bad commercial code is ... )
Received on Sun Apr 21 2002 - 19:24:51 BST

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