[Fsf-friends] Re: [??.??.??.?] Red Hat signs MoU with Kerala govt

V. Sasi Kumar sasi.fsf@[EMAIL-PROTECTED]
Mon Jun 11 15:29:26 IST 2007

On Mon, 2007-06-11 at 14:50 +0530, Sandip Bhattacharya wrote:
> Strictly speaking, support is not about creativity. Yes, sometimes it
> might involve a bit of creativity in solving certain problems, but
> mostly the problems are common and repetitive. So, while I am not
> disputing that "creativity can flourish without commercial incentive",
> I feel that is somewhat of an irrelevant point in this discussion, and
> any further discussion on that lines would only take us away from my
> question here i.e. How can we ensure non-commercial, timely and
> reliable support to organizations moving to FOSS solutions?

What I wrote is: "The prevailing wisdom says that unless there is a
commercial entity, things won't work properly. This is a result of
another piece of prevaiing wisdom that people will not do anything
without a profit motive." The idea about creativity, in my opinion, is
related to this. That is why I mentioned it. But I did not relate it to
this issue. People tend to think that unless there is some profit
involved, unless there is a business possibility, things won't work --
whether it is innovation, whether it is support.

> My experience with users groups however points to the fact that LUGs
> are not always suitable for providing a support environment to
> organizations -  

There could be problems. But commercial support is also not of very high
quality. Our experience is that we don't get support when we need it,
the support personnel think that we are idiots, but these people often
know little. I remember a guy who came to add a CD writer to a computer
we had. The user had little clue about how to do it, and I think the guy
who brought the CD writer had less. He tried to push it into the slot
from the inside, and failed. He even removed the mother board in the
process. He finally left the computer in a broken condition -- it did
not boot. Another guy who brought a new computer to be installed, asked
me whether I wanted "original Linux or pirated Linux" to be installed. I
have several experiences like this. Generally, the bigger the company,
the worse the service! Our LUGs, FSUGs and GLUGs had offered support to
the IT at School project, though I don't know how effective it has been
everywhere -- especially from the side of the teachers. But, I think,
with experience, things can become good. Especially because these UGs
are themselves interested in promoting FS and hence would try their

V. Sasi Kumar <sasi.fsf at gmail.com>
Free Software Foundation of India

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