[olug] MSWord Rqmt and MS lock in

Mark mnmfactory at cox.net
Sat May 29 16:40:42 UTC 2004

Brian Wiese wrote:
> I think what Eric is trying to be pragmatic about is the freedom and value
> free software gives you, and by not locking his customers into a
> proprietary solution as evil as M$.  There are many who would see this
> being more valuable than "saving time" or a little (maybe even a lot) of
> money.

I completely agree. However, it doesn't sound like Eric's boss (the 
closed one) is accepting of those ideas. IMO, it comes down to "How do 
you want to be known?" Do you want to be a talented guy that provides 
real solutions the way the customer wants them? Or do you want to be 
known as the guy who keeps suggestings solutions (even though they work) 
that aren't what the customer wants? I think you would agree that it 
doesn't make much sense to provide solutions that don't fit the 
customer's criteria.

If you pick you battles then you can better win the big ones. Example: I 
work at software company in Omaha. My employer is a die-hard IBM 
Partner. I first had to prove my ability and my value to the company as 
a solution provider. Once my reputation was established, the things I 
said were given more credibility. Then, when I asked to put a Linux 
machine in the server room it was accepted. When I used OpenSource 
software for our comercial products (MPL, LGPL) it added real value. 
I've given back to those projects too when enhancements were made.

The point I'm trying to make is that dealing with Management can be 
very, very frustrating. It is for me at least. They don't understand the 
benefits of things that could really help them. They have a mindset that 
was established in the 80's and 90's and Free Software wasn't a part of 
it. Pick your battles. Be a solution provider and be known for that. 
Then when you suggest things like Linux or OpenOffice, they're more 
likely to listen.

> Instead of being Pragmatic about $$$, how about Pragmatic about Freedom?

I'm not saying anything about money. I think both solutions can be done 
at little or no expense. This depends on what is currently available I 

> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/pragmatic.html

Thanks for the link to the article. I generally agree with RMS and I 
still do on this point. I like the GPL, LGPL and MPL. I use them when I 
create software too. I am not against Free Software to any degree.

Sorry for the intrusion. :)

-Mark E.

More information about the OLUG mailing list