Arthur S. Alexion on Sat, 7 Sep 2002 03:20:07 +0200

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[PLUG] proprietary software in an open source world

There is an interesting debate going on in a list that is comprised of 
users of a legal case managment package called TimeMatters.  They just 
came out with a linux version, and the initial joy in Muddville has 

First a related side track.  I bought Word Perfect Office 2000 Deluxe 
Linux because I have used Quattro Pro and Paradox for close to 10 years 
and have a lot of accumulated work invested in templates and databases. 
 I ought this would be the perfect way to continue with that work while 
otherwise moving to Linux.  I am now on my third try.  Finally, I can 
start the apps, but font problems are still keeping me from going on.  
Corel seems to have abandoned the product, so its frozen in time, only 
running well on the corel distro.

Time Matters, after much prodding from some customers, and ultimately a 
deal with Toshiba to bundle the software with one or their Linux 
servers, released a Linux version that works with Postgre and MySQL.  
They only "certified" it to work on Red Hat 7.2.  A customer is trying 
to install it on RH 7.3 and is having problems.  Tech support refuses 
to help, having only certified it to run on 7.2 and whatever versions 
of Postgre and MySQL come with that distro.

They claim 7.3 is a totally different OS that they do not support, and 
refuse to see it as a minor upgrade.  Linux advocates on the list liken 
it to supporting Win 2000, but refusing support once the service packs 
are installed.

In fact, the Linux consultant working for the guy who was having the 
problems recommended against installing the product even on the 
"certified" distro, because he was afraid that it was so distro 
specific that it would stop working if he installed any security 

Problem, this version of Time Matters isn't cheap, and because it is a 
piece of proprietary software reluctanly released by developers used to 
working in windows, it doesn't look like you are going to be able to 
change any of your other software if you buy it.

So my question is whether such closed proprietary software can ever 
work in an open source enviornment?

Art Alexion
Arthur S. Alexion LLC
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