Open source, free, and commercial software

Slashdot linked an article about Eric Raymond's support for proprietary binary Linux drivers. I think that he is partially right, but I would like the freedom to choose whether to use binary only drivers on my Linux boxes.

As a software developer, I look at commercial development tools as a way of life. While I find the free Ruby + Eclipse + RDT + Radrails combination to be just fine for Ruby development, for other work the commercial tools are just a cut above.

I very much enjoy using Franz Lisp, but it is expensive: Franz has been in business for 20 years continually improving its one product (Franz Lisp), and it shows. I am using Franz right now for a large project - the licensing costs are a good investment for my customer. I hope to restart my business next year (I have set it aside the last few years because the consulting market has been so hot) and I am going to try to justify to myself the costs of Franz because that is what I would like to use.

Another great commercial development environment is Cincom VisualWorks Smalltalk. While licensing is also expensive for VW, Cincom offers a good deal for developers (revenue sharing) that eliminates up front sticker shock - a good thing for develpers wanting to grow a new business.

The point that I am making is that writing software is expensive in time and resources so sometimes it makes sense business wise to invest in expensive tools, and sometimes it does not.


Popular posts from this blog

Custom built SBCL and using spaCy and TensorFlow in Common Lisp

I have tried to take advantage of extra time during the COVID-19 pandemic

GANs and other deep learning models for cooking recipes