Thursday, June 27, 2024

Free as in Freedom, not as in beer...

 So... recently I was working for a bit (sweat equity or so I thought) for a company by the name of ImmortalData.  The company is headed by a man by the name of Dale Amon.  I have worked, on and off, for them for about 2-3 years.   They are developing a piece of software that is used to extract data from their proprietary black box systems.  This piece of software uses GNUstep.   They were born from a previous company known as XCOR which was developing a space plane at the Mojave space port.   That company is now defunct.

Okay, so with that bit of history, I worked for a while for XCOR and then, because ImmortalData inherited the software, for them as well.  When I worked for XCOR it was as a contractor.  There have been issues with the software (some GNUstep bugs and some bugs due to problems introduced by Dale) that I have been asked to address.

At the end of a meeting a few weeks ago Dale made a comment like "Well, this issue seems like a GNUstep bug, so there is no reason we should have to pay for any of this" which hit an EXTREMELY sour note with me.

Later on that week I tried to clarify it with Dale, and it seems as though he was under the impression that since I was working on Free Software any changes or fixes TO that software should not be billable.   This is NOT true.  Additionally, the issue that they are experiencing is because of something THEY did, and it is not a GNUstep bug. 

I mentioned this in the previous post, but I feel strongly that this needs to be called out explicitly.   Free Software is free as in FREEDOM.  This means you are free to look at, examine, and modify the software as you see fit.   It does NOT mean services performed on that software on your behalf by someone other than you are free.

This development was VERY upsetting to me and I feel the need to make the above VERY clear.

No comments:

What Apple has forgotten...

 When NeXT still existed and the black hardware was a thing, Steve Jobs made the announcement that OPENSTEP would be created and that the ob...