Dear Abi 


Dear Abi...

Dear Abi,

I'd like to see you in your booth at LinuxWorld, but I don't have any tickets to the trade show. Can you help?

Signed, Mourning in Mountain View

    Dear Mourning,

    Drop me an email and I'll see what I can do. We might have a few trade show passes left. ;-).


Dear Abi,

What's all this fuss about "Open Source"? I don't get it. Who cares about source code, as long as my software does what I want?

Signed, Raving in Redmond

    Dear Raving,

    I can see that you're upset about this issue. Try not to panic. Open Source is all about flexibility and control. More and more, software is less of a tool and more of a platform on which your organization is built. If your software lets you down, your entire operation can suffer.

    Plain and simple, here it is: The more open your software is, the more flexibility you have, and the less risk you have.

    Your software may meet your needs right now, but what if your needs change, and your vendor is unwilling to help? The Open Source model brings you the ultimate in openness. With Open Source, your vendor can never gouge you or hold you hostage.

    You're a user, right? Why not expect more from your software vendor? When you buy software, insist on getting the source code.

    Adamantly yours, Abi

Dear Abi,

Why the #@&*^$ don't you people use autoconf for your build system?

Signed, Crabby in Cambridge

    Dear Crabby,

    Tranquilo. Basically, we just haven't gotten around to it. One of the obstacles is the fact that autoconf doesn't work real well on Windows NT, which is one of our supported build environments. With our current build system, a single set of Makefiles works well for both WinNT and our Linux systems, due to the use of GNU make and CygWin from Cygnus. This much convenience was hard to pass up. As our code gets ported to more UNIX systems, as well as to the Mac and BeOS, things will just get more complicated. I'm pretty sure that we'll transition to autoconf eventually.

    BTW, I'm not really offended by your use of the word people, but given my particular phylum, please try to use more inclusive language in the future. ;-)

    Regards, Abi