The fact that I only get horny about engineers (and have married one of the brightest of all) is not a coincidence. Good, intelligent engineers are difficult to find around. Just like finding a woman who looks like a model and yet knows how to cook. Just as rare. Thing is, true engineers are needed in today’s world more than women who look like models and know how to cook. The problem arises when an engineer is needed but an engineer is not hired.
Recently, I made a specific bug report to an online outlet, that apparently created “unnecessary stress” to their (mostly CSS/Ajax) developers. The developer claimed that the bug is not a bug of their tools but a bug of the third party user plugin. Problem is, it’s their tools that created a kind of file that the user plugin can’t deal with. And how can they claim that this is not their bug when they don’t seem to know how to read the source code of their tools (they do have the source code as their tools is just an open source solution). Then they claimed that because a certain X application could use the file, it’s an indication that the user plugin is at fault. Which I personally dispute, because that certain X application uses the same open source library to read the file as their OSS tools. So if their OSS tools create a buggy file format, the X application WILL know how to deal with it, but that’s not necessarily true for the user plugin (plugin, which was written by the same people who spec’ed the file format). And that user plugin is the final target of their business, not the X application. Clearly, you need a C engineer, and you ask him to fix the tools to output a format that the user plugin can read.
But this is exactly a case where the company does not understand why they are in the business they are in. If you can’t hire a real C engineer to fix the *real* bugs, then close down the shop. That’s my opinion anyway. Hopefully they will see the light because despite all this, I like them. I have a weird way of showing this to people, but if I am downright rude and full of criticism, then it means that I care. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother.
In the end, it boils down to open source being free only if your time and business have no value.