I'm logging out to post this, because my name would give away the company I work for.
We started on the current project ten years ago on propriety software; compilers and frameworks,
source code control and various third-party libraries and a real-time kernel.
The third-party libraries have been a disaster; there is just no support available in any real sense. You can
report a bug, but it never seems to get fixed. Likewise the real-time kernel has changed hands three or four times
and support is there some of the time, sometimes it can take months to get an answer, and on the odd occasions
we have asked them for a feature they have quoted us the full development cost plus profit, even though it would
have been a useful feature for them to have in their product. We could have paid £10-20k, but not £100k for less
than six man-months of work.
The source-code control system is still something from the dark-ages. We have many development and maintenance
branches and every feature has to be manually merged file by file, line by line. We're stuck with it, because
there is no way for us to migrate to anything else. If we had started out on open-source we could have migrated
from RCS to Subversion and then to Git or Mercurial. This last year, for one server and twenty clients, they quoted
us £29,000 for support that we almost never use.
Support, in the propriety world, is a myth. You pay over the odds to talk to people who know nothing. You wait for
weeks for them to forward your query to another country, and then receive a reply that either has no bearing on your
problem or just tells you to deal with it.
If you post a question on an open-source package forum you get ten replies:
- One is off-topic
- One corrects your grammar
- Two misunderstand the question
- One says they have the same problem.
- One is wrong
- One gives you enough information to put you on the right path.
- One points you at the correct documentation
- One answers correctly
- One answers correctly and in so much detail you want to have their children.
If you post a similar question about a propriety package, you only get one of the above answers, chosen at random.