For those of you who don’t know, I am a member of the free/open source software community. I have used versions of Linux on my personal computer for four years now. I run this server and this installation of WordPress on a Debian GNU/Linux installation on a computer that sits in my living room. I contribute bug reports and post on various fora to help both developers and users.
I am, obviously, also a member of the archival community, and I got an email yesterday that really made me angry. It was from an archival vendor, Eloquent Systems Inc., the seems to provide software that fills the same role as Archon. In trying to convince me to purchase their system, they painted the entire free software community with a single stroke, saying that free software is basically unusable in a production environment. They obviously have a right to compare themselves to other products and to state why they believe their product is better than this competition. However, I feel that trashing an entire community is just ridiculous. I’ve attached their email to me, along with my response, beneath the fold.