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    Date: Thu, 17 Aug 89 12:27 PDT
    From: snicoud@atc.boeing.com (Stephen Nicoud)

       From: barmar@Think.COM (Barry Margolin)

       Software Support has sent me fixes as soon as they were developed on
       many occasions.  Often even when I don't ask for them (most of my bug
       reports are not about critical problems, and all I expect is for them to
       be added to the bug list and dealt with eventually, yet SW Support
       frequently develops patches for them right away and sends them to me).

    If a vendor is sensitive to software support costs, they shouldn't waste
    time, money, and resources putting together and sending fixes to
    customers for non-critical problems especially when they weren't

I suspect that I am unusual in that I report lots of unimportant
problems, and don't really expect a timely fix.  How many other people
report bugs in software that they don't actually use?  Sometimes I'll be
going through the source or documentation looking for something, I'll
notice an interesting function, try it out just for fun, and discover a
bug in it, which I then report.  Sometimes I'll explicitly say that I
don't need a fix soon, but I often forget.  I'm happy that they err on
the informative side.

    And yes, IMVHO, I think Sun and other software vendors should behave
    likewise.  Charging me when I have a question that requires their
    expertise, but encouraging problem reporting by providing the authors
    with fixes, when appropriate, regardless of software support contracts.
    TI has always been very responsive to my Explorer software problem
    reports without software support.

I believe that Sun has a mailing list that anyone can use to report
bugs.  The bugs are added to the bug list, and hopefully dealt with
eventually.  They don't guarantee any particular response time or
priority to this list, but they don't ignore it.  They have a separate
"hotline" mailing list and phone number that customers with SW Support
can use to ask questions and request real fixes.