Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Commercial vs Non-Commercial Development Tools

In the comments to my earlier post, Mario Donick rightfully reminds me of an important factor in choosing development tools: price.

I'd like to ask a followup question: assuming the same price-point for a commercial and non-commercial tool, and all other things being equal (e.g. featureset, license terms, multi-platform compilation and so on), are there any non-ideological reasons why someone would choose the non-commercial tool?

(I want to specify non-ideological reasons because to many developers, supporting smaller companies or the open source development paradigm are obviously important)

And as a second followup, how do you think the answers to this question given by Roguelike developers compare to those given by developers in other areas of software development?


Mario Donick said...

In your answer to my comment you added another important aspect: the overall better polishment of a commercial product. You leave this out in this new article.

If I would not choose because of ideological reasons, I would prefer a free commercial product if I could assume that this product would be supported during the next several years.

If I had the feeling that it might be only free for a while, but future updates would bring the danger that I could not afford them, I would choose the non-commercial product.

There might also be the situation that I prefer a non-commercial product because it may have _less_ features than the commercial one.

It strongly depends. I am writing this text using IE 8 on Windows XP, programming LambdaRogue's blog with NetBeans, programming LambdaRogue with FreePascal, programming another website with Visual Web Developer and so on ... ;)

elig said...

I don't like commercial tools because all companies inevitably die. But there is no reason for open source solutions to die, except lack of interest. And if no one is interested, then who cares if the solution disappears?

Dave said...

Indeed, elig, that's another reason that I'm going to cover in another post.