Eric Johnson <email@example.com
You make it sound like we have only once active code branch (the one that we
develop new features on), and that no generally available patches are issued
after we add features to the head branch. That isn't true.
As far as the general public is concerned this is the case. The only times
that I can recall (as a small insignificant customer) the QSS actually has
had patches available for multiple version is with the major versions. QNX2
continued to receive patches in the early years of QNX4, and to a lesser
extent, QNX4 has some patches available while QNX6 is not the mainstream
version of QNX.
I have *NEVER* seen availablility of patches for multiple minor revisions
occur concurrently. (ie. Once 4.25 was released there were no more patches
to 4.24 or 4.23). The same has been evidenced with QNX6, 6.1 stopped all
patches to 6.0, and 6.2 appears to have stopped all patches to 6.1.
If you can suggest a model that would allow us to do this without taking a
loss on the extra activity, we're always open to ideas. The current model is
based on having those customers pay for the extra service we give them,
which makes sense to me.
I agree with Rick in beleiving that the current model is flawed (or at least,
not ideal). The logic has more to do with why people choose QNX for a project
than it does with how much money a customer has to spend. If I build a
device with QNX 6.1, manufacture 2000 or them and install them around the
globe, upgrading them all to the next rev of the OS is more likely to NOT be
an option than anything else. If QSS bumps from 6.1 to 6.2 one month after
we ship, we are basically screwed unless we can scrape up the cash for QSS
to make the custom patch for us. If we can't afford that, then I am willing
to bet we will look at alternatives to QSS for future projects so that we don't
have our support undermined by QSS releasing a new rev.
I would suggest that a viable middle ground would be to provide the type of
support in terms of patches for a limited number of previous revisions.
So, with 6.2 released, that might include 6.1C, and 6.0B, but nothing else.
When 6.3 comes out, this would shift to 6.2X, and 6.1C, but drop 6.0B at that
Rick is talking about investment protection. If you want repeat customers
this is a good idea.