I’ve mentioned here before that I run a small free software project which supplies simple web programs. The programs are quite widely used, but we generally only hear from the users when things go wrong. It was, therefore, nice to get a mail from someone who hadn’t had any problems and just wanted to say thank-you for the programs. Here’s what he said:
David I wish to personally thank you for the help you provided to my wife in being able to place a search engine on our friends website. We have needed a search engine on my own personal site and have not been able to accomplish it but now that we have done it on our friends site [url removed] our site is next in line [url removed – but it’s a gun site].
Please believe me from my heart when I say thank you and I am so glad there are people like you in this world. I help many people in my business and because of their needs and lack of money. Many many times I do not charge one red cent. Well it came back to me 100 fold in enabling us to use your valuable information. We cannot afford 20-30k for what we needed and because of you we can now make it happen. Thank you ad infinitum, [name removed]
If you ever need help in locating a machine gun, silencer, destructive devices, mortar or grenade launcher, or anything else down to a handgun or long gun don’t hesitate in contacting me I am completely at your service.
[contact details removed]
HARD-CORE RIGHT WING CONSERVATIVE AND PROUD OF IT
I wrote back to him thanking him for his kind words. I tried to explain the concept of open source to him and pointed out that personally I was involved because of the good fit with my socialist principles. I also thanked for the offer of business assistance but pointed out that in the UK those kinds of weapons are not allowed to be owned by private citizens – a law which I wholeheartedly support.
I’ll let you know if I get a reply. But it’s an interesting illustration of how open source software can help all kinds of people. Not just the ones that you’d like to help.