Why I Don’t Like Closed Source
If you’re uninterested in generally nerdery or geekery, you can skip this post. I have a small rant about closed source software…
I was working on a project at work to support HTTP requests from a legacy application which will be ported to a different platform. These request URLs are pretty specific and I was happily parsing them in a .NET HttpModule and redirecting the requests to their proper place. A subset of the legacy URLs contain a colon which most web server software can handle. Except one: IIS 7.5. There is a bug in IIS 7.5 which thinks that colons are bad and should never ever be accepted under any circumstances. That would be fine if there were a way to tell IIS, “hey, I know they’re bad, but accept them anyway.” But there isn’t.
So, IIS just returns “Bad Request” and stops.
Certainly there’s some sort of hotfix or software patch for this, but no, there’s not. Microsoft’s recommended solution: Upgrade to Windows Server 2012 / IIS 8. With open source applications this wouldn’t be an issue. With Microsoft, there’s license costs. So to implement this feature in our application, we would have to spend $600 per server to upgrade.
In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it’s not that much money for a company. But it’s the principal.
Stop forcing users down an upgrade path they don’t need to take for a bug. If you produce good software with respectable features in each product release, your users will upgrade. The IT industry will always have a boner for the latest and greatest. Geeks will always want to try new things. It’s in their DNA. It’s unstoppable. You don’t have to worry. Just fix your existing bugs and keep your current customers be happy.
You know what happens to unhappy customers? They leave and go elsewhere.