[dba-Tech] Licensing Agreements

Arthur Fuller fuller.artful at gmail.com
Thu Oct 13 11:07:51 CDT 2022

Don't get me wrong: I am not the world's greatest fan of Oracle
Corporation, but once in a while, one must put aside petty quibbles and
acknowledge when something is done correctly. I'm speaking of Licensing

We've all seen them, those screens that pop up during the Installation of
any piece of software. Typically, you see the first paragraph or two of the
agreement, accompanied by an option button indicating "I agree", and it's
all too tempting to simply click and proceed, probably without even
bothering to read that first paragraph.

Oracle installations insist that you at least go through the motions of
having read the agreement. You cannot click "Next" until at the very least,
you've paged down or scrolled through the entire document. Yes, you can
still scroll to the end without actually reading it, but at least they
tried. And I can't think of anything more they could do -- except maybe
follow this with a test such as, "You claim you've read it, prove it: What
does paragraph 8.2.1 say?"

Perhaps we've grown so inured with this process, and tired of knowing that
the vendor accepts no responsibility or liability, and promises "no
guarantee that this software is fit for any purpose or usefulness." Wow,
what a relief.

Now I realize that nobody except Donald Knuth has ever released a perfect
piece of software -- and even he, a software God, has updated his TeX
software. But to baldly state that we guarantee nothing whatsoever? Well,
that sounds like a smuggler of South and Central American refugees, 100 per
truckload, asking for $10k and promising nothing, not even water or air
during the long ride to freedom.

There ought to be at least a modicum of consumer protection somewhere in
here. To be sure, I don't write software that even remotely compares in
complexity to the stuff large companies create, but I do say this to my
clients: "If you find a bug that impedes your work, I will fix it, free,
for the lifespan of your use of the software."


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