Open Source: A good entry at sourcefrog.net describing some reasons people are driven to use open source — the closed-source component library one, in particular, drives me nuts.
I’ve run into this in the past —
here’s an example I can point to. That’s a fixed version of Java
java.util.StreamTokenizer class, to fix a bug where space cannot
be treated as a special character. (Hopefully it’s now obsolete, seeing
as I wrote that 9 years ago!)
Note that I probably do not have permission to use and redistribute
that class. Also note that the bug fix I submitted to Java 1.0 probably
never made it into the code, because I was an individual user and not a
major corporate client. The bug may have been fixed independently,
however, given that
still exists, but I doubt my fix ever got near the dev team.
(However it still means I can say I fixed a bug in James Gosling’s code ;)
Invariably, getting access to source, and being allowed to fix bugs in it, is a key issue — and one that continually drives developers to open source/free software libraries. RMS has been saying this for years, of course.