[kwlug-disc] the business model for open source

john at netdirect.ca john at netdirect.ca
Wed Aug 5 07:07:34 EDT 2009

I think you example iis unlikley: "project x is well used" I take to mean broadly used "but it Is old" i take to mean not actively maintained. 

This is rarely the case. Broadly used project are ac0tively maintained. Perhaps that's the example of outsourcing. I suppose there are cases where they don't see updates, perhaps fetchmail, because they are mature. 

That leads me to another business case: simplicity = reliability. The best engineered design produced the required result in the simplest way.  When a FLOSS application meets all its needs it stops adding features. When a proprietary package meets all the customer's needs the manufacturer dreams up new needs to fulfil in order to sell more upgrades. The result: bloated, complicated and buggy software that costs more to purchase, install and support. 

John Van Ostrand CTO, co-CEO
Net Direct Inc
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12
Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6
Ph: 519-883-1172 x5102
Ph: 866-883-1172 x5102
Fx: 519-883-8533

----- Original Message -----
From: Khalid Baheyeldin [kb at 2bits.com]
Sent: 08/04/2009 11:11 PM AST
To: KWLUG discussion <kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] the business model for open source

On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:58 PM, Richard Weait <richard at weait.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:29 PM, Kyle Spaans<3lucid at gmail.com> wrote:
> > As a tangential (and possibly thread-hijacking question --  I'll be glad
> to take
> > this into a new thread if someone wants) question:
> >
> > Has anyone seen or heard of a company/organization/individual hiring a
> > contractor to work on some FLOSS code for them? What I'm imagining is:
> >
> > FLOSS project X is well used and well liked by company Y, but X is old,
> > unmaintained, or it's developers aren't interested in feature Z that Y
> wants.
> > Therefore Y hires a contractor to work on X for a while and implement
> > feature Z for them.
> All the time.


> Everything from one-off bug bounties to temporary consulting gigs, to
> the hundreds of developers hired at IBM, Novell, Google, Redhat, etc,
> to work on F/LOSS.
> The Drupal community is full of companies who develop modules, or
> design themes, or deploy sites to survive.  You've met some folks who
> do this.  Drupal is not unique in a thriving community, though they
> are a good example.  Other communities that support commercial members
> include OpenStreetMap, SugarCRM, perhaps dozens or hundreds of others.
For a product that has a core and contrib like Drupal, much of the contrib
(modules) are sponsored by companies, either for integration with other
services (like Richard mentioned), or for new native features.
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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