[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.


Agreed.


> 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.
http://2bits.com
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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