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Re: Companies Contributing to Open Source

From: Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>
To: Kevin Grittner <Kevin(dot)Grittner(at)wicourts(dot)gov>
Cc: "<Joshua D(dot)Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>, Andrej Ricnik-Bay <andrej(dot)groups(at)gmail(dot)com>, Gurjeet Singh <singh(dot)gurjeet(at)gmail(dot)com>, PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Companies Contributing to Open Source
Date: 2006-12-22 22:45:42
Message-ID: 200612222245.kBMMjga02143@momjian.us (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Kevin Grittner wrote:
> >>> On Tue, Dec 19, 2006 at  6:13 PM, in message
> <200612200013(dot)kBK0Dui20431(at)momjian(dot)us>, Bruce Momjian
> <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us> wrote:
> > if the company dies, the community keeps going (as it did after
> Great
> > Bridge, without a hickup), but if the community dies, the company
> dies
> > too.
>  
> This statement seems to ignore organizations for which PostgreSQL is an
> implementation detail in their current environment.  While we appreciate
> PostgreSQL and are likely to try to make an occasional contribution,
> where it seems to be mutually beneficial, the Wisconsin State Courts
> would survive the collapse of the PostgreSQL community.

Yes, the statement relates mostly to companies that sell/support/enhance
open source software, rather than users who are using the software in
their businesses.  And that text isn't in the article, it was just in an
email to make a distinction.

I think I have improved the slant of the article.  Let me know if it
needs further improvement.  Thanks.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


>  
> While I can only guess at the reasons you may have put the slant you
> did on the document, I think it really should reflect the patient
> assistance the community provides to those who read the developers FAQ
> and make a good faith effort to comply with what is outlined there.  The
> cooperative, professional, and helpful demeanor of the members of this
> community is something which should balanced against the community's
> need to act as a gatekeeper on submissions.
>  
> I have recent experience as a first time employee contributor.  When we
> hit a bump in our initial use of PostgreSQL because of the non-standard
> character string literals, you were gracious in accepting our quick
> patch as being possibly of some value in the implementation of the
> related TODO item.  You were then helpful in our effort to do a proper
> implementation of the TODO item which fixes it.  I see that the patch I
> submitted was improved by someone before it made the release, which is
> great.
>  
> This illustrates how the process can work.  I informed management of
> the problem, and presented the options -- we could do our own little
> hack that we then had to maintain and apply as the versions moved along,
> or we could try to do fix which the community would accept and have that
> feature "just work" for us for all subsequent releases.  The latter was
> a little more time up front, but resulted in a better quality product
> for us, and less work in the long term.  It was also presumably of some
> benefit to the community, which has indirect benefit to our
> organization.  Nobody here wants to switch database products again soon,
> so if we can solve our problem in a way that helps the product gain
> momentum, all the better.
>  
> I ran a consulting business for decades, and I know that there is a
> great variation in the attitudes among managers.  Many are quite
> reasonable.  I'm reminded of a meeting early in my career with a
> businessman who owned and operated half a dozen successful businesses in
> a variety of areas.  He proposed a deal that I was on the verge of
> accepting, albeit somewhat reluctantly.  He stopped me and told me that
> he hoped to continue to do business with me, so any deal we made had to
> benefit and work for both of us or it was no good at all; if I was
> uncomfortable with something in the proposal, we should talk it out. 
> That's the core of what we're trying to say in this document, isn't it? 
> The rest is an executive overview of the developer FAQ?  I can't help
> feeling that even with the revisions so far it could have a more
> positive "spin".
>  
> -Kevin
>  

-- 
  Bruce Momjian   bruce(at)momjian(dot)us
  EnterpriseDB    http://www.enterprisedb.com

  + If your life is a hard drive, Christ can be your backup. +

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