Thomas Lockhart wrote:
> As soon as you find a business model which does not require income, let
> me know. The .com'ers are trying it at the moment, and there seems to be
> a few flaws... ;)
While I have not contributed anything to Postgres yet, I have
contributed to other environments. The prospect that I could create a
piece of code, spend weeks/years of my own time on something and some
entity can come along, take what I've written and create a product which
is better for it, and then not share back is offensive. Under GPL it is
illegal. (Postgres should try to move to GPL)
I am working on a full-text search engine for Postgres. A really fast
one, something better than anything else out there. It combines the
power and scalability of a web search engine, with the data-mining
capabilities of SQL.
If I write this extension to Postgres, and release it, is it right that
a business can come along, add a few things here and there and introduce
a new closed source product on what I have written? That is certainly
not what I intend. My intention was to honor the people before me for
providing the rich environment which is Postgres. I have made real money
using Postgres in a work environment. The time I would give back more
than covers MSSQL/Oracle licenses.
Open source is a social agreement, not a business model. If you break
the social agreement for a business model, the business model will fail
because the society which fundamentally created the product you wish to
sell will crumble from mistrust (or shun you). In short, it is wrong to
sell the work of others without proper compensation and the full
agreement of everyone that has contributed. If you don't get that, get
out of the open source market now.
That said, there is a long standing business model which is 100%
compatible with Open Source and it is of the lowly 'VAR.' You do not
think for one minute that an Oracle VAR would dare to add features to
Oracle and make their own SQL do you?
As a PostgreSQL "VAR" you are in a better position that any other VAR.
You get to partner in the code development process. (You couldn't ask
Oracle to add a feature and expect to keep it to yourself, could you?)
I know this is a borderline rant, and I am sorry, but I think it is very
important that the integrity of open source be preserved at 100% because
it is a very slippery slope, and we are all surrounded by the temptation
cheat the spirit of open source "just a little" for short term gain.
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