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Re: Increased company involvement

From: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
To: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>,PostgreSQL advocacy <pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Increased company involvement
Date: 2005-04-28 05:21:01
Message-ID: 427072BD.3090203@commandprompt.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-hackers
> However, there was a lot of coordination that happened with Fujitsu that
> I don't see happening with the current companies involved.  Companies
> are already duplicating work that is also done by community members or
> by other companies.

That is bound to happen no matter what. Look at plJava and plJ. Some 
people just feel that their way is better. Some people just don't get 
along etc...

That is why we have 80 Linux distributions and a dozen FreeBSD 
distributions (can I include MacOSX?).

 >  The big issue is communication.  Because the
> PostgreSQL code base is common for most of the companies involved, there
> has to be coordination in what they are working on and their approaches.

I can see this as an issue but sometimes that community is a hampering 
course as well. I recognize the community goals and respect them but in
some things the community can move really slow. From what I can tell
some of this is caused by the no new features rules etc...

In business moving slow can mean death to a project.

Which is why (hate to beat a dead horse) many OSS projects have moved
to 6 month release cycles.

> is happening.  I realize this is hard for companies because their
> efforts are in some ways part of their profitability.

That is true, there are sometimes strategic reasons to not annouce a 
project.

> profitability require duplication of effort and code collisions?  I am
> not sure, but if it does, we are in trouble.  I am not sure the
> community has the resources to resolve that many collisions.

Which is why you are starting to see forks such as Bizgres but it is 
also why you are seeing forks go away (Mammoth PostgreSQL).

> Second, some developers are being hired from the community to work on
> closed-source additions to PostgreSQL.  That is fine and great, but one
> way to kill PostgreSQL is to hire away its developers.  If a commercial
> company wanted to hurt us, that is certainly one way they might do it.
> Anyway, it is a concern I have.  I am hoping community members hired to
> do closed-source additions can at least spend some of their time on
> community work.

I would think that most of the developers would stipulate that in order 
to take the position??? I know Command Prompt would always make sure
that the developer could work on the community stuff.

> And finally, we have a few companies working on features that they
> eventually want merged back into the PostgreSQL codebase.  That is a
> very tricky process and usually goes badly unless the company seeks
> community involvement from the start, including user interface,
> implementation, and coding standards.

I concur with this. We ran into this with plPerl.

Sincerely,

Joshua D. Drake
Command Prompt, Inc.

-- 
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