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Re: Companies Contributing to Open Source

From: "Simon Riggs" <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
To: "Bruce Momjian" <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>
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: 2006-12-21 16:51:37
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
The paper is a good one, from my perspective. It does address important
issues and maybe we don't all agree on the exact places lines have been
drawn, but I think we probably do agree that these things need to be
said. Now that they have been said, we must allow reasonable time for
the understanding to percolate and for appropriate changes of direction
to take place. We can't undo the past, but we can change the future.

On Tue, 2006-12-19 at 19:13 -0500, Bruce Momjian wrote:
> This actually brings up an important distinction.  Joshua is saying
> that
> the community is painted as "god" in the article, and I agree there is
> a
> basis for that, but I don't think you can consider the community and
> company as equals either.  

>  Also, the community is developing the software at a rate that
> almost no other company can match, so again the company is kind of in
> toe if they are working with the community process.  For example, the
> community is not submitting patches for the company to approve.

The community is developing software quickly because there are some/many
full-time paid staff assigned to the project. We (the Community) need to
recognise that the Community is *all* of us and that includes various
Companies i.e. Companies aren't distinct from the Community. In that
sense, I would agree that The Community is "above" Companies.

We must be appreciative of contributions made in imperfect conditions.
Frequently changes are made behind closed doors and then approval is
given to release the software, sometimes after extensive lobbying. We
shouldn't shun those contributions, even while advising those companies
that we'd prefer it if they didn't do it that way next time. We should
assume that all development is done with the best intentions, even if
things don't follow the FAQ. Now that we have some clear policy on this,
I look forward to people being able to say "best not do it that way, the
Community has a clear policy against that", that Teodor, myself and
others can advise sponsors about.

BTW, the phrase "Companies" must also include any external Enterprise,
since many good things come our way from Universities and Colleges. We
should also recognise that many enterprises are in fact non-profit, or
simply local/national government/administrative organisations. Profit
per se is not the only thing that drives requirements.

  Simon Riggs             

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