Re: Companies Contributing to Open Source

From: Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>
To: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
Cc: 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: 2006-12-20 00:13:56
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Joshua D. Drake wrote:
> On Wed, 2006-12-20 at 09:51 +1300, Andrej Ricnik-Bay wrote:
> > On 12/20/06, Joshua D. Drake <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com> wrote:
> >
> > > O.k. in all Bruce I like your article but I must admit it seems to take
> > > a "The community is god" perspective and that we must all bend to the
> > > will of said community.
> > I'm not really in a position to judge how a company thinks about
> > "donating resources" to a project, but I certainly think that Bruce'
> > standpoint is correct, and that the community is *indeed* the driver of
> > a project; if a company doesn't like how the community deals with
> > their requirements/needs they can just maintain their own branch.
> It is definitely a tough distinction. My first thought on reply was that
> well a companies employees become members of the community but that
> reinforces what you say above.
> I think my overall thought is the tone seems a bit non-gracious to
> companies, when IMO the community should be actively courting companies
> to give resources. If companies feel unwelcome, they won't give.
> >
> >
> > > The community could learn a great deal from adopting some of the more
> > > common business practices when it comes to development as well.
> > >
> > > In short, I guess I think it is important to recognize that both are
> > > partners in the open source world and that to ignore one over the other
> > > is destined to fail.
> > Do you have any statistical data to back that hypothesis?
> Of which, the community learning or my take that if we ignore one over
> the other it is destined to fail?

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. I remember the president of Great Bridge
saying that the company needs the community, but not visa-vera --- 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. 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.

I do think I need to add a more generous outreach to companies in the
article, explaining how valuable they are to the community, so let me
work on that and I will post when I have an update.

Bruce Momjian bruce(at)momjian(dot)us

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

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