[Lazarus] Proprietary vs Open Source mentality

Mark Morgan Lloyd markMLl.lazarus at telemetry.co.uk
Mon Sep 3 11:17:37 CEST 2012

Hans-Peter Diettrich wrote:

> Apart from licensing issues, which may require to keep the source 
> closed, why should somebody ever open up his own source code? Before 
> all, everybody has to earn his living. Only then it's possible at all to 
> contribute to community projects for free.

As somebody else has pointed out, a number of people make a living by 
supporting/enhancing their open-source codebase for specialist 
applications and users. Unfortunately, many more people have tried this 
business model and failed dismally.

However, I think two things follow on from this:

i)   The ideal of open source would be if code was good enough that it 
didn't need the skill of the original developer to maintain it (and 
shipping source in obfuscated form is really /not/ playing fair).

ii)  There's nothing to stop a developer abstracting ideas from feedback 
to his open source program, and using those to enrich the next release 
that might be shipped to paying customers first.

I've certainly come across free (as in beer) programs that have died 
with their developer, since he has made no provision for the source to 
be released despite having no obvious monetary value to his estate.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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