Re: Does making a Commercial product into "Open Source" generate bad image?

On Sat, 6 Aug 2005 22:23:15 +0200, "Danijel Tkalcec
\(RealThinClient\)" <dtkalcec@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>So, here are my questions:
>1) Why is RTC Core as Open Source a bad thing?
1) Some people may perceive Open Source as less quality than a
commercial product. This is changing somewhat but it's still there.
2) You will NOT make any money directly from the product.
3) The project is developed at a lower priority than a commercial
product. This goes for your or anyone else on your Open Source team.
4) Volunteers are not as obligated an paid employees would be.
5_ You will be doing a thankless job for no pay and some people take a
" me attitude" (you know, the spoiled brats).

>2) Why is RTC Core as Open Source a good thing?
There are several reasons and this is what I've seen in Indy:

1) Outsiders can contribute to the project or may see things that you
didn't see.
2) Others may have an incentive to add capabilities to the product. A
lot Indy development has happened this way (someone wanted something
so bad that they were willing to code it themselves). Often, the only
incentive to contribute is the software itself.
3) It's possible that someone may spin-off from the original project
and develop their own innovations.
6) Some people expect less than they would for commercial products.

Just as important as discussing advantages and disadvantages, is
explaining what Open Source as a model can NOT do. Some people are
tempted to see Open Source as a panacea for projects that have other
problems and they get disappointed when Open Source doesn't work.

1) It can not replace good project management including managing other
people. About the only difference is that a properly managed
commercial project would not be as visible as open source (if the
project fails, nobody outside the company may know).
2) Open Source can not replace DEMAND. DEMAND is what makes a
commercial vendor successful and it also dictates the success of Open
Source projects.
3) Open Source projects still have to be maintained by the original
author or someone who knows the product intimately.
4) Design problems and Security issues tend to hit both commercial and
Open Source projects.

In another of saying this is that if you are simply Open Sourcing RTC
Core because the project is in deep trouble, Open Source will not
change that at all.

>3) Would it be better if RTC Core would be commercial (like it started)?
One myth is that it is impossible to make money off of Open Source.
That is not the case at all. There are ways you can and here's some

1) You have hardware vendors who contribute to Open Source projects so
there is software for their hardware (IBM does this as well as some
companies such as LinkSys).
2) Some companies make money by packaging the software. This is how
some companies make money with distributions.
3) Some people make money from add-ons they make for a product.
4) Some people make money by providing services for a product such as
support or information.
5) In a few cases, companies pay Open Source developers to add
features to a product.
6) Some people make their money embedding Open Source software into
their own programs that they sell or provide to clients and some
licenses permit this.
7) Sometimes, people absorb the costs of investing in software as part
of the cost of doing business.

>4) If commercial is better than Open Source, what would be the appropriate
>price per license?

What you do is up to you and it's not place to advise you. All I
attempt to do is paint a realistic picture.
J. Peter Mugaas - Indy Pit Crew
Internet Direct (Indy) Website -
Check our my blog at
If I want to do business with you, I will contact you. Otherwise, do
not contact me.

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