IPL as a burden

Mark Hatch mhatch at ics.com
Mon Jan 15 21:00:25 UTC 2001


>The Open Source Movement is getting more and more commercial and is has
>to be to remain successful. Economics have their own dynamics.
>I do agree with you, that programmers do not starve in todays world but
>a lot of Open Source work is done by "normal" people, who are not being
>compensated by anybody for their contributions.
>I do agree that all the star Open Source developers are being paid
>pretty well by somebody. Economically, this "somebody" calculates
>indirect profit by enhancing the knowledge base, building up credibility
>or whatever. If this somebody wants to donate something, fine as well,
>but you cannot build an industry on donations.
>The current structure will not scale, since the ecoonomics are not
>clear. Do you think, any consulting group or other commercial entity
>would feel bad, if they had income from Open Source contributions?


As an ISV, I agree with your concerns that the open source model has not 
shown that it will prove profitable enough to attract and maintain the 
commercial application base that I believe Linux needs to be successful. 
Maybe the model will prove out. I think TrollTech creative use of a dual 
GPL/commercial licensing scheme could provide one successful model. Perhaps 
there are others that deal with non-library products.

However, you are unlikely to get far trying to convince this group to ease 
up on their criteria of what an open source license should be. They have 
defined it (after much painful discussion!), and I don't see any consensus 
that the license fits their criteria. I suspect that they would modify 
their criteria only if the "community at large" acknowledged that they 
needed to change. They are the "police" not the "law makers".



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