11
Mithrandir
Re: Xoops and money DO mix!

Quote:

Bunny wrote:
You work on your newest, hippest theme, or a clan-roster for your CS team

*cough* Tribes 2 - not CS

Apart from that you are spot on

12
dlh
Re: Xoops and money DO mix!
  • 2004/2/24 3:20

  • dlh

  • Posts: 182

  • Since: 2002/2/20


This thread, and the attitude it displays makes me really proud and excited to be on the XOOPS Core Team.

Everybody should stay tuned...Xoops is about an eyelash away from becoming a truly mainstream opensource project like OSCommmerce and OpenOffice.

Thanks from the Product Development team for all your hard work...keep it coming.

Can you feel the momentum!?!

Dan

13
jegelstaff
Re: Xoops and money DO mix!

Quote:

Bunny wrote:
even make a living - from Xoops. Hey, I'm positively thrilled by the thought of professionals working full time on and with Xoops.


I recently found this very interesting thread, and thought I'd mention...

For the past three months, my company has had about one and a half full time staff positions devoted to work with XOOPS. We are a not-for-profit company that helps other not-for-profits make better use technology.

Not all of those 4.5 "man-months" have been development time. The difference between using XOOPS for fun in your spare time, and using XOOPS in a professional context, is that professional software projects require a lot of different types of work besides just lots of web hacking.

So besides development of modules and core modifications, we have also had to do documentation, workflow design (to figure out how real world business processes will map onto the tools and modules in XOOPS), and a whole lot of support to end users.

There are also a lot more ways that business models and open source can work than simply whether you are being paid by someone else to write code or not. I would argue that being paid to write code is an old-economy view of how software development gets paid for. Technology, and software, is everywhere now, and the internet has put a lot of people and organizations in situations where they are relying on software without any need or interest in owning it. It's a service, like water or electricity, not a product. Most organizations don't have the technical capacity to manage the technology even if they owned it.

In our case, we are not a web development company, we are a consulting and general IT service company. Our clients don't pay us to develop. They pay us to provide solutions to them (in many cases that does mean websites). And technical issues like whether its XOOPS or not, or open-source, or proprietary, or anything like that, the client doesn't care, they have a specific need and they leave technology issues to us (that's why you hire consultants, because you don't know what to do yourself). We solve the need and they don't really care how it's done, as long as it works and they know how to use it in the end.

We host all the sites ourselves too, another part of the service we provide. And so far we have not distributed any of the major work we have done, yet it is all GPL. So XOOPS and money and open source sure do mix, but they also mix up the normal way we think about the business models that have supported software development up until now.

When software is a service, not a product, everything changes.

There can be excellent benefits for open-source projects when this kind of thing happens, as Bunny suggested. In our case, we are most likely going to be implementing some more sophistocated group and user administration features because our sites require them, and if or when we get around to that, they will be returned to the core for everyone's use.

--Julian

14
jegelstaff
Re: Xoops and money DO mix!

Quote:

jegelstaff wrote:
Technology, and software, is everywhere now, and the internet has put a lot of people and organizations in situations where they are relying on software without any need or interest in owning it. It's a service, like water or electricity, not a product. Most organizations don't have the technical capacity to manage the technology even if they owned it.


Here's a great link that discusses how things are changing, and about open source and business models:

http://tim.oreilly.com/opensource/paradigmshift_0504.html

Quote:

"I have a simple test that I use in my talks to see if my audience of computer industry professionals is thinking with the old paradigm or the new. "How many of you use Linux?" I ask. Depending on the venue, 20-80% of the audience might raise its hands. "How many of you use Google?" Every hand in the room goes up. And the light begins to dawn. Every one of them uses Google's massive complex of 100,000 Linux servers, but they were blinded to the answer by a mindset in which "the software you use" is defined as the software running on the computer in front of you."

15
jmass
Re: Xoops and money DO mix!
  • 2004/9/30 14:48

  • jmass

  • Friend of XOOPS

  • Posts: 524

  • Since: 2003/12/18


Quote:
We host all the sites ourselves too, another part of the service we provide. And so far we have not distributed any of the major work we have done, yet it is all GPL.


Nothing wrong with changing that. Release early, release often.

JMass

16
jegelstaff
Re: Xoops and money DO mix!

Quote:

jmass wrote:
Quote:
We host all the sites ourselves too, another part of the service we provide. And so far we have not distributed any of the major work we have done, yet it is all GPL.


Nothing wrong with changing that. Release early, release often.


Yeah, sometimes I wake up in the morning and just want to give it all away!! And we don't think twice about releasing stuff that's related to the core. But modules that provide specific functionality are another story.

It's a more complicated issue than just "release early and often." Doing that would help make our product better than others, and would make lots of people want to use it, etc. So that's a good thing right?

But the problem is, our "product" is not the product. We're not trying to compete with others who make products like our modules. Our product is the overall service we can provide to customers. And some of our XOOPS modules are key ways we can differentiate our services from other competitors in the consulting marketplace. They let us do things for clients that other consultants can't provide.

So it's not really about releasing the software, it's about the effect releasing the software would have on our competitors' ability to compete with us for new clients. Releasing the code levels the playing field between us.

That's the fundamental effect of open source software on the entire software industry.

But why should we level a playing field we think is in our favour right now? One train of thought says that since we think we're better on other merits too, who cares if we level the playing field?

As a not-for-profit enterprise in the first place, leveling playing fields is sort of what we're interested in. It helps raise the tide for everyone, which is a goal of ours. But not if it undercuts our business so we can't go on doing that.

I suspect we will release it all eventually. A lot of things become very simply when everything is open source *and* freely available. But how and when I'm not sure.

I think the issue is very similar for others who do similar things like Andy Mayer and his event manager module. If you're reading Andy, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

--Julian

17
amayer
Re: Xoops and money DO mix!
  • 2004/10/6 22:06

  • amayer

  • Friend of XOOPS

  • Posts: 82

  • Since: 2003/10/18


Hi Julian,

Quote:

If you're reading Andy, I'd love to hear your thoughts.


I was just reading your response to my Plone questions in another thread, and researching your past posts when I found this reference to me. LOL! You should have just PM'ed me.

When I read your post I thought "wow, this guy's business looks similar to mine" and then I nearly jumped out of my skin when I read the last line ;) Anyway, I totally share your point of view, and share the issues that you face.

As you may know, I rely totally on XOOPS to make a living - my business depends on it. As well as myself, I currently employ one full-time developer who works 100% on XOOPS systems. My wife will also join the business shortly, and we have two small children to support. I'm also bringing some other developers on board. So this is real life serious stuff, and not just a hobby.

As you describe, we normally do sell software as a service, rather than "development hours" or "lines of code". But the Event Manager module project was totally different. This development was commissioned by a client that wanted to run the code on their own in-house server. So I have no control of how the code is released under GPL.

Normally, we sell XOOPS as a service running on our own servers (just like you) and so we decide whether to release the code or not. Obviously we want to give the code away, but we have to balance this against keeping our competitive edge. We also have a desire to give back to the community that has helped our business start in the first place. So how does this work in practice....

Well, I've recently joined the wf-projects module development team, so that they can use any code that might be useful, as I use wf-sections as the CMS module for my sites. (In reality though, most code is for very specific purposes, and needs a lot of work to be useful to the OSS community). Hopefully, this move will help give back to the community.

Secondly, I plan to release two new GPL modules shortly. One will be a multi-purpose directory module, and the other will be a member profile manager, so that members can have more sophisticated personal profiles, and integrate XOOPS registration with credit card payment gateways.

As for the issue of how we keep our competitive edge, whilst releasing our code as OSS, then you will have to PM me about that, or sign a non-disclosure agreement! ;)

Andy

18
jmass
Re: Xoops and money DO mix!
  • 2004/10/19 3:27

  • jmass

  • Friend of XOOPS

  • Posts: 524

  • Since: 2003/12/18


My company model includes XOOPS as a service as well. We are 50% onsite IT consulting and 50% web development. XOOPS is used in about 25% of our sites, and we are also creating a hosted portal solution that will include XOOPS and other comercial systems such as IBM Lotus Domino.

We have paid for module development, and done a little in house. We have chosen to release our modules. That was our choice. Choosing not to release them is your choice and you're well within your rights not to. Of course they remain GPL, and if they were released they would have to be released as GPL (or less restrictive license).

If you do release I will be the first in line to download We only really sell to local clients. So unless you are in south-east Michigan, we could share and not be a threat. (nudge nudge )

JMass

19
amayer
Re: Xoops and money DO mix!
  • 2004/10/19 8:18

  • amayer

  • Friend of XOOPS

  • Posts: 82

  • Since: 2003/10/18


Hi jmass,

I'm all for sharing code - after all that is the spirit of the GPL!

Quote:
Choosing not to release them is your choice and you're well within your rights not to.


Just to clarify: we are *NOT* against releasing code! There is only one of our modules we cannot release, and that is the Event Management module because it was developed for a client to use in-house, and they have chosen not to release it to the public. We don't have any control over that and we certainly don't want to go behind their backs!

As for our other commercially developed modules, it is our plan to release the code once they have finished testing. But to be honest with you, I am now doubting the maturity of the XOOPS developer community to handle this. Basically I don't want code we have paid thousands of dollars to develop becoming "closed" by other developers who won't release their minor modifications until they've been paid a couple of hundred bucks - just like asking for a ransom! The whole idea of the GPL is that modifications are shared between developers, and that money is made by giving the end-users better experiences rather than keeping things secret. So the code remains free - as in freedom, with no ransoms. Holding code to ransom is just an alien concept to the freedoms of the GPL.

I'm not pointing the finger at you, or saying that money cannot be made. My concern is with the recent "release" of the AMS (Article Management System) by Brash and Mithrandir, which is an enhancement to the XOOPS news module. The modifications have not been released until Brash gets some of his development costs back (only $500 in total) from the XOOPS developer community. There are no promises for how much has to be paid, or what people will get back in return. Sounds just like a kidnap/ransom situation - with the code as hostage.

Andy

20
amayer
Re: Xoops and money DO mix!
  • 2004/10/19 8:42

  • amayer

  • Friend of XOOPS

  • Posts: 82

  • Since: 2003/10/18


Jmass... oh I forgot to say. If you want to share our code, then the easiest thing to do first is to join the WF-PROJECTS team. Then you can contribure code, and also get the development version before testing is finished etc.

Andy

Login

Who's Online

58 user(s) are online (36 user(s) are browsing Support Forums)


Members: 0


Guests: 58


more...

Donat-O-Meter

Stats
Goal: $100.00
Due Date: Jul 31
Gross Amount: $0.00
Net Balance: $0.00
Left to go: $100.00
Make donations with PayPal!

Latest GitHub Commits