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Thread: Open-sourcing help

  1. #1
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    Open-sourcing help

    Are there any companies or organizations that give aid to software companies that want to open source their software and change their business model? An organization that might dedicate a team of people and a sum of money to the company opening up their source code and collecting it back with interest in the future?

  2. #2
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    Re: Open-sourcing help

    Quote Originally Posted by DPic View Post
    Are there any companies or organizations that give aid to software companies that want to open source their software and change their business model? An organization that might dedicate a team of people and a sum of money to the company opening up their source code and collecting it back with interest in the future?
    I'm not sure I understand. Why would a company that currently sells proprietary software need that much help to make their code available? All they have to do is give away the code and use the GNU license to ensure that nobody restricts others use of it.
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Old Chinese Proverb
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  3. #3
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    Re: Open-sourcing help

    I talked to one company who said they would like to open up their source code but it would just be too much work and they don't make enough money and most of the money they do make comes off of their software. They are unable to change their business model around to make money off of their services instead of their software and also a lot of their software uses proprietary elements that they would have to change.

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    Re: Open-sourcing help

    Quote Originally Posted by DPic View Post
    I talked to one company who said they would like to open up their source code but it would just be too much work and they don't make enough money and most of the money they do make comes off of their software. They are unable to change their business model around to make money off of their services instead of their software and also a lot of their software uses proprietary elements that they would have to change.
    I'm not really sure I understand what they are selling. There may not be a good reason for them to switch.

    Two of the big reasons why a company would open up their source code are:

    1- A significant improvement of the code. This is contingent in there being a lot of people who are interested and who would find value in hacking on the code. I'm not really sure there are loads of people who would be lining up to join this project,

    2- Offering your software at no cost tends to blow away your competition. Again, I don't know anything about this market, but I don't think they have a lot of competition. I think they are struggling to establish themselves at the moment...

    The fact that they use a lot of proprietary components makes it a lot more difficult. When your hands are tied, your hands are tied.

    If there is to be an open source competitor for this, that in itself (no licencing agreements) may prove to be a big advantage. But the code would have to come from somewhere. So it's an "if"

    Otherwise, releasing your code costs next to nothing. A CVS (or other revision control) repository and a website costs a few pennies of bandwidth.
    I lost a "z". Anyone seen it around here?

  5. #5
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    Re: Open-sourcing help

    Well i do think that there are a lot of people who would help them improve the code even though you are right that they are still establishing themselves. But even if that were so just thinking outside of this company i'm sure there are companies who have more competition from which to gain users from who have the problem of needing to change their business model and have proprietary components in their software in order to open their source code which is exactly what i'm saying this company would deal with.

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    Re: Open-sourcing help

    Does the company make its own software, or does it outsource it?

    Either way, what you are describing is a job for programmers; and not just programmers, but programmers experienced at writing open source software. The company can hire such programmers and pay them to do some kind of rewrite or conversion of the software.

    Nobody is going to do commercial work like that for free. Just because the final product is free to the end user, does not mean that programming the software was free!

    If I was desperate to get somebody to do free work, I would offer some kind of internship to computer science students: experience in return for work. Another option might be to scavenge websites like sourceforge and try and find somebody to take on the project. In general, however, programmers like to be paid!
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Old Chinese Proverb
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  7. #7
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    Re: Open-sourcing help

    Articles like this one, which I found on google in about 2 minutes, might be helpful:
    http://hecker.org/writings/setting-up-shop
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Old Chinese Proverb
    How To Help Yourself | Ubuntu User #15136"

  8. #8
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    Re: Open-sourcing help

    Oh yes i know the work isn't free. I'm imagining a company through which you can hire a team of programmers as well as get help changing your business model (income from software to services) and not having to pay everything up front. Pay over time as money is earned back. thanks for the link too

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