Re: Show Me Da Money (a Cautionary Tale)

A piggy bank stuffed with moneyThis is a reply to Tarus Balog’s Show Me Da Money (a Cautionary Tale) post.

Tarus has labelled the business model of giving away an open source core but selling proprietary extensions as shareware open source.

It’s a great term, but I don’t think it’s wholly appropriate.

If the Hyperic & Zenoss communities have a problem with the licensing terms of the commercial extensions then they are in a great position to circumvent it.

The community can re-group and build their own fully open source extensions.

If a proprietary software company provides tools under terms not acceptable to you then you either don’t use the software or you have to put up with the terms. Put up or shut up.

Both Zenoss and Hyperic have opened up their core platform. Their users have a choice. If they wish they can circumvent any commercial offerings.

I’m not saying that, to use Tarus’s phrase, shareware open source is the same as a completely open source product. I am saying that both Hyperic & Zenoss have opened up as much as they can, and that by doing so, they have sown the seeds that will prevent them from straying too far from the best interests of their respective communities.

So, Zenoss & Hyperic: don’t upset your respective communities or you may find they go off and create a new community without you. That’s just not possible with a completely proprietary product.

Author: Jack Hughes

An experienced software engineer with 20+ years experience writing products for Microsoft Windows based operating systems as well as 12+ years experience hosting websites on Linux and Windows including e-commerce and CMS systems.