[Zope] MarketPlace for Zope Software Components

Richard Jones richard@bizarsoftware.com.au
Fri, 19 Oct 2001 09:25:11 +1000

On Friday 19 October 2001 04:32, lozinski@jobmart.com wrote:
> First my thanks to Douwe Osinga <dmo@oberon.nl>
> for clearly expressing the position in favor of open source
> software.
> >I would never buy components without the source code. In my >experience
> > support
> for commercial components is rather >irregular and not being able to debug
> or even
> >fix problems in components you use can really damage your >product.
> > Sending
> back the fixes is no more then logical, so >everybody profits. Having the
> source and sharing patches means >that you're already pretty close to full
> open source.
> I agree with what he has to say.

I have one major problem with it: you give away the source, you give away 
your IP and with it your revenue. It's hard to justify spending $$$ to 
develop software just to give away the source at the end of it.

>  If I were a hard core software developer,
> I would prefer open source software, I can download it for free, get it to
> work, make any changes I need, and get support on a mailing list if I have
> a serious problem.

This assumes an abundance of open source developers who are willing to work 
on projects for nicks. And provide continuing support (believe it or not, 
some open source projects get big and unmaintainable by anyone other than the 
original developers.)

> In fact I would object to not having modifiable source code.
> But there is also another way to look at this problem.  I believe that
> there is another target market that might prefer commercially supported
> components.

This is what we're seeing. We sell our closed-source product for Zope right 

> Which could also include source.

No - see aforementioned self.foot.shoot()  Otherwise, you're charging 
stupendous amounts of money to a) limit the market penetration and have 
NDA-style purchase contracts and b) be able to actually make money while 
doing a). We, on the other hand, are selling to the regular schmo, and they 
are much happier to buy a closed-source, AU$1500 (that's "peanuts" to you 
yanks :) product.

>  I am thinking of an end user
> market.  More like an excel user than an object-oriented developer.  These
> people would like to have an environment where they can drag and drop
> different components, and click on a few values to configure them.  These
> end users want a clear catalogue of components, with a more detailed
> description of what each component does. They would like the components
> preinstalled on a server, they just select which ones they want to use. 
> And they would need to pay for these components in order to support the
> marketting of these components, marketting investment which zope could
> benefit from.

This is what we're aiming for in trying to re-package Zope as a 
batteries-included GUI-controllable set of software. One of the big 
components of that is the preinstalled software and product management. There 
will be some discussion on this on the zope packagers mailing list once I get 
some time from our current paying product release cycle :)

> I have seen lots of object-oriented environments, and I believe that zope
> is the first technology that really enables a market in software
> components.  I think that there is a real opportunity here.
> Are there any commercially sold software components for zope?


> Is anyone intersted in buying commercially supported zope components?