[Zope] MarketPlace for Zope Software Components

Behrens Matt - Grand Rapids Matt.Behrens@Kohler.Com
Fri, 19 Oct 2001 08:27:55 -0400

[Some of this may seem harsh, please understand I have no experience 
with any of this thread's contributors' software, and am not disparaging 
it.  I just have had a stream of bad experiences with closed software in 

Richard Jones wrote:

> 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.

Except customers (like me, we're not a software house) are learning that 
  a free software/open source/what have you solution is better for us by 
leaps and bounds.  I can't count how many times I've tried components 
and found them to be short-sighted in their scope or just plain unreliable.

The simple (unfortunate?) fact is, almost all software is buggy in some 
way, shape, or form.  Without source code, I can't fix it to the point 
where I can build a reliable solution on top of it.  This makes it 
extremely unattractive to me.  A closed product has to be damned good 
and extremely well-supported to overcome that.

> 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.)

Of course they do!  Bad design is not limited to closed source. :-) 
Don't get me started on a large part of the current crop of OSS 
projects.  There's a long list of thost I will avoid just because they 
quite frankly suck.

But there is no obligation to provide support for free.  Most open 
source businesses don't.  If your time is valuable to someone, someone 
will buy it.  I would happily pay what we currently pay for anuual 
licensing and support of software just for the support half of it, and 
probably more, if we could get the source code.  It often annoys me that 
I run into bugs and short-sighted design that I'm sure I could fix, but 
am not allowed to.

[snip the rest -- the whole "free software doesn't sell" argument is 
covered in other forums]

My dream is that we will gradually move to an environment where people 
who understand coding will work less for software houses and more for 
end-users (businesses that truly are too small to support one can rent 
access to one).  Software won't be sold as much as it will be shared, 
which can dramatically increase the quality and quantity of software 
available to a business as well as decrease their cost.  And the people 
who need the software get software that's tailored to their needs, not 
their needs tailored to their software.

Matt Behrens <matt.behrens@kohler.com>
System Analyst, Baker Furniture