Subject: Re: improving project maintainership
From: Ben Laurie <ben@algroup.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 18:54:32 +0000

Adam Turoff wrote:
> 
> On Fri, Feb 08, 2002 at 10:03:11AM +0000, Simon Cozens wrote:
> >     1) shelling out to make someone a full-time maintainer doesn't give
> > the company any competitive advantage other than the dubious quality of
> > "prestige". There's no business case for doing it; it might be nice,
> > public-spirited, and generally a great idea, but, like it or not,
> > the purpose of a business is not to be a good citizen, it's to make money
> > and keep the shareholders happy.
> 
> Actually, there is a business case for hiring developers full-time
> to maintian free software.  The point to note is that typically
> these developers tend not to maintain free software on a full-time
> basis.
> 
> Zope Corp. appears to be having a reasonable amount of success
> employing the team that's developing Zope as well as the a good
> chunk of the team developing Python.  The advantage to the shareholders
> is that funding the development of Python (or rather, insuring that
> it is funded) makes the Zope platform stronger; funding the
> development of Zope strengthens their position as a vendor for
> consulting and maintenance services for Zope.
> 
> I'd argue that similar relationships exist within SuSE and Red Hat
> (thanks for the concrete examples Michael), where again the issue
> isn't full-time maintenance for the sake of ego boo, but part time
> maintenance to strengthen the core of the business.

IBM and Sun (for example) both do it for various ASF projects.

Cheers,

Ben.

--
http://www.apache-ssl.org/ben.html       http://www.thebunker.net/

"There is no limit to what a man can do or how far he can go if he
doesn't mind who gets the credit." - Robert Woodruff