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Cash and Community: Incentives and Open Source Development

Aug 17, 2010, 01:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier)


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"The open source landscape has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, and the picture of open source developers has changed as well. Where free and open source (FOSS) projects were once considered the domain of volunteer enthusiasts donating time to build alternatives to proprietary software, the odds are that the core contributors of any major project are paid developers working for a company with an interest in the project. Whether this is a good thing is subject to debate.

"At the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), held in July in Portland, Oregon, a four-person panel moderated by Rob Lanphier of the Wikimedia Foundation weighed in on financial incentives in open source. Donald Smith of the Eclipse Foundation, Leslie Hawthorn (formerly of Google), independent developer Todd Crowe, and Stormy Peters of the GNOME Foundation explored some of the models for providing financial incentives and how companies and communities might work together. Paying vs. Passion

"A primary concern for many open source advocates is that paying developers to work on open source undermines the ethos that drives open source."

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