LinuxPlanet: Funding the Open Source Developer

[ Thanks to Kevin
for this link. ]

“There’s always been an conflict between the practical and the
idealistic in the Open Source ethos, a conflict outlined by Eric
Raymond in his description of the Cathedral and the Bazaar: how to
contribute to the Open Source movement while also making a living.
(Check it out here: it’s a classic text and one that anyone serious
about Open Source should read.) The conflict has been further
exacerbated by those arguing for Free Software as opposed to Open
Source software.”

“Those providing Linux distributions (Red Hat, MandrakeSoft,
Corel) have established their own business model: create a
distribution, give away a basic version, and then charge for a more
fleshed-out distribution that includes documentation. The same
model is followed by larger Linux-software vendors (Corel again,
IBM, the folks behind Blender), who attempt to charge when adding
value to a basic, freely available package.”

But what about the smaller Open Source developer, for whom
this model just won’t work? There are a few projects underway that
try to match developers with those needing software
: collab.net, for instance, has done a fine job of
matching developers with customers in a bid-driven environment. In
addition, VA Linux Systems’ SourceForge is a good gathering place
for developers, although SourceForge does nothing to actually
market the work of these developers and doesn’t provide anything
past basic resources.”