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SourceXchange Closes Down Due to Lack of Interest

Apr 05, 2001, 19:22 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hall)

By Michael Hall, LinuxToday

After nearly two years of operation, Open Source work-for-hire site SourceXchange is closing its doors according to a mail sent out by site founder Brian Behlendorf, founder and CTO of CollabNet, which hosted the site. A message on the site's home page now directs users to SourceCast, CollabNet's collaborative software development package.

SourceXchange was introduced in May of 1999 as an affiliate of O'Reilly & Associates, and was created in conjunction with Hewlett Packard. One of the goals of the site was to link corporations interested in the benefits of Open Source development practices with developers willing to produce the code for them for pay. A series of "Request for Proposals" (RFP's) were seeded by Hewlett Packard, and the site was formally launched in December of 1999 as a CollabNet production. An early success the site reported was a test suite for the Apache web server, done at the behest of HP for a cost of $5000. During its first months of operation, the site claimed over 1500 participating developers, and claimed credit for facilitating over a dozen Open Source development projects.

The site was, in many ways, reflective of the approach CollabNet has since taken with its SourceCast product, providing a formalized and business-oriented approach to Open Source development centered on building developer communities where they may not have grown spontaneously, and facilitating the Open Source development process. Where, for instance "peer review" has been cited as a strength of the Open Source model, SourceXchange appointed "Peer Reviewers," to provide guidance to developers and companies working on projects. The site also eventually provided a "wish list" where developers interested in working on a given project could pitch the idea to gain corporate sponsorship for their work.

One of the last major news items out of the site came last August, when OpenSales (now known as Zelerate) released its AllCommerce Web site product-retailing software as open source, offering to pay developers to work on the software via the SourceXchange site.

Since then, CollabNet has tallieed a series of sites built around its SourceCast software including MozDev.org, OpenOffice.org, and the Indrema Developer Network.

Behlendorf's message, also appearing on the SourceXchange site:

From brian@collab.net Thu Apr  5 13:32:42 2001
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2001 10:44:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: Brian Behlendorf 
To: developer-announce@lists.sourcexchange.com
Subject: SourceXchange News
As of March, 2001, SourceXchange has officially closed its virtual doors.
While a unique idea and one that we feel really adhered more closely to
the Open Source ideal than any other work-for-hire site ever did, it
simply did not achieve the volume of business necessary to maintain the
site and evolve the offering to meet the needs of sponsors and developers.
Thank you to the hundreds of participants on our various projects,
and to the sponsors who were willing to take a risk on a new model (and
who, by and large, got good results).  CollabNet is now focusing its full
attention on its collaborative software development product called
Happy Hacking!

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