moderated Re: Open Source?

Marv Waschke

Highly recommend open sourcing. The company I worked for open-sourced several products that I worked on. We saw no dips in revenue and it made the products more salable. These were enterprise service management products and utilities that no one in their right mind would consider compiling themselves and using without support. We invited customers to review the code before purchasing licenses. I suspect few actually did so, but the fact that they were able to bolstered their confidence in the products.
We got a few contributed bug fixes out of it, but not as many as I expected. Making use of contributed bug fixes was much harder than I anticipated.After reviewing and testing the fixes, most had to be rewritten to meet our coding standards and ended up costing about as much as we would have spent fixing them ourselves.
In retrospect, I would have liked to have invested in a management process for contributions and made it a routine part of our dev methodology. Unfortunately, our executive management was enlightened, but not that enlightened, and using contributions ended up being an ad hoc time suck. I.e. I spent a lot of weekends reviewing contributed code, rewriting and checking it into the build, and writing test cases for QA.
Best, Marv

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