[oi-dev] OpenSXCE: To live or to die

Garrett D'Amore garrett.damore at dey-sys.com
Tue Jun 4 00:15:24 UTC 2013

On Jun 3, 2013, at 4:00 PM, Jonathan Adams <t12nslookup at gmail.com> wrote:

> Sorry Martin, but I have to agree with Alasdair, the crazy rants all over the forums just make you out to be insane.
> My company is not going to pay you, partly because at the moment they will not be using your product (at least until there are signs that it would be a stable, supported product) and partly because they are a scientific laboratory, not a computer company, 

Getting any product to stable, supported solution almost by definition means that the product has to involve more than a single individual.  I see Martin's challenge here is to involve other community members, and build momentum around this work.  Then he can start getting serious about ways to monetize it.  Right now, with only him, its a fiscal dead end.  Unfortunately, he's created some serious non-technical hurdles to building that community.  I am not sure they can be overcome, honestly.

Were I in his shoes, I'd probably have long since given up on the fruitlessness of this effort, and sought out something that would pay the bills.  Getting upset because folks won't pay for something they don't need and don't use, is not normal rational thinking.  Put another way, I think its time for Martin to find a regular job.  Perhaps one that is disconnected from illumos or Solaris, so that he can approach the job with a bit of emotional detachment.

> I would like to see you supported in your work, but I'm a lowly software engineer in UK with 3 kids, and no pay rise for > 3 years ... so the only way I could contribute would be to put myself in further debt, and no matter how good the product is, if I don't have to pay for it, I won't be paying.

Actually, that's generally the problem.  Most (all?) of his work has little commercial value to the current primary commercial contributors to illumos.  So as much as we'd like to be able to support efforts like his, it makes no financial sense for a business to pay for this.  And ultimately, businesses are about business.  And business are answerable to their shareholders.  Even as a founder in a business, I am not at liberty to spend money that I cannot justify commercially -- my investors would fire me, or sue me, or both, if I tried that.

Personally, I've not yet tried out his distro -- I'm not a big fan of SVR4 either, but I'm probably less a fan of the implementation of IPS.  I may take a look -- if I find it something useful, then I'll send some money his way personally, by way of thank-you.  But as an individual, it won't be enough to stave off his financial problems.   I strongly doubt there are enough of us to make this viable to Martin unless he can figure out some way to properly commercialize it.

> As for making the source available or not, would you not be in breach of the license terms to withhold it?

That depends on what he's done.  Certainly distribution of the binaries that are derived from open source would require conformance to the open source licenses.  However, if for example, he's written a new installer without using any other 3rd party open source, then he's free to do with that what he wants.

That said, its unlikely that failing to meet open source obligations is going to draw any negative response -- its not like Martin is a big target for a lawsuit -- by his own words he has nothing to lose, and nobody is losing customers to him.  That said, not meeting open source obligations is also not supportive of any positive growth that he might hope to achieve, and only serves to further distance himself from the community.

	- Garrett

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