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Session 4 - Developing Open Source Software - The Lessons
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Session 4 - Developing Open Source Software - The Lessons

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Index Data have found that projects where open-source software is seen simply as a cheaper alternative to a proprietary solution rarely reach such satisfactory conclusions as those where the method of …

Index Data have found that projects where open-source software is seen simply as a cheaper alternative to a proprietary solution rarely reach such satisfactory conclusions as those where the method of working takes advantage of the open-source approach. The principles described in this talk will be illustrated by real-world examples drawn from actual experiences.

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  • 1. How we've survived fifteen years of commercial open-source software Mike Taylor, Index Data < [email_address] >
  • 2. ? Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Why open source?” It's not about “ Why open source?” any more. Everyone understands that now.
  • 3. ? Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Why open source?” It's not about “ Why open source?” any more. Everyone understands that now.
  • 4. ? Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Why open source?” It's not about “ Why open source?” any more. Everyone understands that now. It's about “ How open source?”
  • 5. ? Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Won't programmers starve?” Well, we're still here. Index Data, founded 1994, going strong.
  • 6. ? Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Won't programmers starve?” Well, we're still here. Index Data, founded 1994, going strong.
  • 7. ? Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Won't programmers starve?” Well, we're still here. Index Data, founded 1994, going strong. The world's smallest multinational: 11 employees of 7 nationalities 8 offices in 5 countries
  • 8. ? Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > The key question: “ How can you survive if you give it away?” Because after we give it away, We still have it?
  • 9. ? Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > The key question: “ How can you survive if you give it away?” (If we can't survive, you can't rely on us.) ‏ Because after we give it away, We still have it?
  • 10. ? Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > The key question: “ How can you survive if you give it away?” Because after we give it away, we still have it.
  • 11. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > After we give it away, we still have it. Because copying is zero-cost for software.
  • 12. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > After we give it away, we still have it. Because copying is zero-cost for software. It took people a long time to grasp this, because copying is expensive for hardware, (And even now, not everyone gets it.) ‏
  • 13. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > After we give it away, we still have it. Because copying is zero-cost for software. It took people a long time to grasp this, because copying is expensive for hardware, (And even now, not everyone gets it.) ‏ Zero-cost copying can be used for: – Write once, sell many – Write once, give away copies
  • 14. ? Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Another answer: “ How can you survive if you give it away?” It depends what you mean by “it”.
  • 15. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > What exactly do we give away? NOT ownership of the software (No proprietary derivatives) ‏
  • 16. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > What exactly do we give away? NOT ownership of the software (No proprietary derivatives) ‏ CERTAINLY NOT our time!
  • 17. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > What exactly do we give away? NOT ownership of the software (No proprietary derivatives) ‏ CERTAINLY NOT our time! ONLY copies of the software
  • 18. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > What exactly do we give away? NOT ownership of the software (No proprietary derivatives) ‏ CERTAINLY NOT our time! ONLY copies of the software – the ultimate marketing!
  • 19. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Two forms of marketing with open source YAZ – Z39.50 Toolkit BSD licence to promote protocol Used in 2/3 of all servers and clients
  • 20. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Two forms of marketing with open source YAZ – Z39.50 Toolkit BSD licence to promote protocol Used in 2/3 of all servers and clients Zebra – XML and MARC-friendly DB GNU GPL to attract service contracts Integrated into Koha, etc.
  • 21. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So what is the point of open source? – Our business is giving you what you want – Changes the vendor/customer relationship
  • 22. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So what is the point of open source? – Our business is giving you what you want – Not withholding what you want! – Changes the vendor/customer relationship
  • 23. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So what is the point of open source? – Our business is giving you what you want – Not withholding what you want! – Changes the vendor/customer relationship
  • 24. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So what is the point of open source? – Our business is giving you what you want – Not withholding what you want! – Changes the vendor/customer relationship – Partners rather than adversaries
  • 25. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So what is the point of open source? – Our business is giving you what you want – Not withholding what you want! – Changes the vendor/customer relationship – Partners rather than adversaries
  • 26. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So what is the point of open source? From our perspective: Open source software provides the platform on which we can sell services .
  • 27. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Software is largely a service industry operating under the persistent but unfounded delusion that it is a manufacturing industry.” – Eric S. Raymond.
  • 28. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Software is largely a service industry operating under the persistent but unfounded delusion that it is a manufacturing industry.” – Eric S. Raymond. IBM understands this.
  • 29. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Software is largely a service industry operating under the persistent but unfounded delusion that it is a manufacturing industry.” – Eric S. Raymond. IBM understands this. Anyone who doesn't, provides lousy service.
  • 30. Which is why we are used to technical support like this ...
  • 31. Instead of technical support like this ...
  • 32. Instead of technical support like this ... This never happens
  • 33. Instead of technical support like this ... This never happens At least, not in companies that make their living from licences.
  • 34. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > An important question librarians should now be asking their vendors is: “ Who are the highest paid people in your organisation? Your sales people or your service people?” – Carl Grant, president, Ex Libris USA.
  • 35. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > An important question librarians should now be asking their vendors is: “ Who are the highest paid people in your organisation? Your sales people or your service people?” – Carl Grant, president, Ex Libris USA. Since I am not a sales person, I want the answer to be “service people”.
  • 36. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > An open-source software vendor is one where everyone is service people.
  • 37. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > An open-source software vendor is one where everyone is service people. Roughly. (It's not quite true: we still have some marketing/sales overhead, such as this conference.) ‏
  • 38. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities I: what's in it for the customer? * Level playing field => more choice
  • 39. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities I: what's in it for the customer? * Level playing field => more choice * You can change the software yourself
  • 40. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities I: what's in it for the customer? * Level playing field => more choice * You can change the software yourself * No product end-of-life
  • 41. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities I: what's in it for the customer? * Level playing field => more choice * You can change the software yourself * No product end-of-life * No vendor lock-in
  • 42. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities I: what's in it for the customer? * Level playing field => more choice * You can change the software yourself * No product end-of-life * No vendor lock-in * Open source => open standards
  • 43. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities II: what's in it for the vendor? * Disproportionate visibility and influence
  • 44. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities II: what's in it for the vendor? * Disproportionate visibility and influence * Customers trust us (in the post-FUD era) ‏
  • 45. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities II: what's in it for the vendor? * Disproportionate visibility and influence * Customers trust us (in the post-FUD era) ‏ * We don't spend on closed-source overheads
  • 46. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities II: what's in it for the vendor? * Disproportionate visibility and influence * Customers trust us (in the post-FUD era) ‏ * We don't spend on closed-source overheads * We get source contributions
  • 47. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities II: what's in it for the vendor? * Disproportionate visibility and influence * Customers trust us (in the post-FUD era) ‏ * We don't spend on closed-source overheads * We get source contributions * We get to make cool things
  • 48. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > Practicalities II: what's in it for the vendor? * Disproportionate visibility and influence * Customers trust us (in the post-FUD era) ‏ * We don't spend on closed-source overheads * We get source contributions * We get to make cool things * It's just a better way to live
  • 49. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So how do we actually make money? * Custom development e.g. Library of Texas
  • 50. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So how do we actually make money? * Custom development * Sponsored development of core software e.g. Unicode support in Zebra
  • 51. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So how do we actually make money? * Custom development * Sponsored development of core software * Integration e.g. authentication systems
  • 52. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So how do we actually make money? * Custom development * Sponsored development of core software * Integration * Hosted solutions e.g. NELLCO (New England Law) ‏
  • 53. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So how do we actually make money? * Custom development * Sponsored development of core software * Integration * Hosted solutions * Support ... for all of the above and more
  • 54. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So how do we actually make money? * Custom development * Sponsored development of core software * Integration * Hosted solutions * Support * Training ... for all of the above
  • 55. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So how do we actually make money? * Custom development * Sponsored development of core software * Integration (e.g. authentication systems) ‏ * Hosted solutions * Support * Training * Non-free licences for proprietary derivatives e.g. systems built on Zebra
  • 56. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > So how do we actually make money? * Integration royalties This one is new with Pazpar2 (Service-oriented metasearch engine) ‏
  • 57. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Do not underestimate the power of the Dark Side ...” We can never get very rich through open-source software.
  • 58. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Do not underestimate the power of the Dark Side ...” We can never get very rich through open-source software. You can only do that by selling the same thing many times.
  • 59. Fifteen years of commercial open source software < [email_address] > “ Do not underestimate the power of the Dark Side ...” We can never get very rich through open-source software. You can only do that by selling the same thing many times. Tried with Metaproxy (Metasearch in a box) ‏
  • 60. Mike Taylor, Index Data < [email_address] > Summary * After 15 years, we're still here! * Software is service, not product * Giving away product costs us little * Free product markets services * Vendor/customer relationship is much nicer than in the proprietary model. http://indexdata.com/
  • 61. Mike Taylor, Index Data < [email_address] > Summary * After 15 years, we're still here! * Software is service, not product * Giving away product costs us little * Free product markets services * Vendor/customer relationship is much nicer than in the proprietary model. http://indexdata.com/ Why are there dinosaurs on this slide?
  • 62. Mike Taylor, Index Data < [email_address] > Summary * After 15 years, we're still here! * Software is service, not product * Giving away product costs us little * Free product markets services * Vendor/customer relationship is much nicer than in the proprietary model. http://indexdata.com/ Why are there dinosaurs on this slide? Just to add visual interest, I expect.