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Re: Big companies using Subversion ?

From: Ted Dennison <dennison_at_ssd.fsi.com>
Date: 2006-09-12 20:56:33 CEST

Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> On 9/12/2006 11:17 AM, Christopher Taylor wrote:
>> closed-source does a better job. I've noticed that quite a few (but
>> deff not even most) open source projects are reluctant to react to
>> user feedback. A lot of times there is an attitude of 'well that's
>> just not what i want my software to do' approach by the lead
>> developers.
> I think that this is correct, but it's not a problem with the project
> or the developers, it's a problem with the user. You're not paying
> the developers anything, so why on earth would you expect that they
> should work for you?
> I think the vast majority of open source projects (certainly including
> svn) do pay attention to user feedback, because often users make good
> suggestions. But the only reason to work on something is because you
> think it would be a good addition.
I'd say its not a problem with the projects, developers, or users. The
issue is power. With a typical commercial support contract, the money
the client pays in every month gives them some power over the
developers. The client can coerce the developers by threatening to shut
off the flow of money, actively refusing to pay until something is done,
or even switching to a competing product altogether. Management
understands these kinds of financial levers, and has become adept at
using them.

If you tell management that you will be using a product where there are
no fees to be paid to anyone, you are basically telling them that they
will have *no* power, as they have come to understand it. This is going
to be scary to them.

What might help is explaining what the levers of power in an open source
product are (premiere among them being contributing work), and
discussing what resources your organization might be willing to commit
to the product to acquire that power, if it is desired.

T.E.D.   Work     -  mailto:dennison@ssd.fsi.com
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Received on Tue Sep 12 21:01:53 2006

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