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From "Ashish Srivastava" <ashish.srivast...@daffodildb.com>
Subject Re: RE:Making Daffodil Replicator an Open Source : Suggestion
Date Wed, 18 Aug 2004 10:29:29 GMT
Dear Simon,

I must thank you for you mail each time that you send one, simply because it
clears so much in terms of our understanding. Please find my answers /
thoughts below.

> Then that is *much* more likely to be of interest to the ASF. Thanks for
> clarifying that.

Thanks for the positive responce. Much appreciated.

> There is one thing to keep in mind for the future: developing
> open-source is different from developing "in-house". There have been
> cases in the past where code has been released as "open-source", but the
> development procedures of the original team have not adapted to the new
> environment. In particular, the existing team need to be able to allow
> others to influence decisions, must ensure all decisions are discussed
> openly on email lists, etc. Open-source development really is a
> different culture. I guess people who know more about this can provide
> further advice if this goes ahead.

 We totally understand and appreciate your view point. Once Replicator is
made 'open', there will be shared responsibility for the code, and everyones
decision will be respected. All we can say at this point of time is that
that we are willing to adapt newer development procedures, as per the
concenses of all contributors.


> This really is a bit vague. If your company is really going to pay 20
> developers to work at least part-time on a product that is downloadable
> for free, the question "why?" immediately springs to mind.

:0)    Nice point. 20 developers will work part time (This figure could be
10, 15, 20 or 30) beacuse, as you said, there would need to be a critical
mass of initial contributors. If there are developers out there who consider
Replicator an exiting project to work on, then we wouldnt need to deploy
this number. It could come down to 3 - 5 developers.

> My current employer gave me permission to contribute some code developed
> on company time to one of the Apache projects. This is because the code
> was useful to us, but not something that gives us any competitive
> advantage over competitors. By contributing, therefore, it cost nothing
> but ensured that code we use was maintained and improved as part of the
> project.
>
> This argument doesn't apply to you, though. From what you've described,
> this tool can be used with many different databases. So what *are*
> Daffodil's reasons for releasing this code you've paid people to create
> as Open Source?

Nice point again. I have attempted to answer the same below.

> Do you want to make the company name "Daffodil" more widely known in
> order to boost sales of your core product, ie you are using Open Source
> as advertising?  This is a perfectly reasonable motivation, but you need
> to ensure that what you lose (loss of sales of this product + expenses
> of development wages) are not greater than your gains. I'm not sure what
> the ASF's policy is regarding including info on the original contributor
> with future releases (I think they *do* provide reasonable attribution
> of code to the original author, but you should check if this is
> important to you).
>
> Or do you regard the replicator as an add-on but not part of your core
> products, and therefore want to share the development/maintenance costs
> of this tool with other db suppliers?
>
> Or do you think this replicator product will be wildly successful and
> that as the original author you are well positioned to make money
> providing support contracts for the open-source version (the "Red Hat"
> model), or by selling "enhanced versions", or by selling the rights to
> incorporate the code in other companies' proprietory offerings (the
> MySQL model)?

A bit of all actually. Let me explain. Replicator is not our core offering.
We have developed it in order to make data replication possible across
hetrogeneous databases. While there are many databases available in the
market, a product like Replicator (and here I temporarily bid farewell to
modesty) is unique not only in its design, but also in its ability to
communicate with different brands of databases.

We do expect it be very successful; however, lots of work needs to be done
on the same. Primarily, we need to ensure that Replicator can communicate
with every known database server. Once that is done, a suitable business
model (Red Hat, MySQL etc) can be built around it.

The branding boost won't hurt either.    ;0)

Just one thing ... Can we get some feedback from readers of this mail with
regards to the provision of 'reasonable' attribution of code to the original
author?

> Again, I am only speaking for myself here, but showing the reasons for
> your release of code will help people believe that Daffodil is indeed
> serious about ongoing support of the code and is serious about
> transferring power over the project from itself to the open-source
> community that may form around the project. Of course if your company
> owners are simply motivated by goodwill to the world and willing to pay
> developers to work on something with no expectation of any return, that
> is fine too - just not so common :-)

Everything 'open' does have some goodwill associated with it, however, as
explained above, there are some practical reasons behind the move too.

> Having good business reasons for engaging in open-source projects is
> nothing to be concerned about. IBM, Sun, BEA and others have made, and
> continue to make, major contributions to the ASF, and I don't think
> anyone regards them as charities.
>
>
> If you are still interested in offering this code for adoption as an ASF
> project (and I hope you are), I would suggest that you draft a new email
> describing the features of Daffodil Replicator (esp. its cross-database
> support) and include info on your motivations for this project, then
> email this list again. It's unfortunate that no-one other than me has
> responded so far, but I think there *will* be interest in this.

We are still very much interested in offering Replicator to ASF, and I will
be drafting the said mail asap.

Warm Regards,
Ashish


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