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From Adi Fairbank <>
Subject Re: an unusual [job request] + taking mod_perl to the commercial world
Date Mon, 30 Apr 2001 03:18:06 GMT

On Sat, 28 Apr 2001, Gunther Birznieks wrote:
[text cut]
> So for Adi -- I think the messaging server is great and I am sure it is 
> cool and works well. And I am sure there are people on this list who will 
> benefit. But unless your company makes the healthcare system itself open 
> source, then it's another application that we don't have to make people 
> interested in using mod_perl from the application side.
[text cut]
> The problem is that most company's that spend the time to write an app 
> based on Java close-source that app. The same thing is true of the mod_perl 
> world if things like Adi's healthcare system or SmartWorker's OpenDesk 
> remain closed systems. I know that they consider it their business model to 
> have to keep these closed source. But it also means less applications on 
> top of mod_perl to entice the masses to it.

Thanks Gunther,

We actually have discussed releasing our entire application open source.  
I personally would love to release it, being the chief architect, but
there are other people involved who have put in a lot of work
(directional/advisement/guidance... not coding) who would not benefit
nearly as much as I would from it being open source.

Also, as a company we have to evaluate what the best option is
financially.  We are currently a pretty low-budget operation, and if we
release it what will prevent someone with deep pockets to come along, take
it, and then dump tons of money into marketing it under a different brand
name?  I'm sure we could devise a license that would prevent such an
occurrence, but it would have to be a pretty restrictive license, which
would in itself limit the interest in the software.

I know releasing it open source would get plenty of interest from
developers, but would it generate interest from potential customers?  We
concluded that it probably wouldn't make much difference since healthcare
is in general way behind the technology curve.  Most people in healthcare
haven't even heard of Linux yet. (that may be a bit of an exaggeration,
but not too much)

In any case, we are still planning on releasing it eventually - to allow
it to grow beyond what our in-house development crew is capable of.  We
really are just waiting to gain some significant market share and brand
recognition in order to make it more difficult for someone to take our
software and compete with us directly.  We also need to rewrite parts of
it and document it.  I personally would be embarassed if the open source
community saw certain parts of it.  :-)

Any comments are much appreciated.


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