On digital experiences, Open Source, startups & the future
It is both surreal and rewarding to stumble upon <a href="http://www.spikesource.com/solutions/contentmgmt.html">an exhibitor that sells "your stuff"</a> on a conference you are attending. Interesting <a href="http://www.spikesource.com/solutions/calculators/drupalwcm.html">TCO calculator</a> too ...
If someone has to spend hours per week doing performance and stability testing, there's something rotten in the state of Danmark. :-)
Sad, just sad. Look at Bryght; they are selling Drupal, but gives us so much back. I wish SpikeSource could do that too.
But let's take it as a compliment; they've chosen Drupal to base their own system of and not Mambo/Joomla/e107/any other CMS.
The SpikeSource people have been reporting bugs, are writing regression tests, and add value by reaching out to a different class of Drupal users. Also, they might sponsor future Drupal events and contribute in their own way.
Ok then I'll take back my charge. Sorry, should have checked more before post.
Truthfully, though... if you develop a site for anybody other than yourself... you're selling somebody Drupal code. Sure, you're doing a good bit of value added work, however, the root product is code that is freely available.
Additionally, Dries' comments aside, I'd wager that as this company (or any socially responsible company using any open source code as a base) move forward on the path toward profitability they will contribute more to the open source community. I suspect that more of this will happen, for Drupal in particular, after a foundation is established.
For the short period of time I've been offering Drupal hosting services I've been struggling with balancing my relationships with the Drupal community as well as reaching profitability. Let's just say both endeavors are still a work in progress!
Without editorializing too much, it was very heartening to see Dries comment above concerning the usefulness to the Drupal platform of having commercial evangelists out and about.
I've had a similar experience. A few years back I visited the SUSE booth at a LinuxWorld and asked if they knew about Jikes, an open-source Java source-to-bytecode compiler I helped write. They checked and said it wasn't there yet. So I told them about it (it probably helped that Jikes was already in Red Hat) and when I checked back a few months later there it was. Indeed, Jikes is still part of SUSE (I run 10.1 at home; in my day job at IBM I have to run Windows/Notes ... sigh :) )
It can also be fun on the other side of the booth. I was part of the IBM booth at LinuxWorld '99 presenting Jikes and the best part was meeting some of the users. We spend so much time typing at terminals that it is easy to forget there are real people out there.
By the way, working on open source can bring rewards you never even thought of. I haven't worked on Jikes for several years. But my son was recently at the wedding of one of his classmates. She was the bride, and it turned out the groom was a programmer who used Jikes! Gotta love it.
I must have used their calculator wrong it would appear I would save $-4119 ...
Me feels a little bit of exaggerating in there default costs. It is interesting to see their maths though as a company that deploys Drupal along with other services we have always informed our clients of why we use it and provide training for them to run and if need deploy a Drupal site its the added benefits that people buy into when getting a company to deploy sites and expertise. That said next time a client complains we charge to much I may send them to that calculator. :-)
Any updates on the overall contributions of SpikeSource? I was wondering if it would interest anyone to ask them for a copy of the code they are distributing. Should be possible, yes? Just for kicks, or to compare?
Updates from Dries straight to your mailbox