[Ilugc] [OT] To be or not to be FOSS?
sundaram at fedoraproject.org
Thu Feb 21 23:30:05 IST 2008
Arun Venkataswamy wrote:
> Hi All,
> I am caught in a dilemma to go open source or not for a product which we are
> developing. It's a wireless data acquisition / machine monitoring system
> running on a headless X86 hardware with Damn Small Linux (DSL) (
> http://damnsmalllinux.org/) running of an USB pen drive. It also uses
> Postgres as the database server. The system is already running successfully
> in two factories and in one wind turbine.
> Would like to have some insight or pointers to the right direction. Anobody
> in this list who's been there/done that?!
> I sincerely believe that knowledge is something which needs to be shared and
> software to be open. In fact our primary business is custom engineering and
> we provide all the drawings and circuits of the machines we build
> (mechanical engineering being intrinsically open source?) to our customers.
> But these engineering customers *respect* the intellectual effort behind it.
> When it comes to software or simple products, by going open source, the
> product and source code will be exposed to the typical 'Indian' competitor
> who will be interested only in *copying* the idea and ready made source
> code. Will there be any new contribution from them to improve or bug fix the
> And yes, I do know the story of MySQL and a few other companies who went
> open source, BUT we live in India.
> My arguments above might sound silly and small, but we are a small company.
> Yes, we made the product really cost effective for us to build and for the
> customer to buy, thanks to DSL and a host of other FOSS, but what next? How
> to contribute back to the community without harming our business interest?
How many of the improvements you have made adds critical value to your
business vs changes that you can contribute back?
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