Friday, August 6. 2010
At work we currently have a discussion: I'd like to develop some components as Free Software. My bosses like the idea, but the client goes nuts only thinking about it.
So as part of the discussion I thought to collect those companies who actively advertise their Free Software. I know about the big ones, but it would be even more interesting to get a list of succesful small companies that share at least part of their inhouse projects. On the other hand it would not be too interesting to list full Free Software companies like Red Hat.
It would also be fine to share this list in some wiki (FSFE?) when it grows larger. For some companies I also list very popular projects from my point of view.
middle sized companies
Update: Need to add Danga (Gearman), Liip.ch with Okapi, Flux CMS, Jackalope, rackspace, Samsung
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If you really like the idea of developing the component as free software, then give it for free to your customers as well and I guess they'll stop going nuts.
Don't forget about Best Practical, makers of Request Tracker, as well as Six Apart, makers of Movable Type - now open source.
If the software directly enables your customer to produce their product or service (say, CAD software in a design house), then its understandable that they may not want to share it with their competitors.
If the software is indirectly related to their business (say accounting software in a design house) then sell them that by sharing the software and getting feedback, over time you can make it much more robust and feature-full.
Small company (BerLinux Solutions GmbH), but providing an Open Source Framework named disko (http://www.diskohq.com).
I really do think, going open source is the trend for the future. Maybe it is some kind of keeping a good reputation for some companies, but who cares, as long as some good software will be opened this way.
Don't forget that Apple has their share of free software as well. Things like CUPS or Darwin.
Youŕe certainly missing Oracle asone of the largest software makers with OpenOffice, MySQL, BerkelyDB, OpenSolaris, Netbeans, VirtualBox ... as own OpenSource and investments in Apache, Linux Kernel, Gnome, xen, ...
With IBM you're missing at least the involvement with the Linux kernel, same with Google.
You are also missing Microsoft who are doing different OpenSource things.
So in short: Everybody is doing OpenSource.
Reddit is completely open source and they just surpassed Digg in traffic. It's certainly not impossible to have free software and then be big.
Also take a look at http://www.fsfe.org/documents/whyfs.en.html
Hi Thomas Koch, could you please explain your reasons why to make the software open source? What benefits your company expects and what benefits your client will get?
thank you for your interest. I'm a bit short of time, therefor I'd ask you to just search a bit for "why open source" or "why free software".
However one major point I see is the immense complexity of software and the lack of enough software developers in every company. So if you really want to create a great product you should better try to cooperate.
Another good read:
The myth of the protectable advantage