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So Jealous

Posted by editor on August 2, 2007 at 7:00 AM PDT

Imagine getting paid to hack on your open-source project

At the CommunityOne event that preceded this year's JavaOne, Rich Green brought up an argument that the use of open-source model is not compensating its value-creators properly. He called it "a worrisome social artifact", and made the analogy that it's "Robin Hood backwards", as quoted in a blog by Janice J. Heiss:

"We are stealing from
the poor and making other people rich and this seems very bad.
Humans will not do this, nor should they have to. We have to look
closely at working with those who contribute to the open source
but whose contributions generate revenue for Sun and share that

Granted, its not like many many developers can claim poverty -- their day jobs generally pay a lot better than other pursuits -- but many developers want a piece of the wealth that they create when the code they give away is used by others.

But imagine this: what if you had a project with enough value that someone building a project on you were to pay you to add new features? I actually had that happen with a project of mine once, and Joshua Marinacci reports the same thing happening with one of his projects, the very popular and successful Flying Saucer project. When he asked me what he should do with the request, I suggested he put it out to his project's community by way of a mailing list entry or blog entry, which he's done with the blog post Want to get paid to work Flying Saucer?

So in this case, there is an offer on the Flying Saucer mailing list to embed Flash SWF files into a PDF document produced by FS. This doesn't mean displaying the Flash file, just embedding using a particular PDF extension so that Acrobat can read it. If you are interested there are more details available on this mailing list thread.

Also in today's Weblogs, Billy