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From Sylvain Wallez <>
Subject Re: Cocoon book reviewers wanted
Date Wed, 22 May 2002 14:38:34 GMT
Matthew Langham wrote:

>I was going to refrain from commenting...
>Anyone who believes (or thinks) that an open source project can survive
>without commercial support is far removed from "the real world". The number
>of people working on open source project "just for the fun" or "to scratch
>that itch" is IMO very small. In fact it is my opinion that any open source
>project - without some form of integrated (!) commercial backing will fail
>in the end.
>Before we (as a company) decided to get involved with Cocoon and the open
>source arena we had a discussion with Stefano on exactly this subject. His
>opinion (and this is something I think is sooo true) is that using open
>source software commercially - without "giving back" will eventually lead to
>you (as a company - or person) being shouted down in the community.
>Now there are various ways to give back to a project - as we discussed with
>* Contributing Patches and Bug Fixes
>* Donating components that were previously part of a product
>* Actively working on the project
>* Taking over a role in the project
>* Testing the software and publishing your findings
>* Writing documentation
>* Writing articles to get the project "noticed"
>* Presenting at conferences to get the project "noticed"
>* Writing books to help anyone who wants to use the software
>And probably many more
>Well - guess what - we as a company (and Carsten and myself in particular)
>have done all that in the past 2 years. And we still do. Every day.
>And (thankfully) we are not alone. There are many great (commercially
>orientated) people out there who are helping to move Cocoon forward. The
>fact that the Apache licence allows this is one of the reasons Apache
>projects are so successful and widely renowned.
>The more commercial support Cocoon receives - whether in projects, books,
>products based on Cocoon - the more successful it will become.

I fully share this view.

An important dimension that should be taken into account is time : if I 
wasn't allowed by my company to give some of my time to Cocoon, I would 
never have been able to contribute all that I have contributed. Yes, I 
also take on my spare time for Cocoon because I love it and it's fun, 
but my wife and children limit this time ;)

And time is money. So many companies give money to Apache projects 
through people's time, and allowing commercial use of these projects is 
a way for Apache to pay back. This explains the high quality of all the 
stuff you can find here.

My view on opensource is this one : many people, which can be business 
competitors in the "real" world, join forces to build something that 
none of them could have built alone. And everyone (including 
non-contributors) can take this and make money with it by adding value 
on top of it through products, consulting, books, training, etc.


Sylvain Wallez
  Anyware Technologies                  Apache Cocoon 

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