Open Source Feathers Ruffled Or Read This Before You Flame Me

Wow, I must have ruffled some feathers and now my feathers are ruffled as a result.

For those of you just joining us, I am Keith and I lead an incredibly sharp team of developers at CaseySoftware. We work predominantly in PHP because two of us are core dotProject contributors. Within the last week, I released the specifications concerning our Microsoft Project to dotProject Importer and our upcoming dotProject/Mantis Integration which has been on hold for about 6 months.

The reason it has been on hold is due to that pesky issue of having to pay the bills. While our overhead costs are incredibly low, there are still costs involved in keeping development moving, servers running, and the caffeine flowing. In order to alleviate some of this, I implemented a simple model: Sponsorship.

If you are a Sponsor on a CaseySoftware dotProject module, you get the code as soon as it is functional and thoroughly tested. Then we personally request that all Sponsors refrain from distributing the code for X months. This is NOT a requirement for getting or using the code, simply a personal request that ensures both your and our investment is protected. There are no legal restrictions or requirements and I personally see this as a “gentleman's agreement”. Unfortunately, at least a few in the community do not see it that way.

This week, I received two emails demanding that we release all code as soon as it is written for no money whatsoever. If I didn't agree to this, I would be quite a few words that I wouldn't share in polite company. Wow. How's that for appreciation? I normally wouldn't respond to this, but this seems to be a growing trend happening more and more regularly.

Here's some comments to the kind individuals who wrote me and shared their innermost thoughts:

* Here is my dotProject Forums profile.

* I have been contributing since 04 April, 2004 which makes me user #4.

* I have 800+ postings, which makes me user #3. In the past 3-4 months, I have been less active due to CaseySoftware, but my personal involvement is once again increasing.

* I was personally invited by the great and glorious Karen (another KC by the way) to join the core team approximately a year ago. I had already been using dotProject for 12-15 months at that point.

* When I was looking for an additional PHP developer, the first person I contacted was the highly esteemed Cyberhorse who is a dotProject contributor and one of the sharpest developers I know. I chose him because his dotProject contributions were a walking, talking resume.

* The funds received from the MS Project Importer have funded the RSS implementation in dotProject core and the Risk Management Module.

* I personally have been responsible for a number of deployments in the private, public, and non-profit sectors which have resulted in more people using and evaluating dotProject.

* I have bought some of the nifty dotProject gear in order to provide some minimal support financially.

If you want to challenge our design and/or implementation of something, great! I hope we can all learn something.

If you want to criticize my writing, topics, or site design, great! Make coherent points and help me get better.

If you wish to denigrate my and my teams' contributions, I have a serious problem with that. I work with two sharp developers who are able to do MORE for the Open Source community because we've been able to provide outstanding customer support, design, and development based upon dotProject and a variety of other Open Source systems.

Thank you for your time.

Keith Casey

CEO, CaseySoftware, LLC