[consulting] Costs of forking

John Handelaar john at userfrenzy.com
Thu Feb 9 18:58:48 UTC 2006

Zack Rosen wrote:

> A savvy customer _should_ realize that if they hire a firm to extend  
> Drupal and the consultant forks their code they will pay $$ in the  long 
> haul to fix that mistake and therefor it makes a lot more sense  to do 
> open-source development "right" from the beginning, i.e. not  fork.  Why 
> must we assume that customers will never understand  the  least about 
> open-source development process and there for we should  misrepresent 
> the costs associated with development in order to get  away with doing 
> the job "the right way"?


Here at the lower end of the food chain I've run into
a bunch of people who hear all this and assume therefore
that the site builder needs to do less work than she
would building from scratch.  And therefore that this
should be costing them less money, always, in all cases.


On the plus side

a) I speak to my person at ABCtales.com and he's quite buzzed
    at the idea that people he's never heard of might benefit from
    stuff I release after doing their work.

b) Twice in the last month I've had slightly throwaway efforts
    which I've tossed into the cvs tree reap unexpected and quite
    bafflingly joy-making rewards.  Whatsrelated has been all-but-
    upgraded to 4.7 without me lifting a finger on it, for example,
    and the LinkpointAPI module I did for MBR.org and left as an
    unfinished contrib snippet has been transformed into a fully-
    finished part of the new official release for ecommerce.

I can tell a story (especially in the latter case) of OSS having
provided a dirt-cheap upgrade path where none previously existed,
and there are some clients who respond to that very positively.

I'm not sure there's a point to this message, now I read back,
other than that story-telling is (for me) always the best form
of customer enlightenment.


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