[development] Convince Client to Release Code

David Metzler metzlerd at metzlerd.com
Mon Jul 13 13:42:29 UTC 2009

Although the links provided touch on this.  The  most successful  
argument I have used is that the client may be able to defer and/or  
share the maintence costs of the module.  The first time that they  
don't have to pay a developer to upgrade the  module to the next  
major rev of drupal (because someone else has contributed the port),  
this can be a powerful argument. Of course as others have already  
mentioned, it should be pointed out that they are taking advantage of  
other consultants paid development by using drupal, and that it is  
fairly common practice for code that is paid for by other  
organizations to be released back into the drupal community.

There are many success stories to be told, where an important feature  
to a contributed module was developed (and therefor paid for) wholly  
by another person.  Depending on the complexity and reusability of  
the module, they may FULLY recoup the cost of development in  
maintenance cost savings. I often describe open source software as  
bartered software developement, where you lose the overhead  
associated with contract management. ;)

Given all that, continue to point all this out, every time you get an  
opportunity.  Sometimes it takes a while to sell, and the proprietary  
module could be released into the community at any time.  No rush.

I'm still selling it at my shop, not cause the people don't get it,  
but because its an easy thing to take for granted. It's the bills you  
pay that get your attention, not the ones you manage to avoid.

Good luck, and keep trying....


On Jul 13, 2009, at 6:06 AM, Fred Jones wrote:

> Regarding the legal issues here, it's definitely interesting and I
> will now take care to make contacts, but as far as this job, we have
> no contract but anyway the owners of this group are friends of ours
> and there is no fight going on--we just suggested to release the code
> and they asked us not to. So now we have to convince them to agree. :)
>> I think your job is to let him understand the advantages of having
>> such modules "supported by the community" and what does it mean
>> "replicating and maintaining your work".
> So that's what I'm asking about here--I can tell him the advantages  
> are:
> 1. Testing and Bug reports.
> 2. Potential patches being submitted that he won't have to pay for.
> That's what I know. What does "replicating and maintaining your  
> work" refer to?
>> Does the client have a site/service that would be of interest to  
>> the general
>> public? If so then I would try to sell it from the angle that you can
>> release the module with a "supported by" attribution that links  
>> back to them
>> from the D.O. project page. That could help give them more  
>> recognition and
>> give their company a higher standing within the O.S. community.
> No, their service is only for other organizations in their particular
> business. I don't think a link on d.o will interest them *at all.* I
> would like one, but I'm a nerd. lol.
>> Does he realize that he's the beneficiary of millions of hours of  
>> work
>> paid for by others?
> Of course he realizes that. Does he care, however? Seems like not. :(
> Well, it could be that he knows and appreciates BUT he still doesn't
> want to lose his own money over it. lol.
>> See this related article:
>> http://civicactions.com/blog/ 
>> most_important_decision_developing_site_Contributed_vs_custom_develop 
>> ment
>> and the "Contribute back" section here:
>> http://drupal.org/node/51169
> OK, great--this is the kind of thing I was looking for. Thanks.
> Fred

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