Open Source, Software Development

Opening up source code

Some good pointers to consider making a close source effort to open source. Here is an example of Ingres and how it transition from close source to open source.

Key points – and SCO/Unix fight has contributed to this learning.

  • Comb every line of the source before opening it up and remove questionable references/code snippets
  • Pick the right open source licence
  • It takes some promotion and effort to attract open source community
  • Security concerns are not any more vulnerable in Open Source than Close Source (Re-engineering usually attributes to similar security vulnerability than what one may find reviewing the source)

I would probably add following to the list:

  • Understand business need. Both Closed Source and Open Source (or a combination) has its merit – so understand what problem is being tackled by opening the source
  • Consider what open community suits the need and how it helps the community
  • Consider business model and structural changes required 
  • Consider the stage of product life cycle
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