content for Web Site

andreas.brand1 at andreas.brand1 at
Sun Dec 1 17:30:32 UTC 2002

i heard from eva (KDE-EDU; KDE-Promo, ...) that you are redesigning the
kde-homepage. I am currently researching kde, so i as a by-product have
written something for your new participants. the dot did not want it so i
offer it to you, the people who are redesigning. the text follows in the
email. i would be thankful if you could use it.
if you have comments feel free to send it to me
thanks a lot

Here the text begins:

Dear open source programers,

I have carefully thought about the question of how open source coders could
be employed in the field of open source coding (in the following I will
abbreviate open source with OS).

So here is what I found out:

In advance a short definition of OS culture:
OS communities are networks of “equals”, such as networks of friendship
(these are distinguished from organizations or enterprises with a hierarchy
although in networks some less important power effects could be measured.
These OS communities are networks because they are
a)	divided into an inner and an outer circle of coders. The participants of
the inner circle often know each other personally for example through
meetings on fairs.
b)	determined by a peer-review process.
c)	defined through a culture of dedication to the project, the coding and
the software.
d)	characerized by a common product which is a public good or a common
community resource. The licences and the peer-review process guarantee this
(there are some limitations here but they are not relevant in this context).
It would be very difficult to modify the licence from an OS-product into a
proprietary one. Selling the product is only possible in the case of the
e)	coded by most of their programmers in their spare time. The work for the
OS project can be seen as a “hobby”.

There are several possibilities to become an employed OS-coder.
a)	You have a high reputation, so OS-related enterprises want to employ you.
b)	If you have medium reputation this will help you in changing your job or
searching a new one. Hopefully you will thus get into a firm which supports
you in the OS coding, otherwise you could only code in your spare time.
c)	The best way is to get employed as a web or system administrator in a
firm where Linux or Apache web servers are used.
d)	There exists also a webpage called Here open
source coders could write down a resume about their skills, so that
companies could search this database. Also enterprises could publish their
job opportunities there, they will be send with mail to all subscribers e.g.
all registered coders.
e)	Found an enterprise which is related to an OS-project.
For example sell a special application or program which is based on
libraries which are under the LGPL- or the BSD-Licence.
f)	Wait for the future development. As Linux and other OS projects will
probably become more important in the software market, consultants for
adaptation of OS software to special business needs are required.
g)	Change an OS licence to a proprietary one and sell the software product.
This is highly unlikely to occur because all contributors have to agree. If
it is only one programmer, this is no problem. If the software of an open
source project is under the GPL this is impossible, because this licence
says that the product could not be sold. The source code has to be open.
There is also the question about property rights. Who owns the product and
how is the division of the income of the product made? These are problems to
be solved.

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