Gilberto wrote: "...Individual-led software (a small team of 1-3 people) have
less quality and more mortality than the above."

I think OpenJUMP might be an example of the opposite case. In this situation 
the less-than-ideal management of a FOSS GIS program by a private company led 
to a fork. The fork was made, not by another company, but by a group of 
individual users/developers.

I believe (at least over the course of the last year) that OpenJUMP has become 
a more widely used and viable program than the original program it was forked 
from.

OpenJUMP continues to be developed by a core group of individual developers. 
Many of these work for private companies that are using OpenJUMP, but there is 
no single company or government entity that cares for it, the two (2) 
administrators of the project are not paid for their work, directly or 
indirectly.

I find it interesting to note that one reason OpenJUMP has survived, while its 
original parent has faded, is that it did not depend on transitory corporate or 
government funding. This funding is a great thing, but if a FOSS project 
becomes too dependent on it, without nurturing a vibrant  and diverse 
"volunteer" developer community, death can result when the funding stops. 
(Remember, all funding stops at some point, whether corporate or government.)

OpenJUMP still has some issues, such as its release cycle and cooperation with 
other Java FOSS GIS projects, but I think it is a testament to what a group of 
individual developers can accomplish together. Corporate or government funding 
isn't always the silver bullet. Just help people scratch their itch.

Landon

-----Original Message-----
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Gilberto Camara
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 4:58 AM
To: discuss@lists.osgeo.org
Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: FOSS4GIS business models 

Dear OSGEO Discussion List members:

Paul Ramsey┬┤s remarks are right on target.

First, GIS is a large arena and there are
different motivations for developers, that
prevent them from joining a single project such as uDIG.

Second, it is very difficult for a private
company to develop a world-class FOSS4G product
and survive based only on consulting
fees for the commercial sector.

Third, to overcome these limitations there is
a need for governmental intervention, which may
be direct, as in the case of Catalonian government┬┤s
support for gvSIG, or indirect, as in the decision
of Germany to support open source software.

In Brazil, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
has been supporting local GIS development for 25 years,
with a lot of success in our national user community.
Without official support, there would be no local FOOS4G
development in Brazil.

In 2003, I did a F00S4G market survey and published the
results as a chapter of a US National Academy of Sciences book:
"Open Source GIS Software: Myths and Realities"
<www.dpi.inpe.br/gilberto/papers/camara_open_source_myths.pdf>.

We analysed 70 FOSS4G software projects taken from the
FreeGIS list, and divided them into three categories:
networked products (e.g. GRASS), corporate products (e.g., PostGIS)
and individual products (e.g., CAVOR). From each product,
we assessed its maturity, level of support and functionality.

Our main conclusions at the time were:
(a) Only 6% of the  products were developed by networked teams.
     Thus, the "Linux paradigm" is the exception rather than the rule.
(b) Corporations (private or public) are the main developers of
     successful open source products. Corporations account for 41% of
     all products.
(e) Individual-led software (a small team of 1-3 people) have
     less quality and more mortality than the above.

These results show that the impetus behind successful
open source software was not coming from altruistic individuals
working in the midnight hour, but from professional programmers.
I consider that a similar result would be obtained today, should
the assessment be repeated.

This analysis was further elaborated in a JASIST paper:
"Information Policies and Open Source Software in Developing Countries"
<www.dpi.inpe.br/gilberto/papers/camara_fonseca_jasist.pdf>.

For the FOSS4G effort to be fruitful and sustainable,
we need a very informed and candid assessment of our
business model. My personal view, based on 25 years of experience,
is that government intervention is essential for the open source
model to survive beyond a handful of examples.

Best regards
Gilberto
-- 
===========================================
Dr.Gilberto Camara
Director General
National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil
web:   http://www.dpi.inpe.br/gilberto
============================================

[EMAIL PROTECTED] escreveu:
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> Today's Topics:
> 
>    1. Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,    but FOSS GIS clients...
>       (Paul Ramsey)
>    2. RE: Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,        but FOSS GIS
>       clients... (Landon Blake)
>    3. Re: Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,  but FOSS      GIS
>       clients... (Andrea Aime)
>    4. Re: Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,        but FOSS GIS
>       clients... (Howard Butler)
>    5. Re: Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,        but FOSS        GIS
>       clients... (Dr. Markus Lupp)
>    6. FOSS4Geo session at the Geosciences World Congress (33rd IGC
>       2008 in Oslo) (Henning Lorenz)
>    7. Re: Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,        but FOSS GIS
>       clients... (Jacolin Yves)
>    8. RE: Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,        but FOSSGIS
>       clients... (Miguel Montesinos)
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 09:41:19 -0800
> From: Paul Ramsey <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic, but FOSS
>       GIS clients...
> To: PostGIS Users Discussion <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Cc: OSGeo Discussions <discuss@lists.osgeo.org>
> Message-ID: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed
> 
> 
>> I realize it ain't easy. But could consolidation
>> (future effort) make it easier?
> 
> The only thing that can be consolidated is developer effort, and even  
> where there are no programming language barriers (such as in the Java  
> world) there are lots of countervailing reasons that make mergers  
> impractical.
> 
> "Everyone should drop their projects and work on uDig."  But all the  
> gvSIG developers are supported by funding from Spanish government  
> that requires all the work be GPL; and they also prefer a pure Java  
> implementation to the SWT/Eclipse implementation that uDig uses.  And  
> the OpenJUMP people have an existing rich set of editing tools that  
> are not easily portable to the uDig application model. Are they going  
> to throw away all their existing functionality to move to another  
> platform?  Why?  OpenJUMP works fine for them.
> 
> You are thinking the developers are working for you, the user, but  
> they aren't. They are working for themselves and their employers, and  
> they have perfectly good reasons to keep working on what they want to  
> work on.  You, the freeloading user, are incidental to the process.
> 
> We, the developers and employers, are well aware of the strategic  
> implications of choosing to join, or not join, a particular  
> community, probably to a far finer degree than you, and don't worry  
> -- we are looking after our interests.
> 
>> What's Refractions' model? Paul? Presumably
>> Refractions is a for-profit entity and not an ESRI
>> Business Partner. Refractions seems to be quite
>> successful with PostGIS. PostGIS seems to be the de
>> facto FOSS spatial database extension, with PostgreSQL
>> being its host. Longer lead time, I know.
> 
> Actually we have been an ESRI business partner in the past, and would  
> not mind being so again. We do a large percentage of our revenue on  
> projects that use ESRI, Oracle and other proprietary tools.  PostGIS  
> provides us with no direct revenue at all, nor does uDig.
> 
> http://geotips.blogspot.com/2005/10/open-source-company-oxymoron.html
> 
> 
>> Does Refractions not implement the FOSS GIS products
>> they help develop for pay? Do they not, like Google
>> (although Google has endless capital), allow their
>> programmers to work, at least part-time, on FOSS GIS
>> products during work hours?
> 
> To a degree, but relative to our overall revenue flow, not really.   
> The pay-back on dollars spent on OSS development is much harder to  
> put metrics around than the payback on things like direct sales  
> effort, or proprietary software development.
> 
>> Also, wasn't there a FOSS4G presentation about
>> consulting as a way to further FOSS GIS development
>> and make a living at it as well?
> 
> Bit of a myth, as far as I can tell.  This open source technology  
> wedge is still so small that the business opportunities remain  
> relatively tiny, particularly in North America, where the technology  
> base is so homogenous and the mental lock-in to a vendor-led  
> mentality so strong.
> 
>> Is there a QGIS foundation? If not, could there be?
>> Should there be?
> 
> No, there's an OSGeo foundation, of which QGIS is a member, that's  
> good enough. Once it's a 5013c, US donors will even be able to get  
> tax receipts for their donations to QGIS development, and write off  
> the donations.
> 
> P
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 09:41:34 -0800
> From: "Landon Blake" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,     but
>       FOSS GIS clients...
> To: "OSGeo Discussions" <discuss@lists.osgeo.org>
> Message-ID:
>       <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Content-Type: text/plain;     charset="us-ascii"
> 
> Well put Paul. A little harsh...but well put.
> 
> Landon
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Paul Ramsey
> Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2008 9:41 AM
> To: PostGIS Users Discussion
> Cc: OSGeo Discussions
> Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,but FOSS
> GIS clients...
> 
> 
>> I realize it ain't easy. But could consolidation
>> (future effort) make it easier?
> 
> The only thing that can be consolidated is developer effort, and even  
> where there are no programming language barriers (such as in the Java  
> world) there are lots of countervailing reasons that make mergers  
> impractical.
> 
> "Everyone should drop their projects and work on uDig."  But all the  
> gvSIG developers are supported by funding from Spanish government  
> that requires all the work be GPL; and they also prefer a pure Java  
> implementation to the SWT/Eclipse implementation that uDig uses.  And  
> the OpenJUMP people have an existing rich set of editing tools that  
> are not easily portable to the uDig application model. Are they going  
> to throw away all their existing functionality to move to another  
> platform?  Why?  OpenJUMP works fine for them.
> 
> You are thinking the developers are working for you, the user, but  
> they aren't. They are working for themselves and their employers, and  
> they have perfectly good reasons to keep working on what they want to  
> work on.  You, the freeloading user, are incidental to the process.
> 
> We, the developers and employers, are well aware of the strategic  
> implications of choosing to join, or not join, a particular  
> community, probably to a far finer degree than you, and don't worry  
> -- we are looking after our interests.
> 
>> What's Refractions' model? Paul? Presumably
>> Refractions is a for-profit entity and not an ESRI
>> Business Partner. Refractions seems to be quite
>> successful with PostGIS. PostGIS seems to be the de
>> facto FOSS spatial database extension, with PostgreSQL
>> being its host. Longer lead time, I know.
> 
> Actually we have been an ESRI business partner in the past, and would  
> not mind being so again. We do a large percentage of our revenue on  
> projects that use ESRI, Oracle and other proprietary tools.  PostGIS  
> provides us with no direct revenue at all, nor does uDig.
> 
> http://geotips.blogspot.com/2005/10/open-source-company-oxymoron.html
> 
> 
>> Does Refractions not implement the FOSS GIS products
>> they help develop for pay? Do they not, like Google
>> (although Google has endless capital), allow their
>> programmers to work, at least part-time, on FOSS GIS
>> products during work hours?
> 
> To a degree, but relative to our overall revenue flow, not really.   
> The pay-back on dollars spent on OSS development is much harder to  
> put metrics around than the payback on things like direct sales  
> effort, or proprietary software development.
> 
>> Also, wasn't there a FOSS4G presentation about
>> consulting as a way to further FOSS GIS development
>> and make a living at it as well?
> 
> Bit of a myth, as far as I can tell.  This open source technology  
> wedge is still so small that the business opportunities remain  
> relatively tiny, particularly in North America, where the technology  
> base is so homogenous and the mental lock-in to a vendor-led  
> mentality so strong.
> 
>> Is there a QGIS foundation? If not, could there be?
>> Should there be?
> 
> No, there's an OSGeo foundation, of which QGIS is a member, that's  
> good enough. Once it's a 5013c, US donors will even be able to get  
> tax receipts for their donations to QGIS development, and write off  
> the donations.
> 
> P
> 
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss@lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> 
> 
> Warning:
> Information provided via electronic media is not guaranteed against defects 
> including translation and transmission errors. If the reader is not the 
> intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, 
> distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you 
> have received this information in error, please notify the sender immediately.
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 3
> Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2008 19:33:16 +0100
> From: Andrea Aime <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,  but
>       FOSS    GIS clients...
> To: OSGeo Discussions <discuss@lists.osgeo.org>
> Cc: PostGIS Users Discussion <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Message-ID: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> 
> Paul Ramsey ha scritto:
>> You are thinking the developers are working for you, the user, but they 
>> aren't. They are working for themselves and their employers, and they 
>> have perfectly good reasons to keep working on what they want to work 
>> on.  You, the freeloading user, are incidental to the process.
> 
> I wouldn't be able to say it better. We open source developers do 
> develop for the pleasure of developing in the first place. To
> "scratch an itch" they say. User come after that.
> This is not to say they are irrelevant, on the contrary.
> They provide feedback, useful insights, ideas, and not less
> important, a good user base is good for your karma
> and your pride too.
> Despite that, user must first and foremost understand they are not
> the driver. Pleasure in development, discovery, exploration,
> sharing experiences with other developers and so on, that's
> the driver.
> Merging with another community? It may work, provided the fun does
> not go away. If there is a split chance of turning that into a
> boring work, the merger likeliness is absolutely zero.
> 
> Cheers
> Andrea
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 4
> Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 13:03:50 -0600
> From: Howard Butler <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,     but
>       FOSS GIS clients...
> To: OSGeo Discussions <discuss@lists.osgeo.org>
> Cc: PostGIS Users Discussion <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Message-ID: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes
> 
> 
> On Jan 2, 2008, at 12:33 PM, Andrea Aime wrote:
>> Despite that, user must first and foremost understand they are not
>> the driver.
> 
> ... unless they pony up with money and/or time.  As Tim said, you are  
> either a sink or a source.  As an open source developer, I invest in  
> you the user (in money and/or time) by providing documentation (as  
> little as possible to optimize my time), answering your questions  
> directly, and coding in an effort to create more sources that provide  
> me with leverage.  Everyone starts out as a sink.  The project only  
> grows by producing more sources than sinks.  If you are identified as  
> a sink with no hope of ever turning into a source, you will eventually  
> be ignored.
> 
> If you want to have a really successful open source experience, you  
> must aspire to being a source as quickly as possible.  As a source,  
> you will receive differentially more investment (help, code, docs, and  
> ideas) from other project principles than if your status as a source  
> or sink is unclear.
> 
> Use the (and be a) source Luke!
> 
> Howard
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 5
> Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2008 09:27:56 +0800
> From: "Dr. Markus Lupp" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: [postgis-users] A bit off topic,     but
>       FOSS    GIS clients...
> To: OSGeo Discussions <discuss@lists.osgeo.org>
> Cc: PostGIS Users Discussion <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Message-ID: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> 
> Paul Ramsey schrieb:
>>> Also, wasn't there a FOSS4G presentation about
>>> consulting as a way to further FOSS GIS development
>>> and make a living at it as well?
>> Bit of a myth, as far as I can tell.  This open source technology 
>> wedge is still so small that the business opportunities remain 
>> relatively tiny, particularly in North America, where the technology 
>> base is so homogenous and the mental lock-in to a vendor-led mentality 
>> so strong.
>>
> Not a myth in Europe (or to be more precise, at least in Germany). There 
> is a number of (growing) companies that have FOSS GIS consulting 
> business models and do pretty well.
> 
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Markus
> 

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