Recently I started a new company called 1H. From the start of the company I talked with my partners that we should go Open Source. Maybe not with all of our products from the beginning but at least with a few of them.

So we started with 2 entirely commercial products(Hive and Guardian) and 2 Open Source (Hawk and Digits).

Here is what I found very interesting:

  • We had to develop a licensing system. It took us 2 months of development.
  • We had to develop a way of protecting/obfuscating vital parts of our software. This also took us 2 months.
  • Then we had to develop online verification of the licenses. This took us 1 month.
  • And finally we had to rewrite vital parts of our software just to make it possible to be obfuscated. Also 1 month.

So in the end we have spent 6 months in development of software that is completely useless to our clients. In comparison, with our Open Source projects, we have spent time only to enhance them and add features requested by our clients. If we have spent those 6 months on developing new features of the software we would be far ahead, instead we started developing new features after a pause of almost 6 months. And the whole team has forgotten what were the projects we were working 6 months back.

I hated what was happening, and mostly because during those 6 months we didn’t had the time to begin the ‘opening’ of our Open Source projects. We always pushed that back, because it was considered hard work.
So in the past few days I decided to search for easier way of ‘opening’ our Open Source projects. In the end, instead of publishing our own hosted git repositories, I decided that it will be best to use community driven repositories like SourceForge and GitHub. And today it is a very good day for me, since I published our first open source project in github (mod_limits). By the end of next week I’ll try to upload both Hawk and Digits to github.

My goal is to have at least 5-6 Open Source projects published on github by the end of this year. I want to support the community and contribute all of our work back to the community. All of our Open Source projects are licensed under GPLv2 and at least for now, this will be the license of choice for the new projects.

I’ll try to cover my future plans for our Open Source strategy here. I hope, one day it will become interesting :)

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Posted by HackMan
Dated: 14th January 2011
Filled Under: 1H