Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 21st Jul 2012 23:06 UTC
In the News Okay, so this is entirely new to me. Sparrow is was an email client for Mac OS X and iOS (and Windows), which brought a decent Gmail experience to these platforms - as opposed to Apple's own not-so-good Gmail support and Google's Gmail iOS application which, well, is just a webpage. Google has now acquired Sparrow, and basically all hell has broken loose, to the point of Rian van der Merwe writing that 'we' lost "faith in a philosophy that we thought was a sustainable way to ensure a healthy future for independent software development, where most innovation happens".
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RE: How to live from open source.
by WorknMan on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 18:59 UTC in reply to "How to live from open source."
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At the end of the day the developers need to bring money home, and there is none to be had when your software is 100% available for the others to take, and you cannot sell services on top of it.

This is a good point, as it is likely that Sparrow would never have existed as an open source app, because you're not going to make money like that by selling support services, or coffee mugs. And hey, not everybody wants to work for free.

And anyway, I recently read that an open source email app (Thunderbird) has had its development stopped recently, except for bug fixes and security updates. Will anybody fork it and continue working on it? Who knows. But really, how many open source projects have died on the vine because the developer got bored with it, or didn't have the time to work on it anymore.

The point is that whether you're using open or closed source apps, there's really no guarantees one way or the other, unless you personally plan to work on an open source app if it gets abandoned. Personally, I'd rather use an app where the developer gets paid for it, because then you know his livelihood depends on the continued development of the app, vs 'I just had a kid so I don't have time to work on this in the evenings anymore.' Sure, he may get bought out and the app killed, but like I said, there are really no guarantees one way or the other.

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