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General Musing

blaze your trail

Posts Tagged ‘cms

Price of GPL development #business #free #cost

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Script carved into the stone of the Tlos Soldiers Tombs

Four years ago I was working on a project using CMS for a company, I wrote a which could be used with to enhance the CMS we were using. The script was obviously written in customer time, and was paid for by the customer. As I often do I agreed with the customer that we release this to the community at large under GPL license. We gained bug reports, feedback and enhancement suggestions, which I used to enhance the script for everybody’s benefit.

4 years later there are not very many people who I know use the script, although I know one of the largest payrolling service in the Netherlands does. I recently was searching through my mail and the mails exchanged came up in the search results, so I mailed and inquired whether they were still using the script. I got a mail back and was told that they had been using it for the last 4 years, but that it would be broken when they migrated to the new version of a system. So naturally I offered to fix it for them and said I would come back with a time frame and costs. I had thought that it would probably take about 2 hours, but hadn’t said this. They were shocked at my response, their follow-up response was:

“Well, the first script I also downloaded from userscripts.org […] That was and is all free.”

Naturally I wrote back and explained that my original customer had paid for it and made it available, and that there were costs involved in the production of the script. They answered saying that they didn’t want the changes if they needed to pay for them. They obviously expect free beer too.

You can find the old script here: , not it might not work with the new Roxen CMS.

Image source: John Rutter

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

January 11, 2011 at 11:45 am

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