Click here to Skip to main content
12,954,464 members (56,433 online)
Click here to Skip to main content
Add your own
alternative version

Tagged as


1 bookmarked
Posted 10 Oct 2009

Open Source Commerical Support Discomfort

, 18 Mar 2010 CPOL
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
Yesterday I visited Rob Conery's blog and the post about commercial SubSonic support options made me think again about the open source philosophy. In my opinion Rob must decide in which category of Open Source is SubSonic located.

Yesterday, I visited Rob Conery's blog and the post about commercial SubSonic support options made me think again about the open source philosophy. In my opinion, Rob must decide in which category of Open Source is SubSonic located.

  • Is it a real open source project as defined by OSI
  • Is it an open source project in a way ASP.NET MVC is

If SubSonic is in the first category, I believe NHibernate is in that category, Ayende’s commercial support offering is not acceptable. Since bug fixes are included in that offering and Rob or Ayende are committers that would not sound right to the community.

If SubSonic is in the second category and Rob decides that SubSonic is open source but main official release is maintained and owned only by him or a company, that commercial support offering would be ok.

Perfect Examples

Following OSS examples are very well suited to define my objection.

Linus Torvalds does not offer bug fixes as a commercial support for the official Linux kernel. He does not because he is the main authority, and the unpaid authority, who decides if a bug fix or patch be applied to the official release of the kernel. (I do not think he has the time to review all submitted patches but he in a way organized the inner workings.) But we all know that Suse and RedHat offer bug fixes and patches for their own distribution, which is understandable and valid. I do not mind the way RedHat or Suse patches and bug fixes are applied to the official kernel releases.

Another example is the Mozilla Foundation. If NHibernate had a non profit foundation as Mozilla and the foundation offered commercial support via kind of Mozilla Corporation that would be OK too. And I want to remind you that Mozilla like foundations do not distribute share profit to any third parties.


  1. As far as I know, NHibernate is not copyrighted to anybody or any entity. So may other contributors claim copyright for the bugs they introduce which may cause some complications?
  2. The material itself and the functionality that material provides is not paid in OSS projects. Does offering commercial bug fix support right for the official release of the project cause the material to have some sort of monetary value, since fixing bugs is commercialized which means introducing bugs may be commercialized too?
  3. What if I, as a non committer to NHibernate project, wanted to offer commercial bug fix support too? Do you think that project leads would allow me to be a committer just because of that even if I'm not qualified to be a committer? Shall I interpret Ayende as monopoly in NHibernate community context? Don't you think that being a virtual/possible monopoly conflicts with the open source?
  4. If an OSS is not copyrighted to anybody or any entity, do you think that OSS project leads hold legal rights to decide whom to let in or kick out?


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Ali Ozgur
Team Leader PragmaTouch
Turkey Turkey
- Software developer
- Has BS degree in Computer Engineering
- Has MBA degree
- Programmed with C, C++, Delphi, T-SQL and recently C#
- Little educational experience with Prolog
- Feel enthusiasm about NHibernate and LINQ
- Love to develop on Cuyahoga Web Framework
- Developer of PragmaSQL Editor
(Code Project Members Choice Winner for 2009 and 2010)
- Developed JiraTouch and MoodleTouch for iPhone
- PragmaTouch Lead (

You may also be interested in...


Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy opinion Pin
Silic0re0919-Mar-10 4:20
memberSilic0re0919-Mar-10 4:20 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Jeremy Likness10-Oct-09 12:59
memberJeremy Likness10-Oct-09 12:59 
More interested in code than politics

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

Permalink | Advertise | Privacy | Terms of Use | Mobile
Web02 | 2.8.170525.1 | Last Updated 19 Mar 2010
Article Copyright 2009 by Ali Ozgur
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2017
Layout: fixed | fluid