From: Anthony Howe
Date: 2004-09-14 14:41:30 -0400
Subject: Re: Mailing list for Snert Milters
More information..: http://www.milter.info/#Support
Alex Tkachenko wrote:
> Hi Anthony,
> This last message of yours made me concerned with the future of your
> software. In my work I rely upon completely open-source software, being
> burnt by several cases involved proprietary programs. You vaguely
> mentioned you gonna start your new enterprise to sell the software.
Sell milters, apache modules, and other utilities. My starting point is
with the milters, if I choose to go this route.
> Could you please let me know what are your plans regarding the milters?
> Do you plan to make them completely closed-source or more like, say
> sendmail, where the sources are available for free but commercial
> services are also available should one need it?
My initial concept was this: a paid for site-wide source license cheap
(more than shareware, far less than traditional source licensing) for
any business, however this is painful for hobbyists and personal servers
I want to stay close to open source while still remaining a commercial
product. So from my perspective selling site source licenses, lets call
it "commercial source" (open-source has a different definition and
trademark). Part of the logic in that is a) in order to distribute to
the widest number of platforms, you need source; b) if I get run over by
a bus, you have the source; c) if I'm unavailable for a period of the
time (vacation, projects, life) you have the source to make your own bug
fixes. Given the number of titles I have written, I need really to be
working full time to support them and develop new titles. Apache 2 has
been waiting two years for my mod_throttle port (four for any new
updates), because I've been occupied with milters and other commissioned
Now most of the VC like people and sales types I've been talking to say
you need binary distribution for license control. Great says I, but I
can't afford the hardware for all the platforms, let alone all the OS
variants. Still, I have to entertain the idea as being the only viable
means of controlling licenses (if I want to do per machine).
One of the reasons I like the commercial source idea is that a license
is issued to a company, domain, individual and they can apply it to all
their machines they own. Individuals loose out if they only have one
machine. Another reason I wanted the price not to be to excessive to
address this, however, I am keeping my options open, which is one of the
reasons for the survey.
Essentially I have a voluntary shareware licensing now. Response has
been good, but not excellent. Those who respect the shareware license
will benefit later (nudge nudge wink wink).
But one thing is for sure, my software is not Open-Source as defined and
My problem is that "a free source, paid for services" model does not
work. I've tried it (though not enforced it) and frankly as a
professional programmer, I could not live off the equivalent value that
I've received in sharware (DVDs, CDs, books) if I took cash instead of
I like free open source. I use a lot of it, but I've also paid the
shareware fee on some of the more useful tools I use daily. I think the
percentage of people who respect shareware licensing is low.
I've seen Richard Stallman's recent video-cast talk in Sophia-Antipolis
and I just don't agree whole heartedly with his view. I know people
can't pay for all the software they use, but they should be able to pay
the price of a couple of beers. We all might be a bit more sober for the
A day job as a sys.admin. when you're a programmer is not much fun in
the long run. Essentially my goal is inexpensive commercial source, if I
can manage it. Free doesn't pay for rent, pizza, gas, server-hosting,
ADSL line, electicity, taxes, etc. To assume I can continue coding
part-time and keep up with all the demands of all my software requests
is not possible.
Anyways. Nothing is final and the survey is intended to evoke arguments
for or against or find the balance.
> I had a plans of Napoleon's magnitude but I might need to revisit them
> in the light of these recent news... :(
Napoleon's magnitude? I don't follow the reference.
Anthony C Howe +33 6 11 89 73 78
7116561 AIM: Sir Wumpus
"Once...we were here." - Last of The Mohicans
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