What Is Open Source Support Worth To You?

Apr 26, 2009   //   by Hackadelic   //   Blog, Featured  //  2 Comments

Free Beer Tomorrow Neon SignThe notion of “free” in FOSS – Free and Open Source Software – is commonly explained a “Free as in free speech, not as in free beer”. In practice, open source software is often provided literally for free – as I do with my plugins – and this is often referred to as “It’s free as in ‘free speech’, and as in ‘free beer'”.

Now, I have the impression that when “beer” is free, the waiters’ service is considered free as well.

With software, that service is support.

You are willing to give the waiter a tip, aren’t you? What are you willing to give to the open source software author?

Do you donate to the authors of plugins and themes whose hard work you use? Do you link back to their site? Do you bookmark them in social networks? Do you blog about their work?

I suggest the next time you ask for help about an open source package, try first to answer for yourself what that help would be worth to you. If your answer is “nothing”, ask yourself why you waste your and their time with worthless matters.

Now tell me, what is open source support worth to you?


  • Agreed. These days, I have been thinking similar matters but from users point of view.

    When I start using WP and developing it for CMS 4 months ago, I encountered problems from theme modification, permalinks, navigation and CSS for better presentation of my post. You (Hackadelic) have helped me to resolve a number of problems, especially the knowhow in CSS(highlight box and sliderbar) and navigation (TOB). However, some of the problems are resolved by myself but it took me f**king painful long time. I know it was a chance for me to learn and I won’t get hold of the know-how without get my hands dirty. But, I wondered could I have mentor(s) or supports in case I was stuck in the future.

    The codex of WP offers good organized and details posts to users for most common topics, but it cannot address all my requirement and I hardly found a forum that offers effectively collaboration among users and developers.

    If we have to admit the fact that there are “good” and “bad” manner guys posting requests …

    1. how could the “good” guys have priority response if they donate, share his/her work done or contribute in return?

    2. would you consider to lead formation of a virtual networks of the “good” guys so that they can learn and support each others

    3. would it possible to have simple working model for paid mentoring services or on demand supports?


    • Patrick, thanks for sharing you thoughts. The network is a good idea. I’ve been thinking about a working model already. I’m still busy with other stuff right now, but I’ll come back to it afterwards.

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