Re: Writing for the Open Source Community

Subject: Re: Writing for the Open Source Community
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 11:14:40 -0800 (PST)

> Call me thick,

Okay, you're thick. :-)

> but besides creating portfolio pieces, why bother looking into
> open source as a writer? Sure there are hundreds of poorly documented
> open-source projects out there, but I for one would like to get paid for my
> time and energy. Good Karma is NOT going to pay the mortgage.

Alas, you hath found the the Achilles Heel of all open-source efforts: Not very
many people are willing to work for free.

> Is there a market of people willing to pay for good documentation for open
> source software?

Very few. Usually its the companies that take open-source and make it a
commercial endeavor. Like SourceFire, the commercialization of Snort (the open
source IDS). SourceFire has a very compelling product that overcomes many of
the weaknesses of its open-source roots. As such, they're making good money (I
sold one last week!)

Bruce would be the ideal expert here, as I know he has written docs for
open-source projects.

> Or, is it much like the open source movement as a whole? It's
> great to have 'free' and 'open' software, but there has to be a pocket book
> paying for it somewhere. Is there a living to be made at it or is it a domain
> for those that love writing procedures so much that they'll do it after hours
> their own time (or heaven forbid steal the time from their real employer).

At the end of the day, somebody ALWAYS has to sign a check. Might as well be

Andrew Plato

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