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How to work with the Open Source communityLWN editor Liz Coolbaugh attended Bruce Perens' talk on "How to work with the open source community" at The Bazaar. Her notes were relayed back to Colorado via a problematic cellphone link and typed in there. This writeup should thus be considered to be an approximation of the highlights of Bruce's talk...
Bruce had several suggestions to offer to companies that want to operate in the open source world. The first was to offer directed share programs, as Red Hat and VA Linux Systems have done. Yes it is expensive and difficult, but the payback is worth it.
For those offering these programs: find ways to support the participation of developers based outside the United States. The programs thus far have passed over numerous key developers. If all else fails, and certain countries can not be included, give developers in those countries a way to donate "their" shares to a nonprofit group of their choice.
Open source companies should treat their developers as they treat their investors. In fact, there is little difference between the two. Developers invest much into the companies they work for; it is a big mistake to alienate them.
Other suggestions for those wanting to build good companies include:
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