loss leader redux
Posted Jan 14, 2005 23:58 UTC (Fri) by bpepers
In reply to: loss leader redux
Parent article: Quasar Accounting under the GPL
Moving to open source certainly takes a lot of work (as I now know first hand 8^) since you need to make sure your code is presentable and easy to build and that any third party proprietary dependencies are removed. This aspect took *much* longer than expected especially since it had to be done on the side so that there was still a regular revenue stream paying for it.
What will happen if someone writes a FOSS POS module that works with Quasar? Well thats certainly a question we've considered. We are trying to make it so that most people can benefit and enjoy Quasar without cost but I don't think its such a bad thing for a retail company that wants to use it to run their store to pay us a small amount (and our pricing is really peanuts in comparison to anything else out there). Also writing a good POS system is much harder than most people realize and ours has some nice advanced features (for instance it can run disconnected from the database and then resync up when attached again so if the server goes down it doesn't hurt your sales operations) so personally I think it would take a while for someone to get a POS system to the point where large retail operations would use it (and ours is used for large combined grocery, gas bar, dry-goods, and hardware store operations). If it happens then it does and we would have to decide what action to take then.
A surprising thing about our decision to have a commercial license to our code was that we had resellers calling us up explicitly to ask us to do this. The retail market has a lot of little niche markets (ski hill operations for instance) that require a lot of customization of a package and they want some protection for their investment of time and development to go after that niche market. Many resellers feel they couldn't compete if their changes were available for free and they want the option of buying a commercial license instead of using the GPL which we respect.
Its an interesting balancing act to get all this right and I hope it works out in the end!
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