Open sourcing software projects, the new trend?
While many software developers get paid to work on open source by their employer or volunteer their time for free to various FOSS projects, some end up deciding to quit their day jobs to work on free and open source software (FOSS) full time. That’s exactly what Bryan Lunduke and Patrick Verner are now doing and they’re both hoping that the respective communities for their projects will help to support their efforts financially.
Linux Tycoon logo After raising more than $4,000 in monthly contributions to support full time development of his software, Lunduke, who is also the host of the Linux Action Show podcast, recently announced that he was open sourcing all of the applications and games on his site under the GPL. These include the Illumination Software Creator visual development environment and the BLABA visual video game creator, as well as the game Linux Tycoon, which lets players manage the daily tasks involved in creating a popular Linux distribution and previously cost $4 (about £2.60).
The Washington state based developer says that the $4,000 per month in subscriptions, in conjunction with contributions from the community, should provide enough income for him to continue developing his software. “I owe a big, hearty thanks to everyone who has contributed,” said Lunduke, adding that, “You have helped to show the world that it is completely viable (and practical) for a closed source indie developer to go Open Source and be funded via contributions. This is a big step.”
Parted Magic logo In contrast, Patrick Verner, the lead developer of the Parted Magic open source, multi-platform partitioning tool, is looking to raise just $1,200 per month in donations to “pay bills and cover life’s other surprises”. On the project’s recently updated homepage, the developer says, “I believe that’s a very modest salary based on Wisconsin minimum wage ($7.25) @ 40 hours per week”.
According to recent statistics, the Parted Magic project’s site has had more than 700,000 unique visitors since the start of the year and the Parted Magic distribution sees more over 40,000 downloads each week. Verner goes on to note that, if he doesn’t “go broke first”, users can “expect more updates and more frequent releases”. Alongside the request for donations, the developer also published a new version of Parted Magic, labelled 2012_06_07, which features a number of new and upgraded packages.