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Martin Obongita martin.obongita at
Thu Sep 29 16:41:51 UTC 2022

 When I said Omnis makes me feel like I am hooked to a cult, I meant it to be understood like to be a subscriber in an exclusive private member's club.The same services you get in a club, you can still get them in a public restaurant.

    On Thursday, September 29, 2022 at 11:25:43 AM GMT+3, Phil (OmnisList) <phil at> wrote:  
 Well put Bastiaan,

I can relate, as I use the open source macports libraries in my xcomps, 
recently requiring to make a number of my externals M1 compatible, or 
actually universal, I had to wait for 3rd party developers to overcome 
the M1 challenge, or just download the source and recompile a library 
for myself.

So, open source is great, but sometimes so very annoying when you might 
not have the skills required to help overcome a challenge in a 
particular area...

Phil Potter
Based in Chester in the UK.

On 29/09/2022 02:52, Bastiaan Olij wrote:
> Hi Martin,
> On 29/09/2022 2:04 am, Martin Obongita via omnisdev-en wrote:
>> I just wish that the community would be bigger and open source.
> As someone who is now working full time for an Open Source project let 
> me add this to this old conversation.
> Open source is a beautiful thing but it is no silver bullet. Nothing 
> in this world is free, Open Source simply changes how those working on 
> the Open Source project get paid.
> They say nobody works for free, everyone needs to put food on the 
> table. With Open Source this is almost true, there are those who 
> purely as a hobby or as part of their education work on Open Source 
> projects totally for free without expecting anything in return, but 
> these people don't carry the project.
> The bulk of contributors are those who use the product themselves, run 
> into bugs or shortcomings, handle those, and submit those changes for 
> evaluation. These contributors pay with their time, and are happy to 
> pay time because a better products allows them to be successful in 
> their business and thus make money indirectly with the time they've 
> donated to the project.
> The flip side of that is that when you aren't able to fix those bugs, 
> or have the time or knowledge to fill in the shortcomings, you're at 
> the mercy of others. You can't simply call Omnis support and say "hey, 
> please fix this bug in your product", that ceases to exist.
> You can either accept the bugs won't be fixed or the feature you need 
> won't be added, or you can learn to contribute, or you can pay someone 
> to fix it for you. If you run into this situation, the investment in 
> either time or paying someone for their time, will likely be a 
> magnitude bigger then your fees to Omnis, it really depends on your 
> situation whether that investment is worth it (if its a feature that 
> Omnis wouldn't implement either, the fact that you CAN with an Open 
> Source project is a definitely a boon OS has over closed software).
> Finally every successful Open Source project has a core team that 
> manages the project and safeguards a vision that ensures the project 
> doesn't become one big spaghetti mess of mismatched features. This 
> core team often relies on donations by the community or more likely, 
> bigger grants by the bigger players who use the product, in order to 
> put food on the table, as their commitment in time often no longer 
> allows them to make money using the project. For Omnis this would 
> likely mean taking the core developer team at Omnis, and getting their 
> paychecks paid by the community, somehow.
> To make a long story short, success in Open Source is a numbers game. 
> A certain percentage of the community will become contributors, a 
> certain percentage within those contributors become part of the core 
> team, and a certain percentage of the community will put up the money 
> that funds the work. For every successful Open Source project, there 
> are hundreds that failed, and often the size of the community (or lack 
> thereof) is the main factor.
> The payoff is that when it does become successful not many closed 
> source alternatives can compete in available manpower.
> Godot, the Open Source project I work for, has hundreds of 
> contributors donating their time, but that is hundreds out of tens of 
> thousands of people who use the project (we don't have exact numbers 
> as we don't track usage but the user count may be far higher). And 
> just to put further perspective on that, the core team is in the order 
> of 10 to 20 people and we can only afford that because some of the 
> biggest companies in the world (Epic, Meta, Valve, Google, Microsoft) 
> have taken an interest in us succeeding and donate large sums to us.
> As you say, Omnis has a relatively small community, whether it is a 
> community large enough and wealthy enough to carry an Open Source 
> project, that will be the question.
> That doesn't mean I think this is a bad idea, I'm simply stating that 
> this is not a simple journey and that it is a journey that may not put 
> us in a better position than if Omnis remains closed source. That coin 
> can fall both ways.
> Omnis as a paid product, and as a result is a well funded product and 
> this means stability. I'm not so sure it can survive as an Open Source 
> project.
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