Subject Re: "DevCo" & Firebird
Author Roman Rokytskyy
> Okay, agree here. If one were to hire 5..10 of the right
> individuals, development progress would slow significantly. I think
> it would take about a year for development speed to recover to its
> current level.
> Actually, this is true for most proprietary stuff as well. If you
> take out the right 10 individuals from Oracle, development speed
> would be impaired for a year as well. Remember that all the key
> individuals of the IB team walked out in 2000 and Borland recovered
> too.

The main difference between us and Oracle/Borland in this respect is
that we do not have enough money. We simply cannot attract enough
developers and then let them bite the FB code base from different
sides in order to determine in one year the best heads who will lead
the development. We have money only for one shot. And if after that
one year we determine that we missed the target, we might not have a
chance for the second shot.

That is our vulnerability. I guess that if we have something around
500,000 USD on our account, in the worst case when all core people
leave the project, we could establish two teams, one in Russia, one in
Brazil and continue the project.

> Hundreds is perhaps over-enthusiastic, but certainly 50-100
> potentials in my opinion. Several talented individuals have left the
> core team in the last five years for various reasons and so far new
> talent stepped forward into the gap within a short time-frame.

The issue with these enthusiastic people is that you have to attract
them somehow (otherwise they would be already contributing heavily to
the project). You can hope that the task is challenging enough, so
some of them start coding. But the problem is that they have to pay
their bills. So we have to provide them enough money to pay their
bills and let them concentrate on the code base.

Another hope is that people, who's business depends on Firebird will
devote some of their resources to work on the project (the way Sean
does, or, I guess, employer of Alex, even if indirectly). This is
probably the best (or better more predictable) chance, but I cannot
estimate how much of such resources do we have in the pocket.

> The community brings enormous value to FB, as does their community
> to Postgres. MySQL and Ingres are spending big bucks trying to grow
> a community. I really don't see the business logic of killing a
> succesful community around a code base.

I have no personal opinion on Borland, but from what I have heard from
others, when it comes to Borland, normal logic is not applicable.
Question is how does it apply the DevCo. :)