Open or closed source apps?

  • As a developer for mobile apps, I'm in a conflict. I would like to contribute to the comunity by creating open source apps, but in the same time I would be good to earn some money from it. Not to be rich, but to by couple of beers, to feel appriciated, maybe in a very good scenario to live from it.

    What are your experiencees with donations from the fans?

    Is there open source licence, where for example I could limit distribution through nokia store to only me. Detailed example: distribute for free through Maemo extras for Nokia N900, but put it in nokia store to be sold or ad supported. This would pose a problem with contributions from other developers, which I would leave out from the store version. I think this exception would be required, because others could package the application and upload it to the store, without ads and/or free.

    If I want to earn some money from my applications is the only viable option to go the closed source route?

    Thank you for your answers.

  • My thoughts on this is purely theoretical, but here's how I see it:

    • If your app is truly unique/completely outclasses an existing app, then go the closed source route and make some money out of it (as you say, you also have to make a living).

    • If you're playing around with something fun, not exactly life-changing and more for the development experience, then hit the Open Source road.

    I wouldn't bargain too much on contributions from users.

  • I guess this choice depends heavily on what your goals are. If you want to earn money, go closed source. If you want to develop your skills I would strongly recommend to go the open source route. You will get a couple of beers that way, too (at least if you hang out at conferences and have some users;-).

    Alternatively you can find a job for yourself where you work on open source software. That combines the strong sides of both worlds:-)

    /me points to the yellow sticker in the bottom left of this page.

    PS: Do not expect a program to write itself when going open source with it. You will need to do all the heavy lifting yourself.

  • Moderators

    [quote author="Tobias Hunger" date="1326191233"]
    /me points to the yellow sticker in the bottom left of this page.

    It's actually in bottom RIGHT, but I'll take that as an initial IQ test for the job ;)

  • sierdzio: Remember that should you ever get into any situation where you might end up asking me to provide you with directions:-)

Log in to reply