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Its interesting to see them reason that the BSL is more open source than open core. Do others think that? It is certainly more free as in beer for most users.



One ideal is the open development model, where anyone can come along and submit patches, where multiple companies can conspire to create a project, and so on. Open core, where you have a central project that is open source, then a number of plugins that are less open source, is the better model towards this goal. The worry is that members of the community will begin recreating features that have already been added to the paid version, and releasing them as open source. Under the BSL, you have a tension here because the paid version will become part of the free version in a few years. Under open core, you'd ask the community members to release the feature as a plugin, and the two separate plugins can coexist.

The other ideal is the principle of free software being like software I would write myself. MIT and the unlicense are strong versions of this, where I can use them in (nearly) any way I would use software I had written from scratch. The BSL is the better model for this, because it entails paying for software that, in a few years, you will own in this strong sense. Open core entails no such guarantee, and if the company producing it went under, there is no guarantee that they would release the source code under a permissive license.

I think the impetus behind their decision is that they didn't observe a strong open development community, so they didn't feel they would impact that too strongly by using the BSL. The really interesting license would be a combination of both, that is having a truly open core, then licensing everything else under the BSL or equivalent. This is probably avoided for the complexity factor, but would probably entail the best of both worlds.


Having a sustainable funding model for open source isn’t necessarily a bad thing IMHO. The potential upside here is that Sentry will be able to invest more into large improvements to the code knowing that their funding is sustainable. This is to the benefit of everyone who wants to use this software in the purest sense of open source, which is running the code on your own systems.


This isn't a sustainable open source model though as the code is not open source.


As they state in their article it's eventually OSS (after 3yrs it converts to OSS) and you're basically unaffected you're reselling a competing hosted version, you still have full access to the source code and can continue to run your own/modified version in house.

Given that Sentry is primarily the sole contributor behind improving and advancing their own product, making it more sustainable directly translates in being able to have more resources into making a better product whereas having their efforts stolen and repurposed by a competitive AWS/Azure hosted solution would directly make it worse. They'd be pouring their millions into competing against themselves whilst the cloud providers can use their marketing + monopoly network effects to reap all the commercial efforts off Sentry's investments.

The only losers here are the cloud oligopolies and Sentry's hosted competitors, Sentry ends up with a more sustainable business model they can invest in making a better product, which benefits their product and all their customers.




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