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Xamarin 3 was released last week with a great new addition: Xamarin.Forms . This triggered our attention because we've been using such a system for a couple of years now. We've developed it by ourselves and used it for a bunch of projects.

We've been looking for a way to make this project open source but we didn't manage to convince the management. They believe we should not make it open source because we won't win anything with it and all that will happen is that the competition will be able to build apps quicker with our library. We believe open sourcing our library will make the world a better place and that it will make our library much more stable and complete.

So my question to all you people out there: How can we convince the management to open source our library?

marked as duplicate by gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, user40980, gbjbaanb, user53019 Jun 2 '14 at 17:09

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  • If you're arguing that it will "make the world a better place" you will loose the argument. You need to find reasons why it will "make more profit for your company" – Richard Tingle Jun 2 '14 at 12:27
  • related: Reasons NOT to open source not-for-profit code? – gnat Jun 2 '14 at 13:14
  • @MrSoundless: you may also find some useful points in an article I've written a few months ago on this subject. – Arseni Mourzenko Jun 2 '14 at 13:31
  • @RichardTingle That's what I'm asking help for here :) I need as many arguments as I can get. – MrSoundless Jun 2 '14 at 14:50
  • The answer to the duplicate declared the code as "not a core business asset", but I thin the OP's company managers think it is. Maybe the question could be modified to focus on this aspect? – JeffO Jun 2 '14 at 18:06

Let's assume you open source this project and your competition starts to use it and they save time creating apps which makes them equally attractive to customers.

If your company isn't marketing, selling or making a counter-proposal to this client, you'll never win the account, but there is a chance your competition wouldn't win it without your open source project. The fact is, someone will and it will NOT be your company in this case.

In the case where your company is directly competing for the same account, why wouldn't you be able to convince the client to hire you since you created the platform the competition is using? Your company should be the known absolute experts. Try to claim you can build a better basecamp.com using Ruby On Rails-pause for laughter.

Will making it open source improve the project? Tell your bosses you'll be getting 'free' testing and bug fixing. The code base will become more solid. With your company as the sponsor, very few will be able to make any grand claims to being a better contributor than your company. It's a marketing strategy.

Save the "make the world a better place" for the convention keynote address.

  • What if the competition that uses our open-source library won't mention that they use our open-source library? How can we win that customer with the argument you give if this happens? – MrSoundless Jun 2 '14 at 14:48
  • @MrSoundless: In that scenario, you tell them to stop violating your license (and possibly sue them). – Brian Jun 2 '14 at 15:06
  • @MrSoundless - Tell your clients that anyone NOT using this project is reinventing the wheel, will be prone to errors and will eventually charge the client more in fees because of this. Of course, your competition will not admit that to the client. – JeffO Jun 2 '14 at 15:35
  • 'course you could licence it under the GPL.. then if the competition did use your library, all their codez belongs to you!!!1!!!1!! (well, their code has to be released under the GPL too, of course). You can offer dual-licencing too so you don't need to do the same! – gbjbaanb Jun 2 '14 at 15:42

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