Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tied To A Programmer...

A recent post on SitePoint raised a red flag about coding ethics and the new "right" for Internet development efforts. The poster explained that because his "coder" would be needed for the entire life of the site-- he [the website owner] felt obligated to offer some sort of profit sharing plan-- to keep the coder onboard. It was also implied that the programmer had already completed a great deal of work on the site.

My initial response-- paraphrasing:
... if the coder were that important then something was wrong with the methodology he was using to develop code for the site. Any skilled programmer should be able to go in and later make changes or updates to the site, including programs.

Again, this was my initial response.

I later thought about some of my own offerings using the Java programming language, in which I do not offer source code. My Java tools are meant to be add-on features to most clients and not the major programming framework for the client's site. No I will not be providing the Java source code for tools that are developed in this environment. In addition, more and more PHP developers are using tools to hide from prying eyes-- work done in this open source language.

If I were developing a large database application that used Java [JDBC] access and it was the major framework for the client's site-- I would need to provide the source code-- so that the site owner would have options if I left or became otherwise unavailable.

I would not and do not provide the source code for the WordPress Blogger Calendar which uses Java [JDBC] servlet technology. The Blogger Calendar uses a end user type software agreement. The term "End User" Software Agreement has become a bit dysfunctional with Internet programming efforts.

What is the right answer? The wording in the contract that is signed and agreed upon by both parties before work begins.

Reference Posts: Blogger Calendar

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