Friday, March 6, 2009

Selling Sqlite encryption patches, maybe

While I'm not fond of programming, I am capable of doing it. I tend towards filling needs I see in my own life. One of the needs I've seen is -- well, let's not go too deep into that since I'm still working on it before looking to sell it.

That said, I needed a product called Sqlite to do my database storage. Sqlite is an awesome embedded SQL database product that I've already used for stuff at work. Because of "Program1", I needed it to do encryption inside its code. Since I'm broke, I couldn't pay for the encryption that Hwaci sells for Sqlite. Rather than give up on encrypted Sqlite, I went ahead and rewrote the code myself.

Now I'm divided. Normally, I'd just put this kind of code up under a BSD or GPL license and let it be free. OTOH, Hwaci sells it, why not me too? rms would be terribly disappointed, but I've always been a BSD kind of guy anyway.

The fundamental problem is that the value of software is approaching zero. The work that has funded Hwaci and Sqlite cost me a couple of bus ride's worth of code; a pastime that would have otherwise been wasted elsewhere. I could price my labor at $100, and drive their $2000 down. If I license it with the new BSD license, then it drives their $2000 down to $0.

So, if you need Sqlite encryption and can't afford Hwaci, talk to me. Otherwise, wait and I might just pull an rms and release it for free.


Babblo said...

Did you take a decition? I need that extension.

Unknown said...

I'm curious as to why you *wouldn't* release it for free.

Clearly, the advantage you get with a $2000 license is the support and knowledge that there's someone guaranteeing the result is correct. Any company will probably go that route as opposed to using whatever you have. Releasing the code would be something useful to the community, and enable others to build on that.