First and foremost, I want to apologize personally about the delay before making a public announcement. We were busy tying up the loose ends on our side. It will take a few more weeks before our website comes online.
I want to use the opportunity to disclose some information, including our strategy. We firmly believe that the community has the right to know and understand where we are coming from, where we stand and where we are headed to.
DuctiSoft Inc is a privately held Canadian company founded on January 13th 2007. Its primary mission is to develop and promote ObjectDCL as a development platform for building tools dedicated to the AutoCAD environment that provide productivity gains. The board of administrators and executive officers are responding to the company stakeholders and to the community of users.
I, Martin Leduc, am a Canadian software engineer with telecommunication industry background. I bring with me years of expertise in research and development, software engineering processes, software test automation and the operation of quality control tools. The projects I worked on managed to rival the performance of the best software company on metrics such as defect rate per line of source code and long term defect rate per man-month.
In order to ensure the continuity of the product life, we studied several business models to find what could best promote the interest of the community, be a viable venture and mobilize the necessary resources to have ObjectDCL reach its full potential.
Part of the process, all options had been visited, including the continuation of the open source project and reliance on closed source development. First, open source projects require a strong core team dedicated to maintaining intellectual control on code change. Second, the most successful open source projects are backed by giant software companies (1). Getting the best minds to display interest to an open source project is expensive (2) as there is competition with other commercial activities they are already engaged into. Third, there is no giant software company backing up ObjectDCL. We can safely say that open source projects can see significant contributions from individuals and evolve quickly. However, the lack of intellectual control on changes can lead to fragile, unmanageable and bloated projects. This has more dire consequences for API projects as opposed to applications. In any case, adopters tend to be rarer in such case, and for good cause.
It is with great regret that we chose to have the GPL license revoked (3) as a condition of buying the rights on the product. We felt that in the eventuality of the open source project evolving in parallel to closed source development, we, as prospect buyer of all copyrights, would retain the moral obligation to manage it ourselves, to maintain intellectual control for it to grow to its full potential. We believe the termination of previously granted rights on the source code is the proper way to ensure the best use of our resources, which otherwise risked to be stretched thin and thus distancing us all from the primary mission.
An incorporated company seems the most efficient mean to jump start a new evolutionary cycle for ObjectDCL. As I mentioned earlier, ObjectDCL’s primary purpose is to generate productivity gains. It is reasonable to mobilize a portion of these gains and funnel it through intense development by a full-time staff. Also, it becomes possible to provide professional services, and to negotiate and share risk in introducing much needed features. All of which can serve to further the development of ObjectDCL. It is more difficult, riskier and less efficient to realize this with other types of organization.
The business model could change in the future, but at this moment, it is the form it will take.
Martin Leduc, P.E.
AutoCAD is a trademark of Autodesk Inc. ObjectDCL is a trademark of DuctiSoft Inc.
Further, this document does not constitute legal advice and MUST NOT be used as substitute for the advice of a lawyer qualified in the particular areas of law to which this document relates. It expresses opinions and information that are provided in good faith.
(1) Open Office is supported by Sun Microsystems. Eclipse was initiated and supported by IBM and now has 115 member companies providing funding. (www.eclispe.org
(2) The eclipse project requires millions of US dollars for its functioning in financial and staff resources. (http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/nov05/cernosek/
(3) International copyright laws grants the right to the author to revoke any license at any time and of any form (including GPL), unless an irrevocable grant of rights is registered to a proper legal body.