[thelist] development time cost on new functionality

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Tue Jul 19 15:49:43 CDT 2011

On 19 Jul 2011, at 16:45, Fred Jones wrote:

>  What if my "tool" is
> a custom Drupal module that I built for Client A and my *basic* work
> agreement with Client B is hourly. Now Client B asks for essentially
> the same feature.
> I used to say "Hey, I already have that coded so it will only take 30
> minutes to install/configure for your site."

Assumption: that the way you coded it for client A is *exactly* what client B needs.

This is very rare. 

The point about productisation is that it takes time to clean everything up and document such that it's good enough for multiple customers in a productised environment.

And there's the ongoing support too. 

> Now I wonder how I can re-charge for those 5 hours I spent to write it
> for Client A. I tell B:
> Yes, I could add such a feature to your site. Since I have done
> something similar in the past, this one item I will bill for you at a
> fixed cost of 5 hours of work.
> The module is inherently open source, due to being based on Drupal,
> but I am allowed to charge for it as per
> http://drupal.org/licensing/faq/#q9 .

Hmm I'd very much question that modules and themes against a public API are derivative works.

While IANAL, I'd think that the FAQ detail: "That is, Drupal's PHP code is under the GPL, and so all PHP code that interacts with it must also be under the GPL or GPL compatible. " is utter bollocks (to use a legal phrase). That would mean that PHP that produces an interface that Drupal consumes would also be GPL - a nonsense.


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