Tania: Why Did We Open Source Our Software?

My wife and I started home gardening as a hobby since three years ago. Since that time, we grow our plants with the hydroponic and organic method. We take notes about our crops condition. So we can track our history of the crops from time to time and can use it as a reference for the next growing batch. We used to write the notes in a handwritten journal. It was tedious. Therefore, we were looking for a software solution. We found some, but we feel they are too costly for a gardening hobbyist. Fortunately, my wife and I are a programmer. Therefore, we coded our solution. It was like the bird, and the bee, Tania our farm management software was born to solve our problem in our home garden.

If we face the problems in our home garden, presumably other urban farmers are. Therefore, after many iterations of Tania, we were thinking to release our software to the public. So we did it in mid-2017. We put it on Github under Apache 2.0 open source license. It means people can use it for free and modify the source code for whatever purpose.

Maybe you will ask why do we release our software as a free and open source software? The answer is straightforward if we as a hobbyist cannot afford to pay monthly subscription only to use farm management software, neither you do. Moreover, by releasing our software under open source license, we get many feedbacks from farmers around the world to make Tania more perfect. For us, it is more valuable than just money.

Don’t we want to earn extra money from our hard work to develop the software? Of course, we do. We need money to support our gardening hobby. However, we do not monetise it by charging fees to use our farm management software. We are in the development process to bring in an affordable smart farming solution that can automate some operations on your urban farm or home garden and integrate it with Tania, our free and open source software.

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