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Atlassian doesn't know how to do free software

Recently a buddy of mine sent me a post summing up bad experiences people had with Atlassian's SourceTree. What an angry mob :-)

It's not the first time the company didn't know what to do with its free offering. Once upon a time I worked on Atlassian Connectors for Eclipse and we were struggling to move the product forward. Finally after years it was killed.

If you have a product like JIRA which brings a lot of money and a companion app that is free guess where all the effort will go? We had some good ideas back then - like moving code reviews into IDE. That could have been a great feature but was complex to implement and cost us a lot of time to support (as Eclipse didn't have any nice API and we used a lot of hacks). So the product was castrated at some point to make it simpler to maintain.

At the same time ALM works were working on their JIRA client and after the years Connector is gone and they are still around as they had an incentive to build a product that people want, give them good support and move it forward. As they got paid to do it.

It's not that Atlassian is bad at free software to be honest. I think there's no point in doing free software in the first place. Money is a great indicator of people's interest. If they give you money they find the software useful.

And you don't want to make a useless software, don't you?