Read this (now deleted) blog post by a dev at Oracle: No, You Really Can’t
There is so much wrong with that post. But I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to put down 3000 words deconstructing Oracle’s entire business model and world-view. Instead, I’ll just explain how we do the exact opposite.
GForge offers up the entire(*) code base for customers to examine, scan, and even change. We maintain customer-accessible Git repositories (on gforge.com, of course), so that customers have constant access to the current released version (that would be 6.4.1) and the version that’s in development, which we also deploy and use ourselves every day at gforge.com.
GForge customers can maintain their own Git repo (with, say, custom theme elements, or code to integrate with a custom database, or whatever), pull from ours, and keep up to date with new features, security patches and everything else we come out with.
As if that’s not easy enough, we also regularly send patches to customers to fix specific problems they report, even if they’re not at the current release version. You don’t have to wait six months for the Oracle mega-patch, and get 3000 other changes you didn’t ask for.
Lastly, customers can (and are encouraged to) send us patches for things they have fixed or improved. When Tony and I were GForge customers, we did this on a couple of occasions. You’re welcome.
Every day, we try to treat customers the way we like to be treated. Customer access to the source is just one reflection of that value.
PS – As if on cue, here’s a great example of why you don’t want to wait six months for the vendor’s bug fixes.
*Okay, okay. There’s one file that we encrypt, that handles validation of the customer’s license key. I know Richard Stallman is pro-actively spinning in his grave, but if you really want to see what’s in there, I’m sure we can arrange something.