Subject: Re: Mandatory donations or build from CVS...
From: burton@relativity.yi.org (Kevin A. Burton)
Date: 12 Oct 2001 16:16:27 -0700

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Seth Gordon <sethg@ropine.com> writes:

>    Really?  $5.00 is a cup of coffee :)  Most of the software I write 
>    is for "power users" anyway.  :)
> 
> According to "apt-cache status", my home Linux machine has about eight
> thousand Debian packages on it.  If I had to pay five dollars, or even
> twenty-five cents, to download every one of those packages ... you do the
> math.

The apt cache keeps around backups of older packages.  If you have 8000 packages
you need to flush your cache :)

The numbers can be changed.  Right now I have 633 packages on my machine.
Unfortunately the transaction cost would be high to pay all these developers.
Paying something like $.25 would be more logical in this situation.

>    I think the Internet community needs to *seriously* get over the free ride
>    they have been getting for soo long :)
> 
> Some people who provide "content" over the Internet need to *seriously* get
> over the idea that the world owes them a living.

Then maybe some users need to *seriously* get over the idea that the Internet
owes them content :)

>    I don't consider that they are paying $5.00 for the convenience of
>    installing software (perhaps I should have clarified that fact).  The
>    important thing here is to fund the projects future development and
>    encourage more Open Source software.
> 
> Ah, but how do I know -- particularly before downloading it -- that helping to
> develop *your* piece of software is worth $5.00?  Maybe I should give that
> money to the FSF, or Debian, or the OpenBSD project.

Yes.  I think that this conversation has helped my to appreciate the fact that I
need to provide a free download (although deprecated).  The $ download would be
listed first and would be the easiest to use.
<snip>

> 
> After the way I was burned by PayPal's customer service (see
> http://ropine.com/essays/paypal.html), I have no intention of signing up to
> use PayPal.

Understood.  This is why we need a better system for this.  Not just paypal.
<snip>

> 
>    My idea right now is to use the CVS repository to build up metainfo so that
>    you can give out "gifts" proportionately.  IE if user "alice" does 90% of
>    the work and "bob" does 10% then a gift of $10 to ProjectX would yield $9
>    going to alice and $1 going to bob.
> 
> And if Alice believes that her contribution represents 90% of the work, while
> Bob believes that his represents 20% of the work, how are you going to
> arbitrate between them?  What happens when you have not only two, but hundreds
> of developers competing for credit?  And what about the people who write
> documentation, maintain the Web site, and answer newbies' questions on the
> project's email list?  How much time will this kind of decision-making take
> away from actual development of the software?  And how will you compensate the
> person who makes the decisions?

All of this is handled by reputation which is what I have been working on within
the OpenPrivacy project (http://www.openprivacy.org).  These issues (and my more
BTW) are what we are trying to solve.

The CVS metainfo is just a tool not the answer to *all* of our problems.  :)

Kevin

- -- 

   Need a good Engineer?  Hire me!  ( Java | P2P | XML | Linux | Open Source )

Kevin A. Burton burton@apache.org, burton@openprivacy.org, burtonator@acm.org )
  Jabber: burtonator@jabber.com Cell: 415-595-9965 URL: http://relativity.yi.org 

The future is not set.  There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.
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