Subject: Re: Perens on arch
From: Tom Lord <>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 17:42:10 -0800 (PST)

   Stephen J. Turnbull writes:
    > Are you kidding?  There are three ways for the developer to go, as I
    > see it:
   Four.  Find a patron, and have him fund you through a non-profit.
   There is not yet any non-profit which will transfer 100% of donations
   through to developers, in return for a tax write-off because the
   software is open-source.  Not *quite* yet.

I don't think there's anything necessarilly unprofitable or charitable
about the patronage model which I see as simply paying for services
which are hard to describe or contract for with precision, often
because they involve open-ended contributions to an evolving social
state rather than performance of specific tasks.  One might be a
patron of local artists because, in addition to producing particular
commissioned works, they are the primary instigators of a certain
landscape of local culture -- a culture that provides the context in
which their artistic works can occur and be appreciated.

Sustained software engineering (as opposed to software engineering
towards a very particular specification) is an example of such a
service.  It involves being among the primary instigators of a
particular region of the world-wide engineering culture.