Subject: Re: Bounty for Bugs in Open Source Projects?
From: David Ascher <>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 08:15:15 -0700

Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

>OK, it was a while back (yikes! at least two years ... I must be
>getting OLD), although most of the people who were involved that I
>remember were Europeans.
Yup, I know most of them.  They're all great, but "muscle" isn't the 
term that comes to mind.

>Let's summarize what I observe that's current.  The PSF is pretty much
>invisible on python-dev, except when people talk about legal stuff and
Agreed.  I'm doing what I can to change that, but it's certainly true.  
What's also true is that the PSF owns Python, manages, is 
working to strengthen the IP story, is working on the Python TM 
guidelines, etc.  Not activities that belong on python-dev, but 
important nonetheless.

>I think the PSF does show up indirectly, in that people
>don't worry much about legal issues etc. except when something
>"interesting" happens (eg, the discussion about whether some
>IBM-patented software could now be used in Python)---people trust the
>PSF to have it taken care of.  (I don't think I've _ever_ seen a post
>from GvR about legal matters.)  
GvR has unfortunately had too many dealings w/ lawyers over the years, 
and is fairly burnt out on the topic.  Viz. the BeOpen and CNRI 
dealings.  I've noticed that in the last few years we've gone from 
everyone in open source being quite happy to engage in all kinds of 
conversations on IP topics (licenses, copyrights, etc.), to most people 
being quite happy not to think or talk about them.  Not too surprising, 
but notable =).

>I did see mention of an intern that
>was funded by the PSF, 
Not to my knowledge.  We've funded a python-dev person making it to 
PyCon this year, and have some grants.  No interns.  Turtles (aka 
volunteers) all the way down.

>but this is all very small compared to the huge
>amount of development, administrative, and marketing activity
>contributed by people who are either owners or employees of Python-
>based businesses.
Agreed! I don't want to claim that the PSF is more than it is.  At this 
point, it has been focused on establishing legal ownership, establishing 
a legal umbrella that could represent Python.  We've experimented with 
spending some of our assets to apply "high-leverage" funding to solve 
Python problems (i.e. getting Jython back into shape), but I don't see 
it as our core mandate.

The PSF is explicitely not run as a development shop or broker.  The 
Python Consortium (the predecessor to the PSF) was, and it was a 
failure.  There are lots of reasons for that, including a crash, 
but many of the relevant ones to this list are those that have been 
mentioned before -- the numbers don't really make sense for anyone but 
the broker -- it's much easier to setup contracts between funders and 
fundees, and get the middle-man out of the process.

>Thank you.  :-)  I've been wasting far too much time on checking
>irrelevant facts in my day job, and got lazy when it actually
No worries.  It's hard enough to make sure that the PSF membership (and 
python-dev) understand what the PSF is or isn't about, so I figured I'd 
correct it in this 'peripheral' audience.

-- David