Subject: Re: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
From: simo <>
Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 19:59:58 +0000

On Wed, 2008-09-03 at 13:29 -0700, Thomas Lord wrote:
> simo wrote: 
> > On Wed, 2008-09-03 at 12:34 -0700, Thomas Lord wrote:
> >   
> > > 3. Work to *teach* users about the kinds of conflicts
> > >     of rights that software freedom implies:
> > >     (e.g., the perils of Google, the unfair labor
> > >     practices of GNU/Linux vendors).
> > >     
> > 
> > I'd be interested in knowing what are these unfair labor practices.
> >   
> They accept charity that they don't need and financially
> reward a tiny subset who are their "favorite donors".  They
> use that scheme to pay out less in payroll.

I honestly think you have absolutely no idea of what a GNU/linux vendor
exactly does, and what's the value it brings and to *whom*.
Now maybe I am biased because I only known well Debian and Red Hat, but
I really do not see what you tout as fact.

> Thought experiment:
> Many public or semi-public software projects have,
> on their web pages, a link usually named something
> like "get involved" or "how to contribute" or 
> "for developers".    The linked page will tell where
> to get the source, how to tie in to the source
> control system, where the bug reports are kept,
> what the coding standards are ... that kind of thing.
> What if, overnight, we could do a text search and
> replace on all of those links so that all of them 
> were named "work for us without pay".
> That would be completely accurate.   It would 
> not in any way change the infrastructure to disrupt
> work patterns.
> What would happen next?

And what would you gain or demonstrate by such move ?

Do you really think that the people that "donate" their time is stupid
and do not realize exactly what they are doing ?

Ben Tilly and Chris Di Bona already summarized well that there are other
rewards than just money in this field.

I too started *donating* my time. I did it for fun, to help people, and
of course to advertise myself and my skills. This allowed 2 jobs to
literally fall on me when I came to the US.

Also let's not forget that one of the rewards is getting back a lot of
free software from other volunteers or paid programmers alike.

Most people get back ample rewards/returns even if it is not money.

Show me evidence of the contrary please.