Subject: Re: open source definition
From: Scott Goehring <scott@poverty.bloomington.in.us>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 14:46:16 -0500

"bruce" == bruce  <bruce@va.debian.org> writes:

bruce> As one of the authors, I find I am well paid in intangibles. I
bruce> am flown around the world to talk about this software, and thus
bruce> much of the cost of my vacations is paid for by the trade shows
bruce> where I speak. I get to meet interesting people - for example
bruce> last weekend I met the ex-president of Hati, and the
bruce> ex-Prime-Minister of Canada, and some of the current cabinet of
bruce> Israel. Publishers are banging on my door for me to write for
bruce> them. Job offers arrive unsolicited. My hobby project has flown
bruce> on the space shuttle because it's part of the Debian
bruce> system. That sounds like sufficient payment to me.

But it wouldn't be for me.  Neither my landlord nor the grocery store
accept any of the above commodities in exchange for rent or food.  The
foregoing attitude toward compensation limits open software
development to people who are (a) sufficiently wealthy to be able to
live off portfolio income (b) sufficiently lucky to have employment
which leaves them with adequate time to pursue free software _as a
hobby_, or (c) funded by a third party (parents or government).  (a)
encompasses a vanishingly small portion of the populations; (b) is
certainly not a large part of it.  Most open software authors are (c),
with the third party largely being the government, in the form of
student loans.  (Happens to be where I am, as well.)