Subject: Re: ransom
From: Adam Theo <adamtheo@theoretic.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 04:33:00 -0400

Tom Lord wrote:

> Isn't holding code for ransom kind of obnoxious?
> 
> Why should individual developers have to stoop to such levels
> just to get paid?


I don't think it's "obnoxious" at all. And I certainly don't consider 
Ransom to be lowering one's standards.

I see Ransom as a very fair, viable, and promising model for developers. 
I see Ransom enabling many more "traditional" or "closed source" 
programmers to migrate over to free software. The biggest drawback to 
free software to most proprietary programmers, I think, is that they 
need to get paid. Some form of a steady paycheck is needed, even if it's 
a "freelance" type pay instead of salary. Employment at a Free/Open 
Source company is an option, but there are only so many of those jobs to 
go around. The vast bulk of free programmers won't ever work for 
software development companies, they'll be on their own.


> Also: By all external appearences, MS manages to pay for a lot of code
> that is never released becaused it isn't any good.  The freedom to
> *select* from an oversupply of engineering effort would seem to be a
> key factor in MSFT's success.  Solving the "FSB question" would seem
> to require finding a way to pay for a similar oversupply.


Hmm... How so? are you suggesting some type of model to "balance out"
the accounting and bookkeeping of a free software development company?
Not sure how viable this could be, but worth a look into, I guess.

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