Kash - payed support?

George Staikos staikos at kde.org
Sat Aug 16 21:53:19 BST 2003

On Saturday 16 August 2003 15:13, Roger Larsson wrote:
> On Saturday 16 August 2003 17.38, George Staikos wrote:
> >    We don't have that choice.  KDE doesn't have a marketing team, paid
> > developers who will fix bugs and add features on demand, 24/7 phone
> > support, and people with contacts to the CIOs and IT managers at business
> > who can travel to their business, take them out for expensive dinners,
> > and offer them discounts on software and a free weekend at the company
> > condo on the beach in the carribbean.
> Paid support should not need to be that far away...
> (I got this idea in another discussion on www.gnuheter.org)
> Today we can vote on bugs and wishlist items (all votes being equal).
> Suppose there were a golden vote? (Payed with Kash)
> Suppose you could buy a golden vote with 1 Kash (40€)
> * The persons who solves the problem shares the golden Kash
> 	The reporter decides if the problem is solved and who should
> 	get the money.

   This sort of thing has been tried many times by various companies and 
organisations, and generally it seems to fail.  In order for me personally to 
take time out of my life to fix KDE bugs, I need there to be a substantial 
	- my hobby
	- my business needs
	- money

   40 EUR for what could be hours of work (including time spent actually 
getting the money, dealing with taxes, etc) is really not worth it.  In 
addition, the economy of software is that you can write it once, and have 
10^5 users use the feature, so the cost of the feature to each user is small 
- $100/10^5 == one tenth of a penny or so.  This new model results in a user 
with three bug/feature fixes paying (ex) 120 EUR..  I'm guessing a copy of 
Windows with support costs less.  They'll fix your bugs for free.  From a 
user perspective, if I'm going to invest that kind of money, I'll go with an 
alternative solution.

   This might be a good idea for students, or for those from an economy where 
a relatively small cash value in EUR/$US is actually a very significant 
amount of money and justifies the work.  For most of the existing KDE 
developers, however, I think the small amount of money to fix an 
uninteresting bug or feature is not worth it.  At least it isn't from my 

   I think this is a very difficult thing to organise too.  What is the user 
going to say when developer X reverts the "fix" from developer Y because it 
is incorrect or interferes with other functionality?  That's just one example 
of the many potential conflicts that can arise.  In an environment such as 
Ximian, if their fixes and features aren't accepted into mainline Gnome, it 
doesn't matter because they only support and ship their own desktop anyways.  
They just keep updating their patches.

   It's a very difficult problem.  Not something I particularily want to be 
involved with.

George Staikos
KDE Developer				http://www.kde.org/
Staikos Computing Services Inc.		http://www.staikos.net/

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