Donations in kde bug tracking system

Paul Pacheco paul.pacheco at
Fri Jul 5 21:52:06 BST 2002

I understand you are against it, but I fail to see your points. 

> i personally don't like the idea of money mixing with OpenSource concepts.

It is a little late for this. IBM, Mandrake, Suse, HP, etc... you name it. 
They are all in for the money and they do sell boxed copies of KDE ( with 
linux also :) ). Guess what, that has turned out to be a very good thing for 
KDE. The mix has actually been very benefitial for a lot of open source 

Consider the recent offer of $200k to make linux run on the xbox. That can 
only help linux get more people working on that.

> money has the long-standing tratition of tainting things with greed and
> impeding progress/innovation.

If anything, I can argue the opposite. Companies are usually forced to 
progress/innovate to be able to survive. If they don't move, they are left 
out of market. Companies such as the ones I mentioned earlier are constantly 
putting new features and fixing bugs in linux distributions, and helping kde 
in the process, to avoid being left out of the game. 
Now, money does not drive a tipical kde developer, but since most of them are 
not currently receiving anything, it can't hurt :)
Please explain why you think money can hurt progress/innovation in KDE.

> and the foundation of free software is exactly
> that: free.  

It would still be as free as it is today. Nobody ever said anything about 
charging for bugs. I am talking about voluntary donations, or incentives from 
the users to the developers. It would be a form of gratitude from whoever 
wants to thank with money.

> developers have to be free to work on whichever project they
> think deserves their attention, not pushed into a project by the tasty
> reward offered.

They would still be free to work on whatever they see fit, I am not suggesting 
any restriction at all. And nobody would push nobody. Rather than a "push" it 
would be an incentive. And there is nothing wrong on giving incentives to 
developers, after all if someone is willing paying for fixing a bug, then the 
bug is hurting.

It can be true that sometimes a developer might choose one bug over a more 
important one because of the reward. Here, I can see a point. However, it 
will also be true that developers will work more on kde just because they can 
get something out of it (this is a good thing). Also, there are some bugs or 
features that nobody want to fix/implement. Some of these are badly wanted by 
many users. Money would be a great way to give incentives to developers to 
work on them.

> if financial rewards are suddenly available, you invite all the evils that
> come with the concept of monetary exchange for services rendered, 

what "evils" are you talking about? I am not talking about suddenly putting an 
EULA on KDE, it is just donations.

> rather
> than operating the OpenSource movement on something more /open/ to
> innovation: the need for free, stable and powerful software.
How are donations less /open/?

- Developers would win with this. They would receive something for their work.
- Users would win with this. The most badly wanted bugs will supposedly get 
fixed sooner.
- KDE would win with this. Developers will spend more time fixing bugs, 
because they have an extra incentive.

I do not see what is wrong with this picture :)
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