Donations in kde bug tracking system

daniel dan at
Sat Jul 6 19:09:09 BST 2002

this is most likely the last response i'll be making to this thread
as it is the weekend and i'm gonna be away from my machine for some time

i'm not opposed to capitalism's influence in OpenSource software.  rather, i
understand all too well the importance of companies like suse in the
development of technologies like kde.  but what you're suggesting isn't
/involvement/ it's control.

individuals can amass into a community and remain free to work as they
please on projects like kde, due to the non-unified nature of the movement.
and corporations, even with their massive stores of cash can exert little or
no control over the free members of a community due to the absence of a
monetary reward for work done.  Free software is developed by people who
want good tools, not by people who want good paycheques.  this is the
singular barrier between the corporate world (i.e.. micros~1) and the Free
world (linux).

the system you're suggesting removes that barrier and invites the work ethic
(for lack of a better term) of the corporate world into ours -- something
that would undermine everything Free software stands for.

my example of 'corporation A' single-handedly directing the production of a
project for it's own means (a closed source software package in this
particular instance) _is_ a valid argument because it shows just how a
single entity can completely emasculate a strong movement like kde, apache
or even the kernel by throwing money at it.  i.e.. corporations are "more
free" than individuals because they can afford it.

if you don't believe/understand what i'm talking about, here's some real
world examples:

oil companies routinely contribute large amounts of cash to organisations
lobbying for looser government controls on industries like car and energy

the american political system has long been corrupted by major companies
throwing money at key senators and presidents to get their way (micros~1 IS

insurance companies do much the same as oil companies, lobbying to make sure
that Canada's medicare system dissolves and that it never becomes a reality
in the states.

and last but not least, the big pharmaceutical companies are hardly in it
for the public good.  drugs are routinely pushed through government
regulation so that they'll be able to hit the shelves faster.  prozac has
even been re-released under a new name airing with commercials that imply
that if you're having a bad day, you MUST be depressed.

money corrupts.
and the system you're proposing would completely undermine Free software.

that's it
i'm up to 6cents i think
anyone know if bazooka joe is still available for a nickel?

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 05, 2002 8:05 PM
Subject: Re: [kde] Donations in kde bug tracking system

> > linux is an free-software project, but numerous companies, namely the
> > you mentioned have been distributing it with closed-source software at
> > base of the system.  most notable of these programs is suse's yast and
> yast2
> > which impliment closed source software to configure/update your system.
> > caldera also hase a questionable reputation when it comes to the use of
> > non-free software in conjuntion with linux.
> >
> > sony has recently released linux for the ps2 and has conveniently found
> ways
> > around the gpl that don't _technically_ violate the gpl.  but in the
> > of one user: "it does some pretty shitty things" to it.
> >
> >
> that is all fine, but how is an open-close source argument relevant to the
> discution of donating money to KDE, a free and open source software?
> > the fact is that free software is _not_ a capitalist concept, it is in
> fact
> > the complete opposite.  work is done by users to make a good product,
> to
> > get paid.  it's what's driven projects like apache and the kernel
> itself --
> > two things that suse and caldera would be nothing without.
> no, it is not the opposite. Open source is about developers donating code
> the comunity. That is perfectly compatible with capitalism, as it has been
> proven by linux companies. Both apache and the kernel have had a great
> of contribution from the comercial companies, and that have not hurt them
> all.
> I am sure you are not suggesting we are better off withought Suse, which
> quite a few employees working in KDE.
> The thing is that more than often you hear:
> "Nobody is paying me to do it, so I do what I please" and
> "If you want that feature, do it yourself".
> Both frases are a problem because not everybody is a developer and there
> some things that users want that developers are not interested in.
> If users could donate money for a particular bug fix, they are trully
> contributing to the project in their own way. Right now, users don't
> have a way to contribute to KDE other than a simple bug report, we are
> excluding a good deal of people who might be  willing to help.
> > >> money has the long-standing tratition of tainting things with greed
> > >> 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.
> >
> > one word: micros~1.
> Again, how is microsoft, a closed source monster company, relevant at all
> the issue of donating money to KDE?
> > i more or less stated this above, but money hurts an OpenSource project
> > corrupting the ideals behind the project.  sure, i'd love to give some
> cash
> > to the guys who build this gui.  gods know they deserve a hell of a lot
> more
> > financial aid than they're getting, but i'd rather do that in an
> > venue like a launch party or by offering some work of my own in return.
> > setting up a system which allows the donation of cash to individual
> projects
> > just leaves things wide open for corruption.
> True that is a great way to give to the developers. However, that is not
> very productive. My approach would give developers an incentive to work
> on KDE, developers will listen more to users ( they will receive money for
> that ), and users will feel part of the team (a good thing).
> >
> > hypothetical example:
> >
> > company A wants some project to be developed.  so they not only start
> > but then contribute LOTS of money to it.  developers flock to the
> > drawn to it by the lure of the fat cheque and suddenly, company A now
> a
> > new shiny plugin for their closed-source software that will now dominate
> the
> > linux platform.  additional money can be contributed to projects that
> serve
> > no other purpose save keeping talented programmers away from their
> > competition's projects etc. etc.
> Again, why do you bring closed source into the matter? KDE won't become
> closed source because some user donates money.
> if other companies put money into KDE to prevent people from working into
> say GNOME,  then great, we can allways use more developers. Even if the
> intentions are not good, that is a good thing for KDE.
> > when you enter money into the equasion, corruption inevitably follows.
> > corporations and rich individuals are then given a means to shape,
> > and control the outcome of a project that was originally founded by a
> > public.
> This is a good point. If Suse wants people to do stuff, they could put
> into whatever pleases them. Other parts of KDE would loose developers. I
> still don't know if this is something to worry about though.
> > People are
> > greedy.  developers and blue-blooded bourgeouis alike.  at present, the
> > Free-software culture is out of the reach of the money-driven world
> because
> > it's main engine, the software itself remains free of control from
> > who would push to own a piece of it.
> No, it is not out of reach. Again, IBM, SuSE, Red Hat, and a lot of other
> companies ARE selling open source software, and there is nothing wrong
> that. That does not make the code any less open or hurt it at all.
> And great, let them push, let them donate money to KDE, that is exactly
> idea, let them ask hard (with money) for what they want.
> Yet again, how is this relevant to kde donations?
> > all of the above said, i would like to suggest that we, as a community
> > to interact on more personal level in the form of launch parties and the
> > like.  it would give the large number of us, the users the chance to
> > the developers and pay proper respects.  money can always be involved at
> > that level, the community saying 'thank you' in the form of gifts etc.
> > the leaders of said community.  but a system designed to pay developers
> > work on certain projects is crossing the line.
> that is just an opinion. I am interested on real reasons why it would be
> harmfull  for KDE.
> Now, quoting Tim:
> > No, I tend to agree.  The motivation for the projects would change from
> one of
> > pride of ownership (I'm not releasing this till it's right!) to one of
> > monetary (I need some quick cash, what can I code tonight?).
> > We may end up with a bunch of thrown together hacks and unmanageable
> > instead of some solid mantainable code
> This is a very good point. I have to agree that is a problem. But rather
> than just dismissing the hole idea, I would like to ask for solutions on
> this issue.
> The problem is knowing if a bug or feature is fixed cleanly and it is
> fixed, not just a quick hack.
> One way is if someone is in charge of deciding if a bug is trully and
> cleanly fixed. This is a big problem because I don't thing anyone would
> to do it for free.
> Other way is to consider the bug fixed if after a month (or whatever
> of time you please) there are no complaints. This would also be a problem
> because the money would not be sent up until a month after the fix is
> and it still leaves room for quick hacks.
> Being a developer myself and seeing the quality of KDE's code, I think KDE
> developers are artists, and are very perfeccionists. I would trust them to
> do a good job.
> ___________________________________________________
> This message is from the kde mailing list.
> Account management:
> Archives:
> More info:

This message is from the kde mailing list.
Account management:
More info:

More information about the kde mailing list