[Consortium] [OT] to explain myself (and alternatives to bounties)

Daniel James daniel at 64studio.com
Thu Mar 23 09:21:20 EST 2006

Hi Jaromil,

> Mark
> hosted 10 debian developers in his big villa with swimming pool

I don't doubt that Mark lives in some comfort, but that's not my point. 
Globally speaking, pretty much all software developers are members of 
the elite, so riches are relative.

 > still we're having one man show and is about
> the rich one in the whole project.

Given that Mark's alternative was to *not* invest in free software 
development, which most millionaires probably don't, I don't think 
that's a serious objection.

> for us western people it should be even more clear after what happened
> in New Orleans: apartheid still exists

Sure, but Mark made his money from digital certificates, not directly 
from colonial exploitation. You can even be born into a rich, colonial 
family and still do good work. And I think George Bush has more 
responsibility for New Orleans than Mark does.

> then my position regarding mister Shuttleworth's philantropy is that
> devolving money in opensource to make your own brand of it is not a
> relevant "humanitarian" effort for someone living in such a context;

I think you'll find that The Shuttleworth Foundation is Mark's 
philanthropic project:


I recall him saying that he's not yet sure whether Ubuntu will turn out 
to be philanthropy or a business investment.

> plus i have strong doubts about the "single rich benefactor" way to
> sustain free software.

Here I agree with you; it needs a broader base of funding. State grants 
aren't too reliable either. However there are a lot of very rich 
individuals in the computer business, and if they want to put a few 
million dollars towards paying free software hackers then I don't have a 
problem with that. Sure, the funding may not always follow the agenda of 
the users - I am deeply uneasy about the {Mozilla/Google/Chinese 
government} triangle for instance - but it's for the users to deal with 

>>If you've got suggestions for a better way of distributing resources, 
>>I'd be glad to hear them. Is there a middle way between bounties and 
>>having hackers under contract, i.e. in proper jobs?
> my vision of it is more related to "self-sustained" communities.
> i explained myself in a roundtable held at piksel.no last year and Janet
> Casey wrote an interesting text about our discussion here:
> http://www.sustainablesource.net/?p=15

Thanks for the link. I'm aware of community finance like this operating 
within certain ethnic groups in the UK, and also through credit unions. 
However I'm not aware that any free software projects are cross-funding 
each other in this way - the collaboration seems to be mostly at the 
technical level, not at the financial.



More information about the Consortium mailing list