[LAU] A year of Linux Audio revisited - would like to know your oppinion

david gnome at hawaii.rr.com
Fri Dec 14 03:41:28 EST 2007

Pieter Palmers wrote:
> Lars Luthman wrote:
>> On Thu, 2007-12-13 at 07:28 -0500, drew Roberts wrote:
>>> On Thursday 13 December 2007 04:53:20 Pieter Palmers wrote:
>>>> I think they have a large 'value' and could be able to be
>>>> self-supportive. The question is "why aren't they?".
>>> Further questions in that vein:
>>> Do they want to be?
>> My guess is that most don't. I don't. I know that my software isn't in
>> any way as significant as the likes of Ardour and Rosegarden so I may
>> not be very representative, but on the other hand there are lots of
>> other people writing free audio software who have never done anything on
>> that scale and probably never will either. I see it as a hobby. If I had
>> to do it full time I would probably get bored rather quickly.
> For me it's also a hobby, and probably will always remain one. Maybe 
> once I have $10M ( will happen _very_ soon :P ) I can eliminate the 
> 'daytime job' from my time schedule and hence free up some time for my 
> hobby.
> The problem with hobby-projects is that users are really dependent on 
> the goodwill of the hobbyist. If the hobbyist doesn't feel like 
> supporting or developing some piece of software anymore, the user is 
> screwed. That's not very professional (<<< !!inflammable term alert!!).
> Some traditional counter-arguments:
> * "When a company stops selling/supporting the user is also screwed". 
> True, but if the 'hobbyist' would have to pay his bills with money from 
> his users, the 'stop support' decision gets a whole new dimension. If a 
> company pulls this off too often, they are out of business in no time.
> * "The user (or community) has the source and hence development can go 
> on". How realistic is this? I've been lurking on the hydrogen 
> development list for quite some time now, and when Allesandro (Comix) 
> stopped actively developing the complete project stalled. OTOH, I'm also 
> lurking on the Mixxx list, and in that case some new people have 
> continued the work.
> Conclusion: I don't know the exact merit of this argument. The main 
> issue regarding 'profesionnality' is that as a user you can't rely on 
> someone taking over the work. The entry barrier to get into someone 
> else's code is usually pretty high. Unless it's well-documented. But 
> since documentation is something most developers don't like...
> The whole thing is IMHO an illustration of the catch22 I mentioned 
> earlier. As long as people can't rely on their software, they can't 
> (?shouldn't?) use it professionally. It's difficult to rely on 
> hobby-projects, since the exit barrier is so low.
>> Also, the "free" as in "no money needed" is a big reason for me to use
>> free software, though not the only one. I don't pay for using free
>> software, and I don't expect anyone to pay me for using mine.
> I don't pay for my software either, at least not in monetary terms. I do 
> contribute quite some time and code to the 'free software collection'.
> An act that I consider to be equivalent to paying. And for those that 
> can't code, there's plenty of documentation, patch-writing, ... work. I 
> pity those that can't write, but they should also be contributing 
> something IMHO. At the 'lowest' level that might even be monetary 
> contribution. For me, taking without giving is free-riding. Which is the 
> inevitable side-effect of what we're doing, but still is 'morally' wrong.
> To summarize: I don't expect people to pay for my software, but I do 
> expect them to give something to the community.
> I might seem to be a money-oriented capitalist bastard to some, but 
> think about this: the open-source concept is actually a very 'communist' 
>   concept (or what is the correct english term). One of the basic ideas 
> of communism is that everyone contributes to the wealth of the 
> 'community'. Which in turn takes care of it's people. At least, that's 
> the theory. History seems to learn us that things, or should I say 
> 'people', don't work that way. And, again IMHO, the failure of the 
> theory is not due to those that give, but due to those that don't give.

Actually, in many many ways, Open Source is a product of a great
abundance of programming time, because programmers were being well paid
by their employers and not so overworked that they couldn't pursue their
personal programming activities on their time off.

As the US economy collapses under the combined forces of greed and its
handmaiden (outsourcing), these surplus programming resources will decline.

gnome at hawaii.rr.com
authenticity, honesty, community

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