[mythtv-users] Re: [mythtv] Isaac's unemployment

K.R. Foley kr at cybsft.com
Wed Mar 10 09:51:45 EST 2004

Jeff wrote:
> At 11:29 PM 3/9/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>> K.R. Foley wrote:
>>> While I agree that some of the things mentioned above would be nice 
>>> to have, I wonder if this is one of the reasons that some folks may 
>>> be uncomfortable taking donations. Please don't misunderstand, I am 
>>> not trying to single out either of the above authors, just replying 
>>> to get this in the thread.
>>> Is it possible that some folks are uncomfortable with taking 
>>> donations because they are afraid that these donations may be used to 
>>> try to steer development? I don't think there is anything wrong with 
>>> a developer agreeing to prioritize tasks based on donations/bids, but 
>>> some developers may not want to go that route. I personally don't 
>>> think that should be a reason not to accept donations. Just make it 
>>> known up front that donations won't steer development.
>>> just my $.02,
>>> kr
>> I competely agree with kr, I think this notion of a bounty system is a 
>> horrible idea and is the opposite of what OSS dev is all about.
>> However, I do strongly agree with an option for donating money to a 
>> central account as it will do a few things:
>> 1) Help show the support in a monetary way
>> 2) Help compensate for any costs this project may create
>> 3) And most of all, provide funding for developers that are writing 
>> hardware specific code and/or want to test as much hardware as 
>> possible without spending a fortune out of their own pocket
>> Also, I can see how one (Isaac, for example) taking all the money 
>> himself may be in conflict of interest with the rest of the developers 
>> working their asses off, but as the father and creator of this 
>> project, I think Isaac "does" have the ultimate decision on this matter.
>> -Drew
> I disagree that a bounty system conflicts with what OSS is all about.
> A bounty system serves lots of purposes and I think it may be part of what
> enables OSS to compete with COTS products. This has been said before but
> OSS is not about free as in free beer, its about free as in freedom.
> For instance, if I'm using an OSS project to run my organization I may 
> either
> not have the funding available to hire a programming staff or I may not be
> able to find people with the necessary skill set in my part of the 
> world. Does this
> mean I shouldn't use an OSS solution? Perhaps OSS is the only thing I can
> afford (think third world countries). The bounty system provides a 
> mechanism by
> which I can "hire others" to do the work that I need. There's no 
> guarantee but
> hopefully if my need is general enough, others will "chime" in and 
> hopefully it
> will get done. If I need it badly enough, perhaps I can fund it entirely 
> myself.
> Everyone benefits from this work as it becomes part of the OSS code base.
> Even OSS programmers need to eat and this may be a mechanism where people
> can make a living in the OSS world instead of treating this as a hobby they
> spend their spare time on. That can only benefit the OSS software, no?
> I'm not saying that a bounty system is right for MythTV, just that I 
> don't think
> it conflicts with the principles of OSS.

Agreed. Let me re-state my position as I am not sure, from some of the 
responses directly to my post (not Jeff's response above), that I was 

1) I have no problem with Issac (or other developers) receiving 
donations of any sort with no strings attached.
2) I have no problem with a bounty system, if that's what the mythtv 
developers want.
3) I have no problem with a pledge/voting/bidding system that drives the 
development, if that's what the mythtv developers want.
4) I have no problem with someone offering to pay the developers an 
amount for a feature that they want, if that's what the developers want.
5) I have no problem with a company offering to pay Isaac (or other 
developers) a nice salary to work on mythtv full-time and by doing so in 
turn they really drive the direction of mythtv development, if that's 
what the developers want.

I have no problems with any of this and think it would be great if Isaac 
and others could make a living working on what they enjoy doing, if 
that's what they want. The point I was trying to make in my original 
post is that not all developers want THEIR projects being controlled by 
outside sources nor do they want to listen to "well I donated some money 
so my feature request should take precedence over yours". If they do 
then I don't have a problem with it. It's their choice.

I work for a living as do most of the rest of us here. I enjoy 
contributing when/where I can to oss and helping others, but make no 
mistake about it, feeding my family comes first. I do not think that 
good software has to be free ($). That's how I make my living. I don't 
think that there is anything wrong with making money on open source 
software, quite the contrary.


K.R. Foley
kr at cybsft.com

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list