Re: a modest proposal - Debian needs more $
On Mon, Jan 21, 2002 at 10:21:34AM -0800, email@example.com wrote:
> >>>>> "Colin" == Colin Watson <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> Colin> Are you sure it isn't? You do that and I guarantee you most of the
> Colin> developers will leave.
> yes I'm sure it isn't.
> It may be in the course of discussion I will find it's a bad idea, and
> my thinking was wrong-headed. I will gladly admit it if that's the
> Expand on why you think developers will leave, it's not obvious to me.
/usr/share/doc/debian/debian-manifesto is a pretty good start. Debian is
a distribution free in terms of both speech and beer. If we start
charging our users for downloading it, we will be making the lives of
many of our users much more difficult, which I completely oppose.
Throwing them a bone by saying that 56K downloads will remain free isn't
acceptable either. Take the recent case of a friend of mine who wanted
to set up a router, but didn't have any Unix experience. I pointed her
at linuxiso.org, she downloaded and burnt the first potato CD, and I
walked her through the installation process via IRC. Easy. If she'd had
to wait days to download what she needed over dialup, I doubt she'd have
bothered, and I would have felt ashamed that Debian had made her life
more difficult just for the sake of a few extra bucks.
The fourth clause in the Debian Social Contract is "Our Priorities are
Our Users and Free Software". If you forget either one, it stops being
> If I pay someone to do unfun work others don't like doing wouldn't
> that be a positive thing ? And shouldn't the current developers be
> first in line in such a system ?
> Or are you worried that if you can't pay _everyone_ then it will cause
> envy problems.
There are already developers who are paid for what they do by companies
like Hewlett-Packard and Progeny, and this isn't a problem. The more of
these the better, as these people do truly outstanding work. It's just
that doing this by charging our users is not what Debian is about.
Donations, maybe - but charging for downloads is just wrong.
Another thing that's worth saying: the Debian QA team, which does a lot
of the "unfun" work you talk about, is manned almost entirely by unpaid
Colin Watson [email@example.com]