[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Helping out with debian/hurd

Marcus Brinkmann <Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de> wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 07, 1998 at 09:21:53AM -0800, Tim Moran wrote:
> > 
> > I'm not a programmer, nor am I wealthy, but this
> > Debian/Hurd thing has got my attention and I'd like
> > to help out a bit.
> > 
> > Tell me where to send the money and I'll get a check
> > in the mail. (Yes, I'm also a bit lazy this morning.
> > I'm sure the answer is somewhere in the web pages.
> > Your address just came up first.)
> Hello Tim!
> Many thanks for your offer.
> Debian/Hurd is part of the Debian project. We try to port the Linux Debian
> to the Hurd kernel of the GNU project. So there are two locations where you
> can sent your money:
material elided
> Both organizations, SPI and GNU, serve free software in an excellent way.
> Both are sponsoring third party projects from time to time.

A complication that comes up as soon as you start looking at money is that
there is then need for someone to be responsible to decide what to do with

SPI defines its financial policy here:

And that policy really doesn't say much about what what they're going to
spend where on what.  

I rather think that, associated with "project disbursements," there probably
should be a committee of, say, three people that are considered responsible
to decide on disbursements.  They might want to see how the FSF or The
XFree86 Project handles this as possible examples.

There may not be a big problem when the amounts of money are tiny.  When the
amount of money is small, it should be pretty easy to decide that "We can
pay for ``So and so'' to work full time on ``foo'' for 3 months."

Unfortunately, it's real easy for this to get somewhat controversial rather

For which reason, contributing code (or documentation) has some distinct
benefits.  There's not the potential for the same kind of arguing over
whether the results turned out OK.  Either your contributed code is useful,
or it isn't.  And you, the contributor, have *considerable* control over

In contrast, if I send in $200, verifying that that was transformed into
"something useful" is rather tougher.

RMS's early idea of a "software tax" falls prey to this in much worse
manner; if you have a 10% "tax" on a billion dollars worth of computers,
you've got $100M that suddenly needs:
- Policies (else it sits in the control of a dictator...)
- Administrators
- Auditors
- Intense bureaucracy

because on the one hand, people will expect for their tax dollars to be
"spent well" (governments aren't terribly good at this; I see little reason
for free software development to substantially differ), and on the other
hand, developers will *want* a piece of that $100M, and there is a need to
try to prevent fraudulent wastage.

Christopher B. Browne, cbbrowne@hex.net, chris_browne@sabre.com
Web: http://www.ntlug.org/~cbbrowne  SAP Basis Consultant, UNIX Guy
Windows NT - How to make a 100 MIPS Linux workstation perform like an 8 MHz 286

Reply to: