Re: [debian-knoppix] Open accounting and Open source

From: Mark Constable <markc(at)renta(dot)net>
To: Henri Poole <poole(at)affero(dot)com>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: [debian-knoppix] Open accounting and Open source
Date: 2003-05-04 02:07:22
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On Sat, 3 May 2003 03:32 am, Henri Poole wrote:
> We are working on enabling payments to individuals (as well as formal
> orgs). We support multiparty paylists. What do you have in mind for your
> full set of requirements?

Reference for others:

> Bruce Perens wrote:
> > We've been having a discussion about micro-project sponsorship on some
> > Debian-related mailing lists. Mark took a look at your system and seems
> > to be looking for something less formal. I use Paypal for this, but
> > Paypal has its problems. Perhaps you and Mark can discuss this more
> > thoroughly.

Ok, I'll try and be agnostic about my personal prejudices. As I see
it there are at least 3 requirements to satisfy.

a) someone, or organization, who has a need and is prepared to donate
something (and not necessarily cash) to at least assist progression
of an open source project in a direction they deem worthy

The typical response of "show me the code or shutup" crucifies up to
99% of potential input by an ever widening usage of open source software
by non-developers. It used to work last century but this is the age
of users expecting the likes of Longhorn to be dropped in their laps
soon, so if linux is ever going to gain mass appeal then it needs a
broader base of voluntary input of resources to compete for desktop

b) developers, the virtual shamans and warriors of open source, need
resources, including cash, to help them weave their magic

Hats off to Sourceforge for providing a premiere example of non-cash
support for a significant number of open source projects.

c) is simply folks who are both a) and b) at the same time

Code and idea sharing is the basis of open source and goes on all the
time but it's random and spontaneous with few formal guidelines.

a) folks need to be able to specify what kind of partial or end result
they are prepared to contribute towards and it needs to be clear what
skills b) folks have and/or are prepared to work towards gaining. A
range of donations and expected results has to catered for. Roughly
$10 USD is a reasonable minimum donation, considering overheads, and
a sum of 10 x $10 cash payments is probably a reasonable minimum to
transfer to a b) individual or project. c) interaction could be as
simple and wild as "I'll send you my old P300 I don't need any more
if you assure me you'll take care of these security patches until
at least next xmas". To someone in a 4th world country that could be
mana from upstairs.

Obviously how to implement this is the hard part but having a
COMPLETELY open and searchable system of nominations for "jobs"
posted by potential donors and a clearly indexed system of recipients
and their skillsets is an obvious start along with forum/wiki/blog
and mailing-lists to facilitate the interaction and negotiation
betweenthe two sides. Even things like "old" 20Gb hard drives could
be offered or solicited, not just cash.

Here's hoping what I've briefly outlined is not so obvious it's
a waste of bytespace. My personal interest is to apply the above
principles to artistic endeavor every bit as much as hard core
code development... and hoping the long term ripple affect might
seep into the non-internetworked world.

(I've taken the liberty of removing debian-knoppix as it's clearly
no longer a specific technical issue for that forum)


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