[openbeos] Re: hiring programmers

Thank you, Ingo, for clarifying this point.

I, too, understood that the original proposal was about providing a formal
mechanism under which OpenBeOS enthusiasts could express their support for
the project in a financial manner.

No doubt like many readers of this listserve, I have no programming skills
-- or very few programming skills -- but still desire to make a contribution
to the success of the project. And I could spare a few dollars each year in
the form of a donation. I would sign up immediately. And I bet that many
others would, too. 

Certainly, the project leaders would need to make some necessary
organizational preparations, like incorporating the project in order to
insure its non-profit status (a tax-exempt status designation in the US).
But that is already in the works, as I understand it.

The original proposal did suggest that a certain minimum annual donation
level be established, and placed that minimum figure at a fairly high level.
I disagree with that part of the proposal. Many would-be contributors would
be priced out of the market, even though they wanted to make a donation.
Rather, I would suggest that numerous levels of annual contribution be
established: $15 per year; $30 per year; $60 per year; $120 per year; $240
per year; etc. Then a wide range of contributors could join in, regardless
of their personal financial status. Everyone could feel good about
contributing according to his or her own ability.

How would the money be spent? How would unpaid programmers feel about the
existence of paid programmers? In my opinion, the active code contributors
and project leaders would need to answer these kinds of questions to the
best of their collective abilities. I'm confident that reasonable and
equitable answers would result.

Perhaps the funds would never be used to pay programmers, but instead would
assist the project in other ways that would promote its success (e.g.,
marketing campaigns that would result in a more rapid propagation of the
code into the world at large; insertion of free and complete OpenBeOS
CD-Roms in a major computer magazine; etc.).

If some funds were used to pay programmers, perhaps a "code bounty"
arrangement could be put in place, in which a certain dollar amount (say,
$200) would go to the first contributor who submits a workable -- and
elegant! -- code solution to a certain problem. The code bounty would be
available to any and all would-be takers, so that nobody would be either
"paid" or "unpaid" as a matter of their permanent status. (This model does,
unfortunately, introduce some redundancy in effort, with numerous coders
working on one and the same problem at once -- and with all code being
tossed out in the end except the code of the one successful bounty-taker.
This is admittedly a drawback of this model.)

I, for one, think that the donation idea is an excellent idea. Where do I
sign up?  :-)

Optimistically yours,

Czeslaw Czapla

> From: "Ingo Weinhold" <bonefish@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Reply-To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Date: Fri, 07 Feb 2003 18:07:10 CET (+0100)
> To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [openbeos] Re: hiring programmers
>> Image all opensource community wanting money for their code. It would
>> end up
>> a second microsoft....
> You misunderstood something. The matter was about taking donations, not
> about making OpenBeOS available only to those paying for it. OpenBeOS
> will be open (OSI definition), free (FSF definition) and for free
> (`free-beer' definition ;-). I.e. you won't need to pay anything, but
> you can, if you want to support the project.
> CU, Ingo

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