[nvda] Re: Support NVDA or you will lose it.

One of the argumentation in having to raise - I think the figure given in a recent very similar appeal of this sort - was US$200,000 (this may also have been Australian dollars) annually in order to keep up with other screenreaders in the field. and, I am sorry, this is something I do not understand nor follow nor support. Why does nvda have to keep up with professional screenreaders? this is an open source project that is an alternative to access a windows computer for blind folks on a tight budget, many in developing countries, and many more in developed countries on a fixed income.


I see the need for Mr. Mik and Mr. Jamie to have an income they can live on. I see and support the fund raising efforts so that nvda can continue to be developed but not to keep up with a set schedule or professional screeneaders. If mr. Mik and Mr. Jamie don't earn enough programming for nvda full time, then they need to move on to find other employment - and with the years of developing nvda, they should have no problem doing so - and just continue developing nvda as they have time. An open source project to me doesn't really mean that there is one or two professional programmers involved who do all the work but rather that since the program is open source, that many in the community participate contributing their timeand talent as they can. So rather than trying to raise the - to me- astronomical and really uncalled for figure of US$200,000, the effort to raise support for nvda should go in all directions in the blind community: finding people who can contribute financially if they have the funds to do so, finding those who have talent to raise funds, finding talent among the blind community to contribute to the coding and developing, those having talent to teach, developping some nvda tutoraials, those who can write, contributing documentation or writing articles to spread the news about ncvda.

I've loved to see the changes in nvda, its development, its coming of age - but I do not like to see this come at the price of demanding money from a community that is made up largely of people who turn to nvda because they cannot afford the commercial alternatives. And the argumentation on how much is being spent on luxuries daily that should be used towards raising those US$200,000 anually does not apply to the larger number of nvda users. i wonder how many users in developing nations eat out or order pizza or spend money on any sort of trinkets.

And personally, I live in a Western developed country but do not have or do any of the things mentioned.My husband and I do not have the money ever to eat out, not once a week, not once a month, nor for birthdays or Christmas or anything like that. We do not have the funds for that kind of lifestyle. We need our money to buy groceries and there is little left beyond that. Granted, because of my many allergies, we need to cook from scratch and cannot always go for the cheapest groceries on sale. I am vegetarian not because I think it is sin to eat meat but because the organic meat I would need to buy is too expensive. My husband eats very little meat because meat is expensive. We are amazed at the lifestyle of some people, and americans seem to be more into this than other cultures, who eat out every day, sometimes more than once. It is not fair to assume that this is the type of lifestyle evrybody else in the world can afford or does even though they cannot, and therefore assume that people swim in money that they should use to support a screenreader that might be the only alternative they have to use a computer and participate in the online community that is reached with these fun raising appeals at all. Not everyone has or pursues such a life style; my guess is that the majority do not, not the majority of nvda users and it makes me sick that a few assume that the rest of the world does as they do and they therefore can assume to tell others what to do and how to do it.

Now what would happen if we did not have three stable releases of nvda a year but only one or maybe even just oneevery year and a half? What if snapshots did not come out every day but only every other day or maybe even just once a week? It would make me sad to see this and I would miss the promptness with which errors were fixed but it would not mean the end of nvda and its usefulness. It would just mean it did not keep up with the professional competition. When nvda first entered the scene, I did not think it was meant as competition to commercial offerings but just as a way to access a windows computer for hthose who could not do otherwise. I want to see nvda develop and be the best it can be but not to compete with commercial screenreaders if that is not possible with the means available.

Within the last year when there was a fund raiser request for nvda, the developers of nvda still assured everyone that nvda itself would always remain free. If Stable releases are expluded from that, it will not truly be such anymore because for windows 7 and up, the installed version of nvda must be a stable release and not a snapshot and not all functionality of nvda is available from the portable versions. I am honestly thinking if Mr. Jamie and Mr. Mik think they have to keep up with the big boys in the business in order for nvda to be worthwhile, they must have been struck with a bit of megalomania.

i hope the community will step in with any kind of support they can offer so that nvda can continue to be the best it can be and an alternative for those who otherwise have none.

Doris

At 12:09 PM 3/30/2012 -0400, you wrote:
I personally have no objection to the requests for donations, viewing it
rather like public television.  The moment I can use NVDA in a professional
setting to control my calendar and spell-check documents for public
distribution using MS Office, I won't need JFW anymore and I'll spend my
money with NVDA.  I can't support two screen readers at this time, and while
NVDA does almost everything I need, the subset that JFW covers is more
necessary to me as a small business owner.  I hope that ceases to be true at
some point as I'd far rather my money went to support an open-source project
than a commmercial enterprise.

As to Gene's other points, yes, one could do all that, and in the process
incur more overhead, meaning you'd need more money.  Having worked for a
blindness non-profit, and administered a grant for same, you'd be amazed at
the bite capital campaigns and fund-raising takes out of the operating
budget.  You're comparing apples and oranges in comparing NVDA to large,
established non-profit organizations.  Now maybe those in charge should
consider moving NVDA's organization toward that model, but it's not a simple
choice and would distract them from doing the coding and fixing we're all
anxious to see continue.

Now, if they want to hire me to do fund raising and grant development, and
can pay me a competitive wage, I'll drop everything else I'm doing and put
full time into doing that.  I'd enjoy it and be good at it, but I can't
donate that kind of time, nor is it likely anyone else would either.  So
consider what you're asking for, which is no less than a major change in how
the funding model is organized.  It may be necessary, blind folk are
notoriously tight with money and sadly too many feel entitled to take what
they can and not give back.  It may be that in the long run, the current
model is unsupportable.  If that's the conclusion, then James et al will
have to consider the way forward carefully.

        Christopher Bartlett


-----Original Message-----
From: nvda-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:nvda-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Gene
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 4:07 PM
To: nvda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [nvda] Re: Support NVDA or you will lose it.

I want to make this as clear as possible to avoid misunderstanding.  I am
not saying that blind people should not contribute to NVDA.  At this time,
it is a worty goal to help NVDA continue to be developed.  there is a
serious shortage of funding at present.  But I consider it unacceptable for
the long term that NVDA be heavily dependent on contributions from users.
If NVDA is free for blind people, then it should be truly free, not free but
with unending appeals to guilt and for money from users.  If that is going
to be the future, it is not truly free to blind users.  It's far past time
to do more than rely on grants and user contributions.
Perhaps professional fund-raisers should be hired.  Perhaps the experience
and advice of organizations of and for the blind who do successful
fund-raising should be sought.  I don't see guide  dog schools relying
primarily on guide dog users for support.  I don't see the Hadley school
relying primarily on blind users for support.

Organizations of and for blind people, while they do solicit contributions
from blind people, generally have a much wider gbase of funding.  It's far
past time that serious attention be given to how NVDA may be funded without
heavy dependence on the user base. either NVDA is a truly free screen-reader
or it's a screen-reader with lots of guilt attached and pressure to
contribute and that is not free.

Gene

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Come talk with other NVDA users on irc.blufudge.net #NVDA
Your continued donations help keep NVDA development going strong. Donate at:
http://www.nvaccess.org/wiki/Donate
Or by purchasing voices from Ivona TTS:
http://www.ivona.com/accessibility.php
Use the following link with the code STOR-4NS3-DSCT to save 10% on Voices from 
nextup.com:
http://bit.ly/eJN97w
To post messages to the list send email to
nvda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
To modify your NVDA Email settings or view archives go to:
http://www.freelists.org/list/nvda
NVDA homepage:
http://www.nvda-project.org/
NVDA on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8601265515
The NVDA controler DLL is at:
http://www.nvda-project.org/nvdaControllerClient/
NVDA Snapshot Downloader:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1473937/NVDASD-v2.0.2.exe
Get SkypeTalking for NVDA:
http://skypetalking.googlecode.com/

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