Re: Minutes of the GNOME Board meeting February 12 2002

On Sun, 2002-02-17 at 23:50, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     And as the free software
>     saying goes, a itch that don't itch a developer, doesn't get scratched.
> That was said by Eric Raymond who belongs to another movement, and it
> reflects the spirit of that movement.
I was more refering to my own experience than actually quoting ESR. True
enough most developers are willing to add functionality to their apps
and similar when requested by their users, even if they don't
specifically need that feature themselves. But the number willing to
spend lots of time learning and getting patches accepted to change other
developers non-related libraries and applications because some users
want those applications to work better with your own are almost
non-existing. And this isn't a GNOME /KDE thing. It is just how far 
down the road of altruism the average developer is willing to go.

> The spirit of the free software movement is to do projects because
> they are important for the community and for our freedom.  They don't
> have to "scratch an itch".  GNOME exists as an example of this.
I think most of the GNOME hackers or KDE hackers for that matter hack on
the desktop because it scratches itch of missing a good desktop on
Linux/Unix and/or they find it fun and challeging. The number who spend
their evenings with the main motivation being the good of mankind is
rather marginal in my opinion.

> If actual KDE-GNOME cooperation did not get started, maybe we we
> didn't have enough of the free software movement spirit to get it
> going.  But that doesn't mean we should give up.  If we think about
> trying to serve the community better, we will feel the community's
> itch.
We do feel the community's itch, and we are scratching it, but this itch
seems to be in an area where many people talk of scratching but where no
one is interested in doing the actual scraching.
(Ok, think we need another analogy than itch/scratch here, this is
getting a little weird)


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