Re: Rewarding who write free software (was Re: Gnome Web Browser)

On Fri, 24 Apr 1998, Redaelli Paolo wrote:

> Il 23-Apr-98, Andreas Kostyrka ha scritto:
> >> Because I do strongly want that software should be free, but I found
> >unlawful
> >unlawfull?
> ... oh geek, I though unfair. English is not my native language and althought
> I've got a neat 621/660 in my Toefl english test sometimes I make stupid
> errors....
> >Nope. Nobody forces the people to release their software under GPL.
> >> that the work necessary to produce such wonderfuls programs is not paid. 
> >> I'm born in Padania (formerly known as North Italy) and here we stress so
> >much
> >> the slogan "everyone should be able to live of his work".
> >The point is, that for most people doing GPLed software, the software is
> >not work (or at least not only work). That's an important difference: When
> >I'm doing ``mere'' work (be it at university, be it at work), than I just
> >do my work. Free developers usually are much more involved with their
> >work.
> ... First I would like to tell everybody that I've been persuaded by your
> mails to use the Gpl.
> The key to what my thought was "that for most people doing GPLed software, the
> software is
> not work". I was thinking about a way to permit people to "work full time of
> GPL software, and get paid for the work".
Again. This doesn't come by making GPL unfree. Make your software so
important and so GOOD, that someone will want to pay to have you to work
on it. (If you witness what happens with the top people in the free
software scene, ...)

> >> I think that a modified version of the Gpl (or other free software licence)
> >> can help us.
> >Nope. GPL was crafted the way it is, so it protect against this :)
> .... ops.... I meant, "I think that a licence modelled after the Gpl; a
> licence that keeps the spirit of the three freedoms, freedom to use, to copy
> and to modify, while giving the programmers a more sure way to earn money from
> their work"
> >> I think that we can finance free software and the people who dedicate
> >> themselves to creating free software with son duties in the Licence. 
> >This wouldn't really work. Free software is usually a cooperative work.
> ... I've been thinking about it. If we can use Cvs to know how much of a
> software is written by every single programmer (at object or source level) we
> have a rule to divide incomes of the free Sw
Not really. object level may change with the compiler release. And source
level doesn't say anything about the involvement of the programmer.
Your not taking into account, that programming is an art, or at least
an eng. task, and not just pure typing.
You could measure with your system perhaps some data typist, but not a
> >> Because Freedom implies some duties.
> >Right. I consider the duty to be contribute back.
> But not everyone can contribute with work.
> I was thinking to every non programmers who now use computers.
> Many of them thinks that the work necessary to produce software (even GPLed
> one) should be paid, but they're afraid of high costs of proprietary software.
> Pushing them to give small sums to FSF or other companies that boost free
> software can result in great incomes that eventually will permit developers to
> write free software full time.
> >> The duty I wa thinking about was the duty to finance the development of
> free
> >> software.
> >But there is noone who you can finance as one person. Free software is a
> >distributed system.
> People can pay Red hat (for example) which in turn can keep a share of the
> money and give the rest to the developer.
> And Cvs could help to tell what shares to apply.
Nope. EVER programmed? So you say that every line is worth the same?
Or that I should checkin first something that doesn't work, then a fix to
make it compile, and then one to make it work?
Or do you want to divide by absolute length of line? (Boy will we get many
And not every project uses even CVS.

> >That's one nice point about free software:
> [....some snips...]
> You have convinced me. 8-)
> I do beleive in GPLed software more than before now.
Is this sarcastic? If not, then do you want to push further for a modified

> >> which in turn should pay some shares to everyone who contribute to the
> >> project).
> >That's not really possible. Too many people are involved. And how do you
> >judge who should get how much? line count? (get real, sometimes a bright
> >idea from a mere user may be more worth than the whole implementation :) )
> ... ah, that's the point! I thought about it for FIVE months.
Again: For a bigger project to work like this, you have to track
all patches for linesizes. That's something that can't be even done with
CVS ok. (linesizes are just not the real indicator who is important)
e.g.: If you would apply this to the Linux kernel, than Linus would be
getting much less, than his position merits.

Additionally, anything like this blocks to much usage of my software. It
will not be integrated with Debian, nor with RH, ...
And having many users is the point of GPLing, so you can have bug reports,
bugfix patches, etc.
> The end of my thoughts is that:
> The share to apply is proportional to the weighted average of source size, and
> object of the source for 4-5 Cpu (for example PowerPc, x86, 68k, Sparc and
> Alpha) and (optional) size of the documentation.
> This way we get rid of execessive comments, which are nevertheless necessary
> as the code itself to understand its way of working. The great number of
> object file for varius Cpu tell us how intrinsecally difficoult to write was
> that module.
> Weitght can be: 2* for every object file, 1* for sources and includes, 0.5*
> for documentation (one kind only and text or Html only) Picture needed in the
> docs should have a very low weight such as 0.02* or 0.01*
Wrong. You don't weight HTML, as it is usually not written by humans, you
weight docbook, texinfo, LaTeX source. Actually, using this weights you'll
get software that is undocumented.

But again, take this to gnu.misc, and get to your head ripped off by RMS


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