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Re: [tlug] kickstarter for open source...

On 2013-06-13 18:27 +0200 (Thu), Ulrike Schmidt wrote:

> I don't think you would have a problem getting $1 from more than 500 
> contributers if they knew how much has already been contributed by 
> others and how much is still missing.

Well, my instincts honed from about thirty years of experience
participating (both as a user and developer) in the communities around
free software, shareware, open source software (including relatively
recent things such as Linux) and the like tell me that you're utterly
wrong about that. I suspect Stephen, who probably has even more
experience than me in this area, most likely agrees with me.

I'm not going to bother marshalling up a proper argument about this,
since I have neither the time nor the patience to re-hash this (to me)
old, old dicussion. So you can take or leave my opinion as you care to.

On 2013-06-13 15:57 +0200 (Thu), Ulrike Schmidt wrote:

> Not delibaretely, as long as I could detect it being an argument. I 
> claim that you did not reply to mine and critisized my choice of words 
> instead of understanding the idea I wanted to transport by using them.

My impression is that you don't understand the domain of the discussion
that well, and thus it's you misinterpreting him. Again, just instinct;
I don't care to argue about it.

> Kids might spend more of their pocket money on games, companies more on 
> spam filters. All things being equal I think an open source project has 
> good chances to win.

I disagree, perhaps because all things are never equal.

One thing I get the feeling you don't understand is that the actual
number of people and organizations willing to invest anything at all in
open source software (even at the level of contributing $5 or a decently
written bug report) is a very small fraction of the the number of people
and organizations actually using open source software. Those that do
invest in anything (beyond using what's already available for their
own purposes) tend to make quite sizable investments on the order of
thousands of dollars per year (in cash or equivalant value in time) per
person, much more than that for organizations.

I'll admit that this is my impression, and I don't have solid evidence
for this, but I'm sure someone interested enough could spend a few
hundred hours to largely substantiate this argument or find some
convincing counter-examples.

Curt Sampson         <>         +81 90 7737 2974

To iterate is human, to recurse divine.
    - L Peter Deutsch

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