[Scribus] Bonus-work...

PFJ paulf.johnson
Fri May 2 13:43:49 CEST 2003


> Some time ago people began talking about 'bonusses' given out for 
> accomplishing this or that feature. One of the most famous is perhaps the 
> X-Box bonus paid by the guy from lindows.

Well, the Lindows thing was really a reward for annoying M$ and showing
how lax their so called "secure" software is in real life. The benefits
to Lindows have been shown in the large volume of sales (even though
after a short amount of time folks put a proper Linux distro on!)

> AFAIK, the code is still GPLed. 

It is - but that's down to the "viral" state of GPL code. Basically, if
your code includes any part of a GPL source, then the source you produce
has to be open and also licenced as GPL.

> So, 
> you wouldn't do a special version for Mr. Johnson which would include what he 
> asks for.

Why would I want to do a special version for myself? ;-p

>  Rather he'd pay you a bonus for your efforts to concentrate on 
> implementing this special feature instead of doing something else (like going 
> out with your wife - Mr. Johnson better had to have a good offer ;-)

Must include plastic surgeons fees for the after effects of when I let
the other half down ;-)

> So, I didn't propose that you make a special version for Mr. Johnson. I just 
> thought it would be nice of him to pay you something if you implement this 
> much-needed (from his point of view) function that he only found in other, 
> much more expensive closed-source versions.

If someone wants a feature, they only need to ask, but when they ask
they must realise that it will take time. If Franz (or myself) were able
to work full time on something such as Scribus, then requests would take
a fraction of the time they currently do. As it is, this isn't the case.
It works on the basis that if a request is clear and the request is
quick, it's done faster, anything else has to be factored in. To me,
this is the biggest problem with free software as opposed to paid for
software, the time lag.

> PS: Sometimes I get the feeling that lots of people think the only advantage 
> of GPLed software is that it's for free. You want a feature? Instead of 
> waiting a year and pay for a new version like you'd have to do with a 
> commercial product, just ask for it and you get it for free.

That said, the beauty of GPL is that it encourages people to get
involved with a project and to implement additional bits - it also
brings in other skill sets. 

When I started working on changes for Scribus, I spent a good while
fixing code so that it was proper C++ rather than C in a C++ shell (a
great example of this is casting). Many don't realise how important
using C++ casting is. While Franz is also an incredibly good coder, I'm
used to systems which are really tight with resources, memory and
processing power (try compiling GLib on a 56MHz ARM7500FE based machine
with about 32Mb of memory in!) so have been able to rationalise some of
the parts so they work faster (being from this tight background also
helps when it comes to implementing new ideas)

> I think it's a pitty and it's wrong to think like that. GPLed software has 
> come a long way, and I think it isn't wasted money to say: here you have some 
> money for this or that feature. And yes, I did already contribute to a 
> project in that way...

I work on the basis that if the application is commercial, work done is
paid for by the company. If the work is voluntary (which Scribus
definately *is*) then work done is on the same basis. Franz really has
done shed loads of work on Scribus, if anyone should be paid, it's him
(and Peter for the really professional documentation)

> PPPS: And if you scream: off-topic, just re-read the thread that started with 
> the title 'command line interface'...

It's not really off topic as it is Scribus related, that said, this sort
of discussion does go OT very quickly...



Open your mind to a time where a company does not have control
Open your mind to a choice of applications which you can control
Open your mind from the closed world of those who seek total power
Open your mind to the wonderful world of Open Source

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