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View Full Version : The non-free-free-linux theory?



curuxz
December 21st, 2005, 04:26 PM
Ok I got an idea, wonder what you all think. What if we paid something like 30-50% of the price of a peice of software as the windoze alternative everytime we installed it. Treating it like everything was half price but still had A cost...

Do you think linux would get massive upgrades and increases in development or just get fat on money (even if you could get an effective system of paying and getting the profits to programers who deserve it)?

Just an idea I had wonder what you guys think :)

megamania
December 21st, 2005, 04:29 PM
Ok I got an idea, wonder what you all think. What if we paid something like 30-50% of the price of a peice of software as the windoze alternative everytime we installed it.

You're FREE to contribute to every project you wish to support. The beautiful thing is that you don't have to.

23meg
December 21st, 2005, 04:32 PM
Treating it like everything was half price but still had A costThat would be a wrong way to treat it. It should have no "cost", yet you should be able to make donations; you already can. Noone should be obliged.

There isn't one single thing called Linux to which you can donate or for which you'd be paying; Linux isn't a product by itself, it can be made into a product. There are non-free distros where you have to pay, for example, and I leave it up to you to judge whether, for example, Linspire (pay) or Debian (decidedly free) is ahead in pushing development further.

Hygelac
December 21st, 2005, 04:42 PM
From a user's perspective; if all Linux software began to cost money (not just voluntary donations, but an required cost-of-purchase), even if only 'half-price', Linux would probably lose a lot of the people who are into it for the 'free beer' just as much as they're into it for the 'free speech'. After all, when one can have both... :cool:

Iandefor
December 21st, 2005, 06:43 PM
Well, one of the reasons I use Linux in the first place is that it's free in both senses of the word; if it suddenly began to cost, you can bet I'd flee to BSD or someting similar. Anyhow, it'd be up to Linus himself to decide whether or not to charge for the Linux kernel, and then, you'd have to work out where the money goes. Does it go to Linus totally, or the developers? How do you gauge who gets how much? And how about people who maintain the mirrors, etc?

In addition, there'd be no way you could force people to pay for the kernel if it remained under the GPL; you only have to look at the commercial Linuces to see that. But an interesting idea, nonetheless.

prizrak
December 21st, 2005, 06:49 PM
The first Linux I ever had I bought, it was RedHat for $25 didn't have much problem with paying since I got support (support was useless btw, I was a total n00b and worked the problem out before the damn support guys). But yeah as said there are paid Linux distributions people who want to buy them are free (hehe) to do so.

mstlyevil
December 21st, 2005, 06:57 PM
The biggest strength in the development of the linux kernel is the fact that it is freely distributed. You have the best and brightest programmers on the planet involved in something and they offer their services to us for free. Do you really think all the Linux distrobutions would be as good as they are if everyone charged for their services? Take a look a Linspire which is a distro that charges you almost as much as a Windows OEM copy for both the OS and CNR. You litteraly have to pay them a subcription fee every year to install new software. Ubuntu on the other hand is a free distro and it is overall a much better experience. Better yet you get to install the lastest packages for free. Now which one is better suited to win over new users from the windows world. The obvious answer is Ubuntu because it has everything available for it that Linspire has and it will not break the bank.

The best thing about GNU/Linux is the freedom of choice. You can choose to buy a distrobution or you can download one from the net. So my answer would be no that it would not be a good thing to charge just for the sake of charging.

joflow
December 22nd, 2005, 12:05 AM
I think yall are reading too much into what he said. He not saying that the software should cost money, but that if we did treat it like it cost money it would stimulate growth/interest in the development of the software.

Of course, he can give money if he wants but one person giving x amount of dollars doesn't have the same effect as hundreds or thousands giving money and I think thats what he's getting at. If we as a group decide to give money we can have a much more positive effect on the project.

I personally think the bounty technique is better because it ensures that the features people want in the software gets implemented where as if people just gave money, there is really no guarantee that anything positive would come out of it.

erikpiper
December 22nd, 2005, 12:45 AM
What if it stayed the same, but an easy (apt-get easy) way of installing payware, and developers saw this, and released heavaly discounted linux versions of 80% of all MS software- we would have more market share than microsoft!

BSDFreak
December 22nd, 2005, 01:00 AM
Ok I got an idea, wonder what you all think. What if we paid something like 30-50% of the price of a peice of software as the windoze alternative everytime we installed it. Treating it like everything was half price but still had A cost...

Do you think linux would get massive upgrades and increases in development or just get fat on money (even if you could get an effective system of paying and getting the profits to programers who deserve it)?

Just an idea I had wonder what you guys think :)

Many FOSS developers of today are employed already, look through the mailing lists and you'll notice a lot of people with email adresses like @ibm.com, @hp.com, @redhat.com or @novell.com.

In many cases the developer will charge you for a binary but the source is available from CVS free of charge.

curuxz
December 22nd, 2005, 02:00 AM
ok thanks guys for treating me like a noob even tho i have been with linux for years (maybe not ubuntu i admit), explaing how linux is not one thing but a colletion of individual projects *bangs head against desk in order to say" 'oh realy???* while completly missing the point lol....

I said WHAT IF? as in what do you all THINK would happen to linux IF you paid for each peice of software you used in it. I am wondering you views on what would happen if by some freak chance all linux develpment was charrged for but remained far cheeper than linux by at least half price so that we would be remaining compeditive but with massive boosts in funding.

Do you think this would improve linux or do you think projects only work because they survive mainly on passion and the determination to donate time for the common good?

EDIT * Well done joflow you did relise what i was trying to say:)*

BSDFreak
December 22nd, 2005, 02:22 AM
ok thanks guys for treating me like a noob even tho i have been with linux for years (maybe not ubuntu i admit), explaing how linux is not one thing but a colletion of individual projects *bangs head against desk in order to say" 'oh realy???* while completly missing the point lol....

I said WHAT IF? as in what do you all THINK would happen to linux IF you paid for each peice of software you used in it. I am wondering you views on what would happen if by some freak chance all linux develpment was charrged for but remained far cheeper than linux by at least half price so that we would be remaining compeditive but with massive boosts in funding.

Do you think this would improve linux or do you think projects only work because they survive mainly on passion and the determination to donate time for the common good?

EDIT * Well done joflow you did relise what i was trying to say:)*

I did get what you were saying, i'm just saying that there is no need for it to drive development forward, the very thing that drives development in a rate far beyond any other software model is that it is FOSS.

Personally, if Linux stopped being FOSS i'd just use BSD instead, if that went the same route, OpenSolaris, if that went the same route, there are open projects based on BEOS out there, if that went the same route i'd install Windows Vista which actually has some serious improvements and features security wise. I'd rather pay 100% to MS than even 20% to the people who ruined FOSS.

poofyhairguy
December 22nd, 2005, 03:23 AM
Do you think linux would get massive upgrades and increases in development or just get fat on money (even if you could get an effective system of paying and getting the profits to programers who deserve it)?


Neither. Well.....lets be more specific to explain.

If we gave all the money to Linus and the kernel team I don't know if it would improve things. But lets say you gave it to Xorg, that might speed things up a lot as they could have a full time developer at some point. Lets say you gave it to Ubuntu. That might not help as much as bascially I think the main effect would be poor Mark would just be able to lose less money on this deal. Lets say you gave it to Gnome.... I don't know if that would improve things greatly. Maybe.

Its a hard question. But in no case is it either/or.

GreyFox503
December 22nd, 2005, 04:02 AM
In many cases the developer will charge you for a binary but the source is available from CVS free of charge.

I think that Cedega works like this, though I've never used it.

Iandefor
December 22nd, 2005, 05:06 AM
I did explain what I would do, which is flee to BSD or even GNU. I'm only comfortable making predictions as to what I would do; I have no clue as to what would happen if Linux suddenly started being charged for.

23meg
December 22nd, 2005, 05:29 AM
I said WHAT IF? as in what do you all THINK would happen to linux IF you paid for each peice of software you used in it. I am wondering you views on what would happen if by some freak chance all linux develpment was charrged for but remained far cheeper than linux by at least half price so that we would be remaining compeditive but with massive boosts in funding.Paying for each piece of FOSS and FOSS development becoming charge based would be two different things, but in the latter Linux would have become another proprietary camp and lose 95% of its followers, that's what would happen. The first is already possible; it's just that most people are "free riders" in commercial terms at the moment, which I think is healthy.


I said WHAT IF?All Linux distros suddenly starting to cost half of Windows and all Linux development becoming closed and pay-based are two entirely different things and your original post didn't sound much like you were aware of the difference; that's why people may have jumped in trying to "inform" you. See, being an informative community sometimes hurts.


I think yall are reading too much into what he said. He not saying that the software should cost money, but that if we did treat it like it cost money it would stimulate growth/interest in the development of the software.That's what I was adressing with the Linspire vs. Debian comparison, and I said that we shouldn't treat it as if it cost money; which is to say that the majority shouldn't be donating in any case, but contributing via other means.

BSDFreak
December 22nd, 2005, 03:27 PM
Paying for each piece of FOSS and FOSS development becoming charge based would be two different things, but in the latter Linux would have become another proprietary camp and lose 95% of its followers, that's what would happen. The first is already possible; it's just that most people are "free riders" in commercial terms at the moment, which I think is healthy.

All Linux distros suddenly starting to cost half of Windows and all Linux development becoming closed and pay-based are two entirely different things and your original post didn't sound much like you were aware of the difference; that's why people may have jumped in trying to "inform" you. See, being an informative community sometimes hurts.

That's what I was adressing with the Linspire vs. Debian comparison, and I said that we shouldn't treat it as if it cost money; which is to say that the majority shouldn't be donating in any case, but contributing via other means.

YES, that is the point of FOSS, don't like it, improve it, contribute, make it happen.

That is also why FOSS development is doing so much better overall than CS development.

Have you seen ANY companies going from endorsing OSS to CS lately?

There are IBM, HP, SUN, Novell, etc. giants of the computer world that are moving towards all open or all Linux in some cases, there is not ONE company that is going in the other direction that i know of.

curuxz
December 22nd, 2005, 04:48 PM
I did get what you were saying, i'm just saying that there is no need for it to drive development forward, the very thing that drives development in a rate far beyond any other software model is that it is FOSS.

Personally, if Linux stopped being FOSS i'd just use BSD instead, if that went the same route, OpenSolaris, if that went the same route, there are open projects based on BEOS out there, if that went the same route i'd install Windows Vista which actually has some serious improvements and features security wise. I'd rather pay 100% to MS than even 20% to the people who ruined FOSS.

*BANGS HEAD AGINST DESK VERY HARD....OVER AND OVER* I Know that we would all leave if we had to pay because it goes against our ideals I am not talking about what would happen to the users, you have missed the point the second time around lol. Listen lets asume there is an imaginary world where the linux users would not leave and have enough money to actauly pay for all the bits of code. Would this advance development or would this just cause developers to work purly for the cash and not for the cause. Forget what YOU would do, im talking about the coders and if millions of dollars would help them or simply turn them in to lots of b gates clones!

poofyhairguy i agree with your points but was more thinking along the lines of an imaginary world where they all get paid depending on persentage contribuion i fully accept that some projects would need the money more while linus would probs not improve much if he was a billionaire because who would GIVE their money away once they have it.

megamania
December 23rd, 2005, 10:04 AM
*BANGS HEAD AGINST DESK VERY HARD....OVER AND OVER* I Know that we would all leave if we had to pay because it goes against our ideals I am not talking about what would happen to the users, you have missed the point the second time around lol.

Maybe we are not ALL missing your point, don't you think? :-)

A lot of users already contribute to single projects.

What would happen if all the users would pay for each piece of software? there would probably be higher quality software, but more people getting into linux just to make money, imho.

poofyhairguy
December 23rd, 2005, 11:43 AM
poofyhairguy i agree with your points but was more thinking along the lines of an imaginary world where they all get paid depending on persentage contribuion i fully accept that some projects would need the money more while linus would probs not improve much if he was a billionaire because who would GIVE their money away once they have it.

I grok it now. Sounds like a nice place. I'm not that good at what if though.

BSDFreak
December 23rd, 2005, 03:44 PM
*BANGS HEAD AGINST DESK VERY HARD....OVER AND OVER* I Know that we would all leave if we had to pay because it goes against our ideals I am not talking about what would happen to the users, you have missed the point the second time around lol.

So you are basically NOT asking any questions since the ones who would pay would be the users and i replied to just that?


Listen lets asume there is an imaginary world where the linux users would not leave and have enough money to actauly pay for all the bits of code. Would this advance development or would this just cause developers to work purly for the cash and not for the cause. Forget what YOU would do, im talking about the coders and if millions of dollars would help them or simply turn them in to lots of b gates clones!

Read my previous post, it is NOT so had to deduct the answer from what i have already said.



In an imaginary world, nothing like this, where FOSS is not Free and CS is not free either, and pink horses roam the fields where the villagers sit around the fire, is there a snail?

That makes just as much sense, if you are not asking how the users would react or where the software would go, if you are, read my previous posts, i explained it to you, the users would leave and many developers are peid as it is. Disregarding of the world we live in completely isn't going to let anyone have any references and so we can all just say "well the pink fairies gives us free software".

joflow
December 24th, 2005, 04:50 AM
I still really like the bounty system. I think a possible problem is that there is no guarantee that the changes/features made by the programmer who won the bounty would ever be accepted by the lead developers and merged into project. It would really suck if 100 people paid a programmer $2,000 for x feature only to have it rejected by the project (everyone wouldn't be able to benefit from the addition and future program updates might break the feature).

When the project's vision is 100% in line with the (non-programming) people's vision then giving a big bounty to the project would work well.

I understand that some people might care what the intentions of the programmers are (to make money) especially if they aren't inline with conventional FOSS philosophy. Personally, I don't care whether software is open sourced or closed, whether it was coded for the love of making good applications or for greed...as long as it does what I want/need it to do.