Re: [ox-en] New economic model for free technology?
- From: Karel Kulhavy <clock twibright.com>
- Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 16:21:10 +0200
On Tue, Sep 27, 2005 at 05:45:42PM [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], Stefan Merten wrote:
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6 days ago Karel Kulhavy wrote:
So I decided to change Ronja development so each time I develop some
module I will calculate the cost (work + material) and then publicize
that "I have this and this for so many money" and ask people to send
donations and when enough donations is received, release the item under
GPL (and not release it at all before collecting enough money).
To understand it fully: You develop something but don't release it
unless someone paid (enough) for it. Then you release it under GPL.
I remember a similar idea but forgot it's name. However, I think it
was different in that the work has not been done in advance or only
once to show the ability to create useful things.
I think Free Software would not have even started if developers would
have thought that way. They released what they created and created
besides their market compatible activity.
I released Ronja 10M Metropolis (AUI, red, 1.4km, 10Mbps full duplex)
completely free too. I introduced this model later.
You can view it as releasing model 1 for free and then considering
donations when 2 is pending as "thank you" for model 1.
Your way of doing things is very similar to Free Software built for
money for a specific customer who doesn't care much about the license.
We call this software Simple Free Software in contrast to Double Free
Software where not only the user of the software is free but also the
If noone sends me money I won't be free. I will have to do what my
employer tells me. If people send me money, I will be able to do what
they want (=Ronja).
When I think of an Oekonuxian perspective I find this a bad approach
because it reintroduces the alienation of the money system back into
Free Projects. It is the customer / boss who says what is good and
I view it as transition period. As soon as you show me how to live
without money, I'll abandon it and continue completely for free.
What Stallman says is that "free as speech" is important, not "free as
beer". This condition is fulfilled on Ronja.
Or I could do Ronja for "double free" and not have time for it and
scratch it anyway, so the result would be the same as people not
sending any donations, just the theoretical name would be different.
what not. At least for software if this would be the best way to do
things than M$ would need to have no fear of Free Software. In other
words: The quality of things produced without this type of alienation
is higher than with alienation.
No the quality is total crap. At the moment I am forced to kick out
GNU Arch because it's Simply Crap (TM). I's because Tom Lord doesn't
have time because he's doing it for free and not getting paid for
I am going to replace that with Trac which is GPLed software developed
by commercial company and used by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Compared to GNU Arch although Trac is 10x more sophisticated, it's just
10x less effort to make it work.
The deeper reason is that if you create a good for nothing else than
its use value than you can create the very best thing thinkable. This
Ronja has no use value for me. I got 1Mbps ADSL connection at home which
is reliable enough for me and don't need any Ronja.
mode of production also attracts bright engineers because this is what
they want to do deep down in their hearts.
So to get back to your example allow me this question: When you
furthered the development of Ronja did you ever think of what could
bring in (more) money? If so were there a point where these thoughts
Yes. When I left school I was deciding between Ronja and work.
Ronja: 10x less money flow than I needed to live
work: enough money flow to live
If people sent 10x more money flow that time, I would decide for Ronja.
were more important than technical and useage considerations?
Yes for me the question whether I'll starve to death is more important
than what noise figure will Ronja 10M Metropolis receiver have.
I see every day in work how proprietary technology is inefficient and
how my work is reinventing wheel again and again. But until people
understand that it's necessary to send lots of financial gifts to Ronja,
it will have to stay this way. I am not stupid to become a beggar just
for someone else to be able to have better Ronja.
If people sent enough money from the very beginning they would have
1Gbps and 5km range now. But they have 10Mbps and 1.4km range now so
Ronja is practically unusable for serious free information
Contact: projekt oekonux.de