Re: Funding GPL projects or funding the GPL?

From: David Schwartz (
Date: Thu Aug 01 2002 - 15:24:11 EST

>First, we were talking about written for free vs. written to make money.
>Second, the quality of the output depends on the quality of the process,
>not how much you pay for it. Equally likely isn't what I said, either.

        I give one person $2,000 and one person $50,000 to buy a car. Would you
argue that they are equally likely to come back with quality cars?

>One last time: commercial software is not a guaranty of quality nor is
>being free an indication of being shoddy.

        Now you're changing the argument on me. First we were talking about code
quailty and financial compensation. Now we're talking about code quality and
cost. The two are really not related. A person can produce a product that is
free either with or without being paid.

>Clearly if you underpay people
>for any work you are likely to get poor work, but that doesn't apply to
>someone who is being paid in satisfaction and recognition, and who has a
>real motivation to do it to the best of her/his ability.

        Yes, but who will that person be and how many of them will there be? That
will depend upon how much money is available. Some people will do wonderful
work for free, and if you have no money, those are the only people you can
use and you get as much time as they can spare or afford to give at best. If
you have money, you can still use those people, but you can also use people
who need money.

>> This reminds me of the proofs that supposedly showed that locking up
>>convicted criminals for longer didn't lower the crime rate. Are we honestly
>>supposed to believe that otherwise honest people commit more crimes to make
>>up the difference?

>Glad it reminds you, I sure as hell don't see the point... and I never saw
>any such thing. Studies show that locking people up longer doesn't make
>*that person* less likely to commit a crime, which is not at all the same
>thing as the crime rate in crimes per unit time by all persons.

        This is exactly the point. A given programmer may not create better code
with greater compensation. However, a programming project can create better
code with greater compensation. (Assuming we don't randomly pick projects and
dump money on them, of course. Assuming the money is at least placed by the
people who went to the trouble of earning it choosing where they think it
will do the most good.)


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