Re: Funding GPL projects or funding the GPL?

From: David Schwartz (
Date: Sat Aug 03 2002 - 16:04:58 EST

>> For an individual given programmer, in most cases code quality won't
>>correspond to financial compensation. You can't pay a randomly selected
>>person more and more money and find them writing better and better
>>symphonies. However, if I had to get a symphony written by any means at my
>>disposal, the more money I had, the better the symphony would be.
>I really, really doubt that, *unless* you *yourself* already understand
>(and I mean really *understand*) symphonies to start with.
>Unless you can judge the quality of composers yourself, the money is
>rather unlikely to buy you a good one.
>MfG Kai

        First you say that nobody knows what a good programmer is and it's virtually
impossible to tell the difference. Then you assert that I won't find one.
Well, if your first argument is correct, then there's no way to know whether
I've found one or not, and it becomes impossible for you to assert that I
won't find one.

        To put it another way, if nobody can tell the difference between good and
bad programmers, then it doesn't matter whether you have a good or bad
programmer. If it matters, it must be possible to tell the difference.

        Even if the only way you can tell is to wait until you're done and then see
whether you have a good or bad program, with enough money, you can keep
trying over and over.

        Suppose one in a hundred programmers are really good and they all charge the
same but nobody can tell the difference. The more money I have, the more
independent programming teams I can hire, and then I can choose the best
result. Unless you want to argue that I can't even tell the results apart,
but then you're back to their being literally no difference between good and
bad programmers.

        Unless you want to make an argument that more money actively causes harm,
you can't do anything about the obvious fact that more money means more

        The original argument that money doesn't produce better code quality was
based upon programmers getting more money, not projects getting more money.
With this I agree, in general, paying a person more won't make them produce
better code. But it doesn't follow that this applies to projects or even to
groups of programmers.


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