Appropriateness of posts to this list (Was Re: evince crash)

Stephan Hermann sh at
Fri Dec 7 09:10:39 UTC 2007

Hi Kevin,

Am Thu, 06 Dec 2007 11:55:40 -0700
schrieb Kevin Fries <kfries at>:

> On Thu, 2007-12-06 at 12:03 -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > I think you misunderstand my point.
> No I got it.  And I think that that thinking is wrong and dangerous to
> Linux in general, and Ubuntu in specific.
> <snip>
> > My concern is the idea that "because a user said they want it" is a
> > meaninful metric in a largely volunteer project.  In Free software
> > projects, the meaningful metric for what gets done is what the
> > people doing the work think needs doing (and this applies to all
> > types of work, not just development, in the project).  Volunteers
> > can't be ordered.  They have to be convinced.
> If I don't get my steak the way I ordered it.  I buy my steak from
> elsewhere.  Ubuntu with no users, is not anything but an exercise in
> ego.  What the customer wants is the only real metric.  You need to
> understand that as a developer, and I live with that every day as a
> Consultant, Designer, and Implementer.

The World is split into two groups:

1. OpenSource Developer who are working in companies like Novell,
Canonical, RedHat, Sun etc. They are paid to work 8 or more hours on
dealing with the users needs.
2. Volunteers, who are working in other businesses, have other
priorities. Daily Work, Family, Friends, ..., OpenSource Development.

So, there is a difference, and Scott is totally right, when he says,
Volunteers needs to be convinced. 

Users != Customers. Customers are companies and people, who are buying
Support Contracts. Those Customers are handled by the First Group.
But Ricky Smith, who doesn't pay a penny, but wants something, is not
a customer, but someone who could convince me or Scott to fix or
prepare software for him. (Which I wouldn't do, honestly) 

> Which of those priorities you wish to work on, however, is completely
> your own decision.  But the customer MUST set the priorities of what
> needs done in the bigger picture. And, the customer MUST set the list
> of features that need to be implemented.

So, Kevin, Pay For It. You can send us money, for doing work on what
you want. Price per Hour starts at 150 Euros (without local tax).
Private People like Scott or I are not in this Customer Business,
that's Canonical (for Ubuntu) or other paid people in other OpenSource
> Rule #1 of Business: Its not about you.

It's not our business, it's our hobby, that's the difference between
let's say Alan Cox (who is working for hard bucks on the Kernel) and
Ricky Smith, who is sending in kernel patches, because he is
interessted to fix stuff and because it's his hobby.  

> If you do not make your customers wishes and desires #1 on your
> priority list, your competition will.

As I said, pay us then :)

> Lets not forget, Ubuntu is a business product, distributed by a real
> business.  Therefore, its not about you... or me.  Its about the
> customer.  Making the customer feel like they have to talk you into
> something, is just not good business.  This is why I spend so many
> hours providing help to ANYONE who asks.  Even people I would rather
> not.  Its not about me, its about Ubuntu, and what is best for the
> project.

Ubuntu is just pool/main and pool/restricted which is mostly maintained
by Canonical from paid developers. Which is good. 
pool/universe and pool/multiverse is community driven. Fixed,
Maintained and handled by people who are not being paid by any company
to do this work. 

> Even more so in an all volunteer endeavor, egos must be checked at the
> door.  Developer's egos, designer's egos, and consultant's egos.  We
> as the people trying to make this a success, need to listen to the
> customer so that there will be more of them.  Its the one true
> advantage we have over Microsoft which is notorious for blowing off
> their customer to do what is in their best interest (Can we say
> Windows Genuine Advantage, or Digital Rights Management... I knew we
> could).

Well, it's all about egos, developers are really difficult people
sometimes. Without an ego you can't kick someones ass, to work on
things. That's business. NO Ego, no social competence, no ass in your
pants, you lose. That's why opensource is special, and not only
opensource. That's why Jono wrote last time about "RockStars for
OpenSource" need stars, you need assholes.

> You allow the customers wishes to be the only real metric because you
> place Ubuntu and Linux's needs before your own.  Otherwise, are you
> really helping?

Well, you really got the point. OpenSource is Business, Business means
being paid, so if you want something, please pay us people, who are
dealing with software in our sparetime. Without money, no developer can
live, but TBH, if this would be the usual case, most of the developers
would only work for only about 8 hours on their software, and then they
are leaving the office, going home to their families...and then you
have, yes, the MS way.

Result: The OpenSource Business Model is a mixture of people, being
paid by companies to do work on their distros, and people, who are
doing work on distros or projects they like and love, just because they
want, but they don't need to.

Oh, without those people mentioned last, no OpenSource Company would
survive. No RedHat, no Novell, no Canonical, no one.



More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list