[PD] no licensing, no money?

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at eds.org
Wed May 18 19:07:10 CEST 2005

On May 18, 2005, at 10:10 AM, gerard van dongen wrote:

> On Wed, 18 May 2005 15:09:55 +0200, Thoralf Schulze  
> <thoralf_schulze at yahoo.de> wrote:
>> hi everyone,
>> it's good to see that this issue is being discussed
>> here ...
>>> what i don't like about the bounty system, is the
>>> idea of "competition"
>>> or "hunt" which is not really compatible with
>>> "community" to my mind.
>> I agree. Then again, the pd community (like any other
>> open source community) is probably not as coherent as
>> it seems to be at a first glance: there are the
>> developers working on the software package and the
>> users that use it for whatever their purposes are.
>> There is a fundamental difference between developers
>> and users:
> <rant>
> No there isn't, especially for something like pd which is a  
> programming language as much as a program. There is a sliding scale  
> between users and programmers.
> this whole difference between devs and users is artificial and a  
> product of the closed source software industry. </rant>
> Not that everybody needs to code, but the idea that coding is a  
> fundamentally different activity from using is wrong. Part of the  
> magic computer mystique.

I totally agree.  This goes along with my recent thread of using Pd to  
implement as much of Pd as possible.  This is how it works with C, C++,  
Java, etc.  Pd is a programming language, not just an app.  If you are  
patching, you are a programmer.  But nonetheless, "developer" is a  
useful distinction.  It means someone who is actively working on the  
core of Pd, rather than writing code purely for their own purposes.   
Perhaps "developer" isn't the best word for this.

>> From this point of
>> view, bounties might be a good instrument to bring
>> developers and users closer together - after all, the
>> things that the average Joe User is missing in pd are
>> not necessarily less important than the new and nifty
>> things the average developer is implementing at the
>> same time.
> The problem is the price tag. How much does it cost to implement  
> feature z, who determines who gets the job.

See my other email about figuring out how we make decisions.  That has  
to happen first.  As for other decisions, I think we should make a  
freer version of the GNOME bounties system.  I think that anyone should  
be allowed to post a bounty, and people who are giving the money can  
choose what they want to support.  We could use the Bug/Feature  
Trackers on SourceForge to specify the bounties.  Then when people give  
money, they link that money to an existing Bug/Feature Tracker.  When  
someone submits code to fulfill that bounty, then there would be an  
developer election as to whether to accept it.  It would be  
Yes/No/Abstain so people who aren't directly involved in the code that  
the patch applies to could abstain if they wanted.  (personally, I  
would not want to vote Yes or No on something I didn't know about).

> Can I put up bounties for features and then code them myself if some  
> institution gives money? Can I code features first but keep them to  
> myself untill somebody coughs up some dough?

Sure, why not?  There is nothing to prevent you from doing these things  
right now.  I have openly said that if people give me a little money,  
I'll put time into working on the distros.  People have given me some  
money to do just that, so I have put in a couple days recently.  If I  
got enough money to stop doing lame freelance jobs, I would happily  
devote all that work time to Pd at a small fraction of the hour rate  
that I charge businesses.  This was, in effect, a bounty that I put up  
and I collected.  Or to put it another way, I offered my services, and  
a few people took me up on that offer.

As for competition for the same patch/bounty, I don't think that we  
should allow a developer to "mark" a bounty to prevent others from  
working on it.  If this was true, then someone could easily "mark" a  
high paying bounty, and sit on it until they felt like working on it.   
This would block other people from doing it without any  They should  
announce that they are working on it, then other developers can decide  
for themselves whether its worthwhile to compete for the same bounty.   
But in general, the idea would be that only one person should work on a  
give feature/bounty at a time.

I think Tim is right, a marketplace is more what we are thinking for Pd  
that bounties.

> Bounties might work for something where there are only two or three  
> developers and the program has a more strict licence than pd.

Bounties work well for GNOME, which has more developers that Pd and is  
GNU GPL.  Besides Miller's Pd code, almost all of the rest of the Pd  
code is released under the GNU GPL also.

> Use the money to pay some developers to come install and lecture on  
> the stuff. Start a pd development group locally. Or commision somebody  
> for a piece of music or an installation or a piece of software. Or get  
> some funky hardware for the money. Sensors and stuff like that.

If you are going to use money to commission a piece of music or a talk,  
why not commission a bugfix or a new feature?


> The pd community is too loose for something really official. And I  
> personally like that.
> another 2 c
> Gerard
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            "The arc of history bends towards justice."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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