Is a software company asking for donations worth your money or
is it a case of exploiting the good will of the Linux community?
This is a column in two parts: an angry tirade by a reader, and a
firm rebuttal by Rob Malda, who calls claims of exploitation so
much posturing by non-coding fanboys.
From the reader:
"...Wouldn't you be outraged if a car company came out
and asked for donations to improve safety features or fuel economy?
These are company expenses to improve their product, so people buy
more and they make more money. It's not something you ask for
donations for. While I appreciate the many things Mandrake has done
for Linux, I don't think they have the right to ask for money from
their customers. If they were taking donations and giving funds to
projects like Gnome, KDE, Apache or FSF, that would be fine, but
these are ways to fund their products."
From Mr. Malda:
"The attitude that John presents above scares me. I
don't mean any offense to John, he seems like a smart guy, but I've
seen so many 31337 h4x0r Linux types who've never contributed a
line of code rant on about the evils of various free software
companies. Yet I know many guys who've actually contributed huge
chunks of code and, well, they just don't care. It's a case where
the fanboys have invented some sort of cause that isn't all that
important instead of doing something relevant. Those who can, code,
those who don't complain."
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