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The Almighty Buck

Open Source Funding Options 127

Posted by Hemos
from the mo-money-mo-software dept.
There has been some discussion lately about obtaining money for Open Source Projects and such. Tom Holyrod sent in a list of US governmental sources to turn to for help. Click below to read more.
Recent discussions on obtaining support (and in particular, funding) for open source projects have prompted me to mention that the government, through various agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the CISE, can serve as a source for such funding.

There are many program areas available (see below) including Advanced Computational Research, Next Generation Software, Human Computer Interaction, Advanced Networking Infrastructure, Digital Government, Information and Data Management, Knowledge and Cognitive Systems, Operating Systems and Compilers, Numeric, Symbolic and Geometric Computation, Robotics and Human Augmentation, and Signal Processing Systems.

All you have to do is write a grant proposal, and get it through a peer review process.

The CISE provides support for individual developers and/or small teams, has special programs for women, and programs that are designed for student researchers (including undergraduates) to obtain funding while continuing to get an education.

The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering has three goals:

* To enable the U.S. to uphold a position of world leadership in computing, communications, and information science and engineering;

* To promote understanding of the principles and uses of advanced computing, communications and information systems in service to society; and

* To contribute to universal, transparent and affordable participation in an information-based society.

To achieve these, CISE supports investigator initiated research in all areas of computer and information science and engineering, helps develop and maintain cutting-edge national computing and information infrastructure for research and education generally, and contributes to the education and training of the next generation of computer scientists and engineers. CISE is organized in five divisions, three of which focus principally on research, and two which combine both infrastructure and research functions.

Dr. Tom Holroyd

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Open Source Funding Options

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  • god, i love sed. (but was it developed at AT&T by private funds, or at vast and ruinous expence at a federally funded university research program?!?! :)

    Actually you most likely run a version that has no AT&T code -- either GNU or BSD sed. The original development of sed was AT&T, however don't forget that it's done in the area where AT&T's own business is heavily restricted.

  • Well, if we're going to have Open Source software supported by taxpayer money, it's not any better than Commercial Software. At least with Commercial Software you have a choice of whether you want to pay for it or not, while with taxpayer-supported Open Source software, you *have* to pay for it. This leads to less, not more, freedom, and a socialist-style economic system.

    Free Software, on the other hand, is supposed to be something the author created because he *wanted* to share with other people, not because all those other people already paid him for it. If I'm gonna pay some guy to develop software, I might as well have a choice of who to pay, rather than the government deciding for me.
  • : The shuttle seems to be working great to me.

    At millions per launch? Thousands of $ per pound? I would rather have the private sector make it's own launch vehicle, it would cost alot less IMHO, and would lead to more industry and people in space.

    : PS: the NASA budget is less than 1% of the national budget

    Things add up.
  • Posted by Stephen "The Carp" Carpenter:

    Well...
    iN principal I agree with you....
    All the government is is a great big protection
    racket "You give us money and we will prrotect
    you. You don't pay and well...we can't
    gaurantee you wont have an accident"
    (notice that if you don't pay for the protection
    they come and send you to jail...)

    however...they do it.
    I do not believe there is anything wrong with
    using the system that already exists...even
    if the system itself is wrong. If it is there...
    then use it. (while fighting to abolish it)

    At the very least maybe you will break even
    between the money you get back and the taxes
    you send them.

    If you don't take it...they will use it for something stupid.
  • Posted by Stephen "The Carp" Carpenter:

    However...grants aren;t that bad.

    Think about it... you want to dedicate your
    free time for the love of computers and the
    advancment of free software. That is noble
    however.... it wont keep you alive.

    It wont pay for the server you want to
    advertise the program to potential helpers and
    users.

    This allows you to spend more time codeing and
    less time worring about money. It is still
    done for the love of computing. It is quite
    differnt from working for a company where they
    come to you and say "Write this with this"

    Money is the root of all evil, you don't
    have to look far to see that...however...
    it has its place and it is a need.
  • Posted by Stephen "The Carp" Carpenter:

    Hmm well I guess that depends who you are quoting
    doesn't it.

    I happen to have a book whcich has a chapter
    called "Money is the root of all evil"
    (Ending the Drug War: A Solution for America;
    Dirk Chase Eldrich)

    Thats the one I was thinking of (of course...
    I have heard the quote MANY times before and since)
  • fucking left wing commie open source lusers

    you think that taxpayers money should be spent of your idiot whining "shall we use KDE or Gnome today" bullshit while hospitals and schools are being closed for lack of cash?

    you make me sick.
  • Despite the paper surplus, we're still spiraling deeper into debt. We need a lot more than that to just keep us from going deeper in debt, to say nothing about getting us back out.
  • I guess that's why you posted as an AC...

    The US has never defaulted on a loan. I'd say that's a pretty good track record for anyone wanting to loan the US money. We're going into debt because we keep having to borrow money to pay off other debts. That, along with interest, is why we're spiraling deeper and faster into debt.

    The US is in some 4.6 trillion US$ of debt, increasing some 230 million a day. People whine and whine about how things like the ISS cost and how much the whole Clinton scandal has cost us in legal fees, but people don't give the national debt a second thought.

    The government and its budget are seriously broken. Most people have heard that line for years now but haven't given it much of a thought.

    Well, think about it. In 50 years it's entirely possible the United States (and perhaps the entire global economy) in its current form will no longer exist. Remember, the US is *your* government and country. Stop thinking of it as "you vs the government". YOU are in debt 4.6 trillion$. I'm anxious to see that debt resolved, even if it means I have to cut back here and there or see a few public projects put on hold until it can be resolved.

    Visit those web sites in the original comment. You might learn a thing or two.
  • We are not going to be free of taxes anytime soon so it's Good Thing for at least some of that money to go to open source projects.
  • Wow. What a troll. I'm impressed. almost everthing is wrong. Here is a zinger: in a communist system, you don't pay taxes! Whee!
  • Ok, so your competition now has the exact same software as you, and you are out many thousands of dollars since you paid for the development of the software. Now, assuming you and your competitor are equal in most other areas, which company is going to go out of business first, you or your competitor? Where is the incentive for anyone to pay for new software development projects?

    Right now, you have somewhat of a point, although I think a business can justify starting an Open Source package from scratch. See this [opensource.org] web page from the Open Source folks.

    An easier case to consider is this: Assume that somehow, a large number of Open Source packages have been developed that do almost all of the common things that a business might use. Now you are a business, and you need software to do something. You have several choices:

    You can hire a bunch of programmers to develop a package that does exactly what you want to do. This will cost a lot, and have continual update costs

    You can buy a "generic" commerical package that does much of what you want to do, but not exactly. This won't cost too much, but you will probably have to continually buy updates as the company stops selling the old software and only sells you new, but slightly incompatible software. You may also have to change around the way your business works in order to mesh with the comerical software, which might make you much less efficent.

    You can take the Open Source software that is out there and modify it to do exactly what you want. Of course, you must release these modifications, but your up-front costs are still going to be much lower than building your own, and your long term costs may be much lower than buying a comerical package. Plus, you can make it do what your business wants to do, so you can operate more efficently.

    I think that once the Open Source Software reaches a critical mass, you are going to see both comercial companys that create "generic" software, and in-house "closed" development fade away. Really specialized software will probably surive in a closed form for much longer, and I think there will be "software" companies that special in modifying OSS to meet custom needs.

    I can see the argument that the government should fund the OSS in order to reach this critical mass and thus provide both businesses and the public with cheaper, higher quality software. In particular, I think the government should strongly consider using OSS for all its internal development. Why should I pay taxes to the gov so it can buy closed source custom software? Why should I pay taxes so that the gov can send lots of money to MicroSoft instead of using Linux or *BSD?

  • In case you hadn't noticed, we're expecting a fairly hefty budget surplus this year

    Oh, well, yes, the US has had a "budget surplus" this year, but that is only because of the extra money that is going into the "Social Security Trust Fund". If you took that off budget, which legally it is supposed to be, we would have and a "hefty budget deficit" this year. ("hefty" being defined as being about the same size as the surplus that you call "hefty").

    The US government went about $113 billion futher in debt last fiscal year, when everything is totalled up. Check out the Concord Coalition [concordcoalition.org] web site for more info. They are a group made up of both democratic and republicans that know all too well how washington works.

  • I personally am not that happy with the idea of taxpayer funding. No matter what the source of funding, there's the danger that the priorities of the funders will distort the work.

    So, in an ideal world, funding would operate in a manner analogous to free software itself - totally decentralized, with funding coming from individuals, and with an absolute minimum of extra layers of management and administration.

    I've been thinking [levien.com] about how to do this. At the core of my idea is a cryptographically sound mechanism for identifying the members of various groups, for example, legitimate free software developers. My idea is based on certification by peers, and also has the property that it's very difficult to attack, i.e. if some imposters managed to get certified, they'd be able to do only a very limited amount of damage.

    The link above talks mostly about the techinical issues. However, the social ones are even more important. Christopher Browne has written a proposal [ntlug.org] that goes into much more detail at this level - you might have seen his letter to lwn.net a couple of weeks ago.

    My ideas are too rough and unfinished right now to do anything concrete. When I get the prototype running, I'll try to write up the ideas in less drafty form.

  • Given that the United States, China, Canada and others nations, are the largest consumers of computer software in their respective countries, it is obvious that public money pays for plenty of private/proprietary/commercial software development.

    The relatively small amount of money that governments spend on research grants is money well spent, particulary when the source code that results from the research are published under the GNU General Public License.
  • Well, dearies, I don't see y'all disdaining to use public roads, the Internet, public schools and universities, police protection, public libraries, etc. Grant money is already there. Use it for good.

    US Gov't grant money commonly goes to fund the development of products that are then patented and marketed for profit by private enterprises. I'm referring to encryption, pharmeceuticals, avionics, weapons, you name it.

    It is in the hightest interest of humanity to try to divert some of that grant money toward open-source and/or free software.

  • And I mean that in the most literal sense of the term: they had a goal, to develop a "space truck" that was fully reusable, with minimal turnaround time and support crew, that would thus lower earth-to-orbit payload costs enough to replace expendable rockets; they failed on all these counts. Instead, we have a vehicle whose ET is thrown away, whose boosters get recovered from splashdown at practically their own production cost, whose heat shielding and engines have to be practically rebuilt in the months between successive launches, which requires a small city to service it, and which costs 3-4 times more per kilo payload than even expendables. The only technical niche the shuttle is successful at is extended manned payloads; instead it fills the political niche of spreading a lot of money to a lot of districts, and it's successor program isn't looking much better yet.
  • The more I read stuff from libertarians, the more I think they have a lot in common with talibans, ayatollahs, scientologists, and hard-core animal rights activists.


    Anyway, let's see what's it you just said:

    As for the projects that only government can fund, none of your examples really apply. Arpanet was not really all that
    expensive,


    Not that expensive? Wow, that's an argument.


    ...
    and chances are Universities would have come up with something similar anyway.


    I don't know much about the american university system, but most of their research money comes from the government, does'nt it? It's the case in most other countries anyway.


    Web browsers aren't
    even created by government. Neither Netscape or Explorer are, and I believe Mosaic was a University product.


    Mosaic was created at NCSA, which is a government agency, you dumb-ass. Taxpayers money. Plain and simple, idiot. Then the web, and the first web browsers, were invented at the CERN, which is funded by 15 european govts.


    Conclusion: you're a liar

  • A very large proportion of free software in existence was developed wholly or partly by people whose time was being paid for by taxes. A large proportion of stuff produced by people at Universities fits into this category.

    The only difference is that much of this development was done as a side project, or as tools for a main project. The only difference being discussed here is making the free software the MAIN part of a grant application rather than just a subsidiary benefit.

    Who employed RMS originally and paid for much of the original GNU development? MIT, a university, and therefore at least partly, government taxation.
  • Finally an informed opinion! It is good to see that occasionally a good comment will sneak in amongst the k33l mOus3 jockeys.

    I got a Master's degree and I know the game. Research money funded by the government or industry groups buy the needed equipment and help fund grad students to work on the projects. My funding was from the department and the modest equipment purchases since this was a new area of research for the department and no external funding was available. However, they will use my work to help show competency in the subject matter and hopefully get funded more easily than if they went into an application with no previous work or experience.

    I remember one professor who got a project doing some analysis of extensive weather buoy (sp?) data and he used some of the money to buy a kick a** PC to run the analysis on. (simple example of the use of the money)

    I don't know what the money is used for in computer science projects, but I assume help for funding grad students and maybe hardware.

    These are just examples from an academic environment, they may not apply to your situation.
  • Yeah, it may, in some cases, be wrong to use taxpayer money for something like this. But that's not the only way to look at it.

    We pay our government, through taxes, to do their job. Their job is to govern our contry, and so far they've done a fair job at it. Sure there are problems, but when was the last time you were arrested for speaking your mind? When was the last time all of your posessions were confiscated by the government just because they felt like it? The majority of Americans live in decent housing, have jobs, and are not starving to death in the streets, and you would complain about this? I know this is a bit exaggerated in part, but I only hope you get my point. We've got it pretty good here.

    Our government does their job, and we should be very thankful for it. We should also be thankful that they not only help us by governing, but that they would be willing to take a part of their funding and put it towards open source projects. They don't HAVE to do that, and you don't HAVE to live in this country if you don't want to. We all have free will, exercise it how you want.

    Personally I don't think that this is such a bad idea at all. Within the last year and a half the Open Source movement has come a long way. There is growing public recognition. We're changing the way things are done out there. Within a few years, who knows? It has every potential to reshape our entire way of thinking.

    So what would you rather our government do with the money that we would give to them anyways? Would you rather that they build a few more bombs, guns, etc. Or maybe you'd rather they line their own pockets with it? I'd like to see this money being put towards good use, and if it means me paying a few dollars more per year, I'm all for it.

    If someone feels that a project they work on, is important enough to the general population, of the country, world, internet, or what have you... OR if they feel that their project could generate funds that could be used to fund other projects, then why not give them a chance and see if they can do it? It's becoming quite obvious that Open Source software is growing beyond the bounds of free time work for computer enthusiasts. If someone believes they can use this money to help out in some way, then give them the benefit of the doubt and let them try. To quote a Red Hot Chili Peppers song: "...but the Bunghole Surfers said, 'It was better to regret something you did, than something you didn't do.'"


    --
    Gabe Ricard

  • Excellent idea!

    Now, where can I scrape up enough money to get a new PIII-500, *and* donate...



    --
  • This is the reason I'm giving up on slashdot.

    Good thing you posted this anonymously so we can't hold you to that, eh?


    Most of the posts, like the one I'm replying to, are by 12 year old's pretending to know something.

    Oh, sure - the guy was an idiot, but the fact that you reacted with such a spaz attack is really only a discredit to you.


    Geoff

  • Programming is an art. A great program is a work of art. Arguably something like GNOME or Enlightenment should qualify for arts funding.

    If society sees fit to fund artists (through the NEA) so that they can pursue their creativity for a living, why can't hackers do the same? Open Source makes a significant contribution to the betterment of society.
  • I'm libertarian, and I believe in some resonable
    taxes (about 15%) and tight control on spending
    them, and one of the good things to spend on
    is research.
    Software is the special case. Even if you're
    100% pro montaristic economy theories you still
    should understand that a legal model which
    encourages extreme monopolies is wrong.
    Well, maybe I'm not libertarian, I just like
    freedom. Patens and Copyright are used to limit
    freedom. Also, how extremist libertarian live
    with the fact that the only reason why Bill
    Gates exists is because of copyright law enforced
    by the Goverment (which should not exist). Who
    would be watching for copying that floppy then?
  • You forget that the government is paying billions of dollars to proprietary software manufacturers for its own needs (e.g. MS Office for every government clerk). If the government spent far less money funding free software instead, the taxpayers would save money -- lots of it.

    As for your contention that free software is a "hobby" -- without government coercion the commercial software industry would not exist, so you should at least be consistent.


  • Government funding of free software would permit
    a decrease in taxes, as the government
    would no longer have to pay billions to
    commercial software companies to conduct many
    of its functions.

  • At least in the case of Netscape, this is a very strange view: Tim Berners-Lee tested his ideas at CERN in Geneva, which is funded by several governments; then some people at the NCSA (government funded) thought it would be a good idea to implement a browser for this web-thingy. Then Andreesen met Jim Clark, convinced him that that would be a great business idea, hired all his coworkers (who had developed their crucial know-how on government money) and went to unbelievable success.

    No, Netscape was not created by the government. But government funding was crucial to get it to a point where something could be shown to investors to get them interested.

    BTW, how do you think Universities fund their research ? NSF, NIH, Army, Navy, Air Force.
  • Writing grant proposals is a full time job in itself generally.. maybe they have a 'simplified form' for open source projects?

    I kind of doubt that most of the open source projects would qualify anyways... I think Microsoft would cry foul if the new open source replacement for MSWord was built with government funds.. :-)

    (not that they wouldn't cry foul if it was built any other way anyways.. but still.. )
  • "Research workers are supposed to discover or invent new things...

    The greatest danger to good computer science research today may be excessive relevance.... Another danger is that commercial pressure of one sort or another will divert the attention of the best thinkers from rel innovation to exploitation of the current fad, from prospecting to mining a known lode" --- Dennis Ritchie, CACM, August 1984.

    That's what these government grants are for. Not for mining a known lode, like most open source projects are doing, but exploring new technologies, new ideas, unproven, radical concepts, without the undue pressure that funding from private sources often brings.

    These grants aren't about developing some application. I keep seeing comments about "government funded applications must be open source". This is about ideas that transcend simply a single application, operating system, compiler. Ideas that revolutionize everything.

    So, this isn't about Linux, or Gnu, but about those things none of us have dreamed of yet...

  • I haven't seen this much idiocy in a long time.

    First Off:

    People, the gent was kind enough to point out that grant money is available for Open Source software. U.S. Grant money has the following characteristics (for those of you unfamiliar with the joyous process of grant-writing):

    • It has to pass peer review. In this case, peers are scientists. All the stuff you're writing the grants for is viewed through a research lens - they aren't going to be interested in funding someone's latest widget set/mail agent/browser.
    • The grants are RESEARCH. This doesn't mean you have to write something that runs instruments for the SuperColider. However, what you're writing must be exploring some new idea/concept/etc. Most Open Source projects people seem to run these days are in essence duplicating concepts that are in commertial programs, which is good, but there's no hope of them getting funded. No new ideas (from a research perspective). Things such as the CODA filesystem and the Beowulf stuff are examples of what the grant people might be interested in (notice that one was from a university, and the other from a gov't research place).
    • Once you get the money, it's yours. You have to account to gov't auditors that you didn't spend it on a new Porsche, but if you get the grant, then, hey, go to it. The Feds aren't going to say, "hey, you can't do it that way!". And, for the most part (National Security being the only real excuse), there is no reason you can't release the code under any License you want! Actually, most code can't be kept proprietary, since a general clause of a grant is that resulting work be available to the research community.

    Secondly, I don't know where people get off thinking (or calling) gov't grants "tainted" or "bad" use of your money. Just who the fuck do you think funded most of the major Open-Source stuff for the last 10 years? A large chunk came from directly-gov't funded projects (x11, ), or by people who were indirectly gov't supported while they wrote the software (RMS). Universities and research organizations are heavily gov't funded, and that's where virtually all Open Source software has come from up until last year (1998).

    I'm really tired of people bashing corporate and gov't as Evil. They're not. If they want to pay you to write good, Open Source code, who cares? If you don't like the restrictions they place on you, don't work for them. And gov't money goes to the common good - seems to me that's the whole idea behind Open Source - everyone working together to get things done quicker, better, and more efficiently. If you've got a beef with how the gov't is run, that's fine. But this doesn't have anything to do with that.

    If you think you've got a good idea for doing something no-one else has thought of, or want to explore a new approach to a problem, write a grant. Try for the funding - most won't get it, but the few who do often produce something quite valuable. And if it's Open Source, well, then, we're all going to benefit.

    -Erik

  • there is a budget for that stuff that will be used up by someone or something, id rather see it go towards free software.
  • Are you saying we should not have copyrights?!
    Or patents??
  • I find a nice concentrated concoction of nitrated C603H3 works fine as a culture medium for nerve cells and can be disposed of nicely after filtration and cyrstalization with a high pressure/temperature source. (very high for best results)
    eheh.
    now where'd I put my backup brain...
  • Hmmmm.. Yes, America would be a grand nation if the government had never started taxation.
  • ...my tax dollars going toward the subsidized "incubation centers" that help small businesses get off the ground?

    It seems to me that these grants would allow someone to create an OSS product which they would have to give away. If they want to really make money off of it theiy're going to have to go the same route as the RedHats of the world who sell packaging and support.

    Again... I must be missing something cuz I can't see a big downside to this. (Unlss the software isn't going to be OSS.)

    As a taxpayer, I'd rather see this sort of funding take place than a lot of the other, even more questionable, projects that are funded under Govt. grants.

  • Hindsight is 20/20, friend. Of course the government has funded ideas that didn't pan out. So does industry. The question is whether industry is willing to fund ideas that aren't immediately profitable to them. The goverment does. Industry does not.

    If an idea has commercial value, investors will support it.

    That is not important, because so much government sponsored research does not have commercial value.

    At least, not for the next fifteen years, then WHAM it's worth a billion dollars. Then you say, "Hey, I could have done that." But, see, the thing is, you didn't, and neither did the private sector, because they aren't omnitient either.

    I believe Mosaic was a University product.

    Yes, in fact it was created at NCSA, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Funded by NSF, and paid for by your tax dollars. Shocked?
  • Ah, but do you know how many BILLIONS of dollars are given to major US companies via corporate welfare tax writeoffs? Over $125 billion a year, that's how much.

    If you're going to be irritated at unfair government policies, don't get mad at researchers and software developers, get mad at corporations who have custom-written loopholes written into the tax codes just for them.

    'S what I think.

    For a bit more (scary) info, look at:http://www.fair.org/media-beat/981126.html [fair.org]
  • I am just saying it's a matter of scale. Research is a drop in the bucket compared with corporate
    tax loopholes.
  • read about this. Gee, isn't this why you pay for software in the first place? I mean you pay for the people to program it, R&D, production, shipping etc... Now if we pay taxes to get this software to developed, we might as well just pay for some software at Egghead. Same concept, someone is getting paid.

    I thought this whole thing was a bunch of programmers all over the world dedicating their free time and effort and passion for computing.

    As soon as money gets involed, that's all gone.
  • Oh, and I suppose the billions wasted in Iraq last month was an example of -good- use of taxpayer's money. Sheesh!
  • A better solution would require the Clinton to only accept software that includes the source code. Wasn't this what Ada was made for?
  • Listen socialist, the software would then not be free, would it? . . . shut up yourself about the socialist bullshit,

    leaving aside the fact the "free beer/free speech" thing, which another poster was kind enough to explain, why is it that libertarians are (almost) invariably abusive and insulting? of course, their maturity level isn't a valid reason to dismiss their ideas (that's one of niven's laws: "no cause is so just that there isn't an idiot supporting it, so don't judge a cause by its followers" words to that effect). it's just depressing, that's all.

    besides, what makes them think that being able to spell "libertarian" exempts them from the responsibility of learning any basic facts about economics and policy before they shoot their mouths off?

    that guy sounded like a centrist mixed-economy advocate, which is not a socialist. these are two very, very different things. you can say, "yeah, but i define 'socialist' differently!", and that's your right, but if so, you can't expect anybody to read your mind and know what you mean.


    I don't think I should be forced to pay for services not rendered unto me.

    thank god these characters never had any power and never will. we'd still be in the bronze age.

    the vast majority of basic research that happens in this world is funded by governments. businesses rarely have the cash flow to invest in anything with no short-term return, and almost never have the vision. there are exceptions, but they are brief and rare. i have no doubt that somebody can name some significant basic research done in the private sector, but much, much more has been done in academia with government funding, and in government agencies themselves.

    the problem (IMHO) with these junior high school "libertarians" is that they have a nice, simple, appealing, reductionist Grand Theory of Everything. they never waste time on the facts when they can appeal to their Theory instead. look, if the greater good is served by a mixed economy, then let's stick with it. i'd very much like to see any convincing evidence to the contrary; it's a very interesting question, and worth discussing. unsupported theories don't count as evidence, nor does vebal abuse. . . . and shouting "socialist" as if it were a dirty word is just plain silly.

    there must be some sensible, grown-up libertarians out there somewhere. come to think of it, i mentioned larry niven above, didn't i? he seems pretty sensible . . .

  • I'm considering applying for one to study wearables, mainly image recognition and memory, visual, and hearing enhancement. I couldn't afford the equip w/o a grant.

  • The federal funding of Free Software may actually save tax payers money if goverment institutions start using it. Federal and local governments pour vast amounts of $$ into software every year. Having a firm foundation of free software would save us all money in the future.

    The federal government buys so much software it could break Microsoft's monopoly in an instant if President Clinton forbade any government money being spent on Microsoft products. This is well within his power and would be much cheaper than spending years in court.

  • The only difference between planning an Open Source project and planning not to go Open Source is that in an Open Source project anyone has the ability to review the code, 'own' the code, use the code, and *gasp* evaluate the projects source. If you don't have an Open Source project, you can hide your code, only let those whom contractually bind you audit your product, and produce binaries that are specific to one OS and platform.

    Also; just because it is Open Source it doesn't mean that it will be a Linux/GNU project (but one can hope). If it is on WinNT/Solaris/BeOS/HPUX/etc.. then you should still aspire to use Open Source.

    I know I want all government funded software that has no reason not to be released, freely available and accessible by the real government - the people, you and me.
  • Government funding of Open Source software is a Bad Idea. The Open Source movement is not a socialist movement, but a new form of marketplace. Ideally, an Open Source contributor will make money consulting or selling related software or documentation. The money will come from willing buyers, rather than from unwitting taxpayers.
  • Anyone who developes software for linux obviously has a fair amount of knowledge about computers. I't not like people that develope software for linux don't have another job. You shouldn't get payed for doing your hobby.
  • The internet (TCP/IP), Email, BSD, BIND, HTTP, ...

    Were all created with our Tax Dollars.

    Be more annoyed that a certain company up in WA would like you to pay them for technology that our taxes created.
    -- hgc
  • I'm rather new to Slashdot (in fact, this is my first post), but so far I have enjoyed reading the many comments from everyone who has contributed.

    After reading your post, I did a quick search on the Project Gutenburg [promo.net] web site for 'Rand, Ayn'. This returned the title 'Anthem'. I don't know if this is the story you were referring to in your post, but I decided to read it regarless. I just finished reading the story, and I must say it was an enjoyable read.

    Cheers,
    Sirike

    "Backwords saying worth is, saying worth anything."
  • In reply to
    "well the dawn is over, stupid, and my computer doesn't use any boolean algebra. it's
    linux. get your facts straight. linux. not gnu/linux, just linux. boolean is that GNU stuff,
    right? well i don't use that socialist bullshit either. boolean algebra is USELESS, YOU.."
    Hey,that's a bit of news:here's a computer which
    doesn't use boolean algebra! Deserves some advertising,doesn't it...
  • If you hire a programmer in the Open Source mode, he can start from a higher level of development using some other open source project as a starting point.

Your own mileage may vary.

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