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+ - Ask Slashdot: Why not Kickstart Free Software?-> 9

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corbinlc
corbinlc writes "Ask Slashdot: Why not Kickstart Free Software?
As covered on slashdot recently, there is a nearly over Kickstarter campaign to bring Octave and gnuplot to Android. I, Corbin Champion, am the developer behind the project and the associated campaign and have a few questions for slashdot readers. I will ask a few here to entice you and then post more in the comments to provide for lots of raucous debate. I have gotten a lot of feedback like "Why should I fund something that is given away for free?". Is this really the general feeling about free software? Recently, there was an article about Kickstarter being about pre-orders. Is it too abstract for people the pay it forward for the features they would like to see in software that doesn't have a unit price tag? Many people also seem to think the project deliverables shouldn't require the $50,000 funding goal. How much do you think it would cost to have someone develop the deliverables listed?"

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Ask Slashdot: Why not Kickstart Free Software?

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  • I have had many people say this could and should be done for much less. The deliverables are found on the project page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/6438588/sombreros-for-the-android-world [kickstarter.com] . How much do you think it would take to have this developed? Now, it has so far been developed for free (well $25 to get on the Android Market), but how much would it cost a professional to do this?
    • Despite what some may think, this project's success wouldn't make me rich. It will just allow me to spend some focused time on the project away from my full time position. This will require time off, very late nights, weekends etc. I am driven to do it, but I don't want to muddle through forever. I also want to provide support, bug fixes etc. I am committed to spending all the money raised for the project on buying developer time (most likely mine). There is actually something awkward that will happen
  • I have gotten a lot of feedback like "Why should I fund something that is given away for free?". Is this really the general feeling about free software? I have heard quite different positions of how noble developing free software is. Where do you stand?
  • Recently, there was an article about Kickstarter being about pre-orders [wired.com]. Is it too abstract for people the pay it forward for the features they would like to see in software that doesn't have a unit price tag?
  • My google code project page has always obvious ways to donate and to file bugs and feature requests, why do users ask for something more than an order of magnitude more often then they contribute. What do you think about that? Are you that type of user?
  • My apps [google.com] have received very high ratings. Most users give the apps a perfect 5 star rating and heap on praise. Why so much love, but not contribute to enhancing the project further?
  • I have been doing to campaign by myself (you can probably tell). I have encouraged backers to tell others about the project. The project has gotten on slashdot, walking randomly (a popular blog that often talks about numerical computation software), got noticed on the reddit math and android sub-reddits. Even with those moves it has attracted a fairy small number of users. What do you think could have been done better to get the word out about the project?
  • I have made it clear that I am going to work on the project even if it doesn't get funded. I want to be honest about what I am doing, but many seem to take this as a reason to not fund it, or at least to tell me and others that is a reason to not fund it. With dedicated funds it will get done quicker. I don't want it to muddle along forever, I want it to be done right. Does that make sense?
  • I think about working on free software or funding free software as being similar to giving to charity causes. Doing something for the greater good. How do you view it?

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