[GRASS-user] Re: [Qgis-user] Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] augmenting donations

Andreas Neumann a.neumann at carto.net
Sat Jul 4 04:00:12 EDT 2009

Hi all,

I would like to discuss the sponsoring issue a little bit. For GIS 
managers that are not in direct charge of their budgets but need to 
discuss/approve their budget with their bosses/supervisors, I can say that:

* It is relatively easy to raise money for development work of concrete 
features that are to be implemented - bosses usually see a direct value 
out of this - and they are already used to pay non-open-source 
corporations for their specific development efforts anyway
* it is harder to raise money for bug-fixing - managers are often used 
to pay subscription fees or support contracts to commercial vendors, but 
usually aren't used to paying money to fix bugs
* it is very hard to justify donations - as bosses usually don't 
understand the open-source model fully - and often don't see their 
responsibilities as a user of an open-source project

I am just trying to help you guys to understand how government agencies 
or companies often work (exceptions are always possible). It is 
important to educate managers regarding the open-source development 
model. They are just not used to it and at the first glimpse they can 
find it strange - even if it is to their advantage.

One may discuss if QGIS/GRASS (or other projects) could offer yearly 
support contracts. It may help to raise additional money in some cases. 
It is important to distinguish such contracts from their fully 
commercial counterparts. Customers shouldn't be forced into paying those 
fees/contracts - but they may fell better with paying them. Probably, 
such contracts, would have to be done by individual companies - or could 
the steering board coordinate such activities?

Many managers in government agencies don't want to be held responsible 
in case things go wrong - and in case of using open-source software they 
are fully responsible about their decisions, whereas with commercial 
software they can always blame their commercial vendor (even if the 
contracts are always in favor of the software vendor and includes very 
limited liability of the vendor). At least in Switzerland I know that 
many GIS managers are thinking this way. They often want to at least 
share their responsibility with an external company.

Just my two cents,


Markus Neteler wrote:
> Thanks a lot to GFOSS.it! And to the folks managing the donations.
> To remember:
> http://www.qgis.org/sponsorship.html
> http://grass.osgeo.org/donation.php
> Also small donations are welcome.
> Best
> Markus
> On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 11:59 AM, Paolo Cavallini<cavallini at faunalia.it> wrote:
>> Hi all.
>> At GFOSS.it, we just decided to increase the donations we receive on
>> behalf of projects that adhered to the microdonation initiative
>> (currently GRASS and QGIS), by adding one euro from our budget to every
>> euro donated. I hope this will be appreciated.
>> So now your donations have now more effect for the well being of the
>> projects. Of course, other projects are welcome to join in.
>> All the best.
>> --
>> Paolo Cavallini: http://www.faunalia.it/pc
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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