|No such thing as a small change|
Re: Open Source Funding: Developing Countries Better?by woolfy (Hermit)
|on Aug 24, 2003 at 08:26 UTC||Need Help??|
I think there are more "hands" in this.
There is an egoistic hand: why would we support people in another part of the world to build a software industry that will be cheaper than our own, which will do the same with other industries in the west: cars, computers, home electronics, etc.
There is the practical hand. Some people in Korea, India and perhaps other countries already get funding for their work. Ridiculously low amounts of money, with which they can live and work for a year, and for which we would shrug, like, I can buy just a dozen of DVD's, so are you kidding me? So, the practical hand says darn it, why not, it is helping Perl, it is really helping them.
Than we also have a paranoid hand. Are we sure we can trust those people? India has nuclear arms and is fighting Pakistan all the time (and vice versa of course). Of course, this has little to do with Perl, it is pure politics. India is a democracy. Korea too. But they are not "open" democracies, the governments are quite restrictive. And there's a lot of corruption, really a lot.
Yet another hand, this time it's fatalistic. Money to developing countries way too often disappears into a deep dark pit. No effect in the long run. Most of the time, only the people that "did their thing" by themself, survive, build a strong company/group that grows. Why fund more money that's not going to make a difference.
The last hand I can think of is the control freak hand. Are any enforcable and controllable obligations connected to this type of funding? What harm will the control and pressure do to the creative process, or would it be motivating. Would the control put the funding party really in control, or is cheating too easy, or is that just looking too much at the bad side of humanity.
Talk to the hand. But to which hand... I'm in doubt. What good did funding do to our western developers?
In principle, I favor funding like this. But I have seen too many examples of funding without result, even funding with a negative effect. I call for caution and a moderate type of control and a contract with obligations.