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Re: Open Source Funding: Developing Countries Better? (Bob Cringely, TPF)by grinder (Bishop)
|on Aug 24, 2003 at 21:32 UTC||Need Help??|
In terms of general out-sourcing of program development, Bob Cringely covered this subject a couple of weeks ago in two columns. I have no real experience in the matter, and while sometimes he says some pretty dopey things, more often than not what he has to say is pretty spot-on. In this case it all sounds reasonable to me.
So take a look at:
Insofar as it relates to Perl development (to address the first point in your post), we (the Perl community, through donations to The Perl Foundation), currently fund developers in high-wage countries. Witness TPF paying for Dan Sugalski's recent trip to Paris during the YAPC conference, so that the core Parrot developers could sit together in a room and thrash out a few ideas. (TPF paid Leo Tötsch's fares as well, for that matter).
Dan has a strong reputation in the Perl community, dating back from the work he did on VMSPerl. Leo's more of a new-comer, but given the prodigious amount of work he's put into Parrot, the decision to pay his way was a no-brainer.
I don't think it makes any sense to say that the money spent on their air fares, given instead as salary to a group of Indian programmers would have had a greater bang-for-the-buck on Parrot's development. It is merely coincidental that the recipients live in high wage countries. Were an Indian programmer to make a major contribution to Parrot or Perl 5, their fare would be paid to allow them to attend a round-table meeting on Perl development. The fact that there aren't a lot of open-source hackers from developing countries is another matter entirely.
I think the attribution of TPF's grants is moving in the right direction. Rather than trying to bankroll the entire operation, they're just trying to grease the wheels here and there to keep the development ball rolling. Many low-level operations rather than one or two high profile flagships.