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GUADEC/Gnome Fund Appeal

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the good-cause-monies dept.

GNOME 219

With the end of the year approaching, the Gnome Foundation has put together an appeal for help. You can also just head over to Gnome.org to contribute directly - and this year, they become a charity organization, meaning that contributions for US citizens will be tax deductions. Yay, tax deductions!

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219 comments

Why is there a GNOME foundation? (5, Interesting)

phr2 (545169) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928527)

I thought GNOME was part of the GNU project. So isn't there already an FSF to handle the donation collecting end of things?

Re:Why is there a GNOME foundation? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928561)

According to this [fsf.org]:

The FSF promotes the development of free software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants. The FSF helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of software freedom.

And when looking at the detail here here [gnome.org], it speaks nothing of FSF support. So I guess an uninformed guess would be "no, not for Gnome"

Re:Why is there a GNOME foundation? (3)

deego (587575) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928786)

FSF did support GNOME financially at one time and helped GNOME become a viable competitor to the then non-free KDE, but once that happened, GNOME has been on its own.

FUCK NIGGERS! FUCK NIGGERS! FUCK NIGGERS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928530)

Hey all you bitches. Suck my dick and fucking like it. Fuck off you Lunix-loving hippies. LOLOLOLOL!

sry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928531)

I use blackbox ;-)

Nah seriously, the climate is hard for all of us.
I kinda think of what Linux Torvalds wrote in his book: "If you cannot be sucessful by building great products, then you shouldn't be".

That's Evolution & Darwin to you.

good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928539)

its about time this bloatware bit it .. if i wanted
a slow, crappy interface i'd just use windows ..
except windows doesn't reduce a 1.8ghz machine to
a crawl.

and you can actually do something with it besides
run an xterm with irc in it.

wake up and smell the coffee, people

In Soviet Russia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928540)

Charities Donate to you!

I donate used clothes to the salvation army for (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928543)

a tax deduction. Maybe the Gnome Foundation can use some old underwear????

Re:I donate used clothes to the salvation army for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928691)

Perhaps it wouzld be better to donate to KDE e.V or directly to your preferred project. Like abiword, quanta and so on.

A Charity Organization? (0, Flamebait)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928544)

and this year, they become a charity organization, meaning that contributions for US citizens will be tax deductions.

When I think of all of the worthy charities that help the less-fortunate, the idea of a bunch of self-indulgent computer programmers taking advantage of our tax code like this is revolting.

The announcement that Gnome is now a recognized, tax-deductible charity is not my idea of a real uplifting message right before the holidays.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928572)

hey those Danm bums can get jobs, Like me. Now if you don't like givin' open source programers a bit of cash and gettin' a tax deduction then don't do it. But I feel that they are a valid charity because they previded a free public service with-out goverment funding or ADs. The other thing is I don't if they will get any money for themselfs but use most of it on more testing hardware and meeting in meat space.

Re:A Charity Organization? (0, Troll)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928582)

Now if you don't like givin' open source programers a bit of cash and gettin' a tax deduction then don't do it.

I won't.

But I feel that they are a valid charity because they previded a free public service with-out goverment funding or ADs.

When the government grants tax-deductible status, that is government funding. If you are in the 30% tax bracket, 30% of "your" donation came from the government.

But that is simply not the point. There are charities to help homeless people, cancer victims, orphans, and third-world famine victims -- just to name a few causes. That's a whole lot more worthwhile than sending money to people who are getting their jollies by coding a GUI.

Re:A Charity Organization? (5, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928616)

Why? By what criteria? Help a cancer victim and they'll die eventually anyway, help a famine victim and they might last until the next famine... but help get free code created and it has the capacity to last and help unlimited numbers of people for a long time. Help develop software that can spare the governments in the third world from spending money on proprietary software and they'll have more money over to spend on fighting famine. Help develop an equal playing field in the IT industry and developing countries will have a chance to create an indigenous industry without paying IP taxes to the rich world.

Worthwhile depends on your point of view. You may get a warm fuzzy feeling from helping someone more directly. If you do, I suggest you work at a homeless shelter or some similar charity, where you can see and touch the people you help.

Me, I prefer being charitable for more longrange goals. In the long run I regard it as more worthwhile.

Re:A Charity Organization? (1, Troll)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928654)

By what criteria?

By my criteria.

Help a cancer victim and they'll die eventually anyway, help a famine victim and they might last until the next famine...

Reducing human suffering is more important than writing GUIs. I guess your point is that you'd rather see people suffer and die than have to use Gnome in its current state -- which it got to with no tax-deductible donations.

Help develop software that can spare the governments in the third world from spending money on proprietary software and they'll have more money over to spend on fighting famine.

The amount of money spent by third-world countries on software is insignificant compared to the cost of fighting famine, river blindness, AIDS, cancer, etc. If they got all of their computers for free, it would make little difference. The amount of money that, say, Sudan could save by using free software would make no significant difference to lives of the people of that country. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Besides, there is already viable, free software. I don't think that an even more polished version of Gnome is what will cure the AIDS epidemic in sub-saharan Africa.

Me, I prefer being charitable for more longrange goals.

Are you sure that you don't just prefer charities that create software that you personally benefit from?

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928667)

I guess your point is that you'd rather see people suffer and die...

I have to admit, you are a master at inflammatory red-herring arguments that don't answer people's comments.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928683)

He commented that helping cancer and famine victims was not as worthwhile as helping Gnome because those people would probably die anyway. I directly addressed that argument, so quite accusing me of being inflammatory or creating red-herring arguments.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928698)

Your comment about "suffer and die" is inflammatory. The poster made the valid observation that many charities don't have a long-term benefit -- they just tide people over so they can suffer a little longer.

Education and skills are more valuable in the long run than a soup-kitchen approach to helping people. Teach them to support themselves and they don't need your help anymore.

Helping third-world nations avoid spending their meager finances on corporations software is a good thing for the world society.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928713)

Your comment about "suffer and die" is inflammatory.

No, it is not. The other poster is the one that brought up cancer and famine victims dying anyway even if they received assistance.

The poster made the valid observation that many charities don't have a long-term benefit -- they just tide people over so they can suffer a little longer.

So would you rather die from pancreatic cancer in horrible agony, or would you rather that a charitable organization provided you with morphine to ease your pain?

Helping third-world nations avoid spending their meager finances on corporations software is a good thing for the world society.

There is already free software available. It was developed without the benefit of tax-deductible contributions. It is already good enough. A better version of Gnome is simply unimportant in this context.

Please, tell me what improvements are needed to Gnome before it is good enough to serve the needs of a third-world government.

Want to help third-world countries? Then develop text-based software that will run on 80386-based PCs with 1MB of RAM and a 120MB hard disk. Don't try to convince me that using tax dollars to help develop something that Sun will bundle with Solaris on high-end workstations is going to help third-world countries.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928797)

So would you rather die from pancreatic cancer in horrible agony, or would you rather that a charitable organization provided you with morphine to ease your pain?

Having watched my grandfather suffer from pancreatic cancer for almost a year (though the doctors originally gave him 3 months at the outside), I'd be far more inclined to self-terminate than expect society to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of treatment and pain killers so I could selfishly cling to life for a couple more agonized months.

Please, tell me what improvements are needed to Gnome before it is good enough to serve the needs of a third-world government.

How about you tell me what features are being worked on that they don't need? Gnome is solid and relatively stable, but it is not "complete." It needs better documentation, better integration (e.g. file extension/application binding defaults), and most of the sub-projects are still far from completely functional.

What would be the point of "developing" text-based software for 386-based PCs? The machines being donated by corps to the third world are typically Pentium or PII systems they'd been using until a year or two ago. Those shipped by my current client site were PII350s with 256MB RAM, 10G HDDs, 1280x1024 capable displays, with 10baseT ethernet, SB16 compatible sound support, mouse, keyboard, and monitor. The cheap PCs sold in India for those with a limited budget are even more powerful than that.

Asking anyone in the third world to try to educate themselves using 386 based machines as you describe would be futile -- the skills required would be hopelessly outdated before they even turned the machine on. They don't need to learn how to type -- they need to be able to replace modern commercial products that leech their budgets.

Re:A Charity Organization? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928794)

Are you for real you freaking maniac?!

What is wrong with you? Do you honestly think it's even remotely ok that a bunch of hippies can sit and play around at the governments expense (that means everyones expense) instead of getting real jobs like everyone else?

Benefit (2)

nuggz (69912) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928788)

Are you sure that you don't just prefer charities that create software that you personally benefit from?

Are yuo sure you don't just prefer charities that give you a warm fuzzy feeling?

We do things for our own reasons, in a free society you're allowed to.

Why don't you work to fix the law?

Re:A Charity Organization? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928619)

"a whole lot more worthwhile than sending money to people who are getting their jollies by coding a GUI"

Don't support GNOME. Then you can be assured that some portion of your donation will go to people who get their jollies by figuring out ways to violate anti-trust laws with impunity.

What...you think those charities don't use computers? You think those charities use computers that are immune to MS?

Get real! Those charities are using commodity computers! And if those GUI coders aren't able to get their jollies coding for the public good then those worthwhile charities will be forced into audits and License 6.0!

Follow the money and think things through.

Re:A Charity Organization? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928576)

I'm more general than that. I question why so-called "donations" are tax-deductible in the first place. Is it really necessary to bring out the "good heart" in people?

A True Donation is done without any expectation of returns or getting anything back. You give and let go, knowing there is more where that came from.

Donation & tax deductible (2)

nuggz (69912) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928777)

When you give a tax deductible donation you aren't getting any money back. You just don't pay tax on the portion you are giving away.

You don't immediately not pay tax on the donation, it get summed up at the end of the year so you might see a return. But that is just because you overpaid your taxes throughout the year.

Myself I take it as an easy way to bump up my charitable contributions bye 30-40% since it is pre tax money.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928583)

When I think of all the hundreds of thousands of people who benefit the hard work donated by open-source developers, the idea of a self-righteous liberal prig complaining about leveraging the tax code as it was intended is revolting.

The idea that there are people out there who think only their pet projects deserve assistance is not my idea of a real uplifting message right before Christmas. (And if you object to my calling it Christmas, go to work that day and take your religious holiday off instead.)

Re:A Charity Organization? (2, Flamebait)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928622)

When I think of all the hundreds of thousands of people who benefit the hard work donated by open-source developers

Who cares? Lots of people benefit from the work of Intel and AMD, too, but it doesn't mean that they are morally entitled to tax-deductible contributions.

...a self-righteous liberal prig complaining about leveraging the tax code as it was intended is revolting.

It's easy to be self-righteous when you are right. But that's a feeling that you are unlikely to enjoy any time soon. Oh, and I'm damned proud to be a liberal -- thanks for noticing.

As to your name calling, I'll respond in kind:

I don't give a damn about what some right-wing, borrow-and-spend, self-centered, pompous ass like you has to say about charities and the tax code. Your kind lacks the moral compass to make that sort of judgement.

The idea that there are people out there who think only their pet projects deserve assistance is not my idea of a real uplifting message right before Christmas.

You lack the ability to differentiate between a deserving charity and a bunch of self-indulgent computer programmers. I do not. I don't need to assume that every organization from the Ku Klux Klan to Habitat for Humanity is equally deserving. I can look at what the organizations do to determine which ones are more deserving.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928655)

What do tax deductions to charitable organizations have to do with profitable corporations? What corporations benefit from supporting a Gnome conference? Is Sun getting a free display at the conference? HP? IBM? Who?

No one. Your reference to AMD and Intel is nothing but a red herring intended to inflame anyone with an anti-corporate axe to grind.

It's easy to be self-righteous when you're self-deluded into thinking your way is the only way. Fortunately for the rest of society, other viewpoints are not only allowed, but encouraged and even supported by the openness of the tax laws.

Somewhere you seem to have gotten the idea that "charity" means "socially responsible." Charity is just giving to help when you aren't required to and don't expect a direct benefit back. Your "morales" are irrelevant.

BTW, if you were offended by the "name calling", reread your own post -- I just parodied your own statement from the flip side.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928800)

What do tax deductions to charitable organizations have to do with profitable corporations?

In this case, the tax-deductible contributions are funding the development of a product that is sold by Sun, RedHat, and others.

What corporations benefit from supporting a Gnome conference? Is Sun getting a free display at the conference? HP? IBM? Who?

Every corporation who sells Gnome as part of a package. Every corporation that uses Gnome benefits from the further development.

No one.

Wrong. See the above.

BTW, if you were offended by the "name calling", reread your own post -- I just parodied your own statement from the flip side.

I did reread my post (at your suggestion). What I found was "self-indulgent computer programmers." "Self-indulgent" is not a horrible insult. It simply means "indulging one's appetites, desires, etc., freely."

You, on the other hand, felt the need to refer to me as a "self-righteous liberal prig". There is no way that "self-righteous" or "prig" could be considered anything other than insulting and excessively so, at that. Liberal? Well, I'm happy with that, though I'm sure that you meant it in an insulting manner.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

spakka (606417) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928670)

Why are you so bitter? Did they reject a patch from you or something?

Re:A Charity Organization? (2, Insightful)

Newcastle22 (621052) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928798)

Who cares? Lots of people benefit from the work of Intel and AMD, too, but it doesn't mean that they are morally entitled to tax-deductible contributions.

Intel and AMD don't give their product and source code away for FREE.

You lack the ability to differentiate between a deserving charity and a bunch of self-indulgent computer programmers. I do not. I don't need to assume that every organization from the Ku Klux Klan to Habitat for Humanity is equally deserving. I can look at what the organizations do to determine which ones are more deserving.

You lack the understanding of what this particular charity does. Gnome is an open source GUI for Linux, which makes Linux easier to use, which creates more Linux users, which helps to further the technology of humankind without secluding that technology from the masses. All for free. Gnome is a whole lot more than just "a bunch of self-indulgent computer programmers." In addition, it is a technology that helps improve the technology (Linux) that the internet is reliant upon by attracting users to Linux and making it easier to use. If you don't know what Open Source is, I suggest you read Eric Raymond's book [amazon.com] before you go denouncing Open Source organizations as charities.

If you don't want to donate to Gnome, by all means donate to what ever charity you find worthy. But don't call Gnome an undeserving charity just because it doesn't feed starving children in Africa.

Dan

Re:A Charity Organization? (1)

MechCow (561875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928757)

The idea that there are people out there who think only their pet projects deserve assistance is not my idea of a real uplifting message right before Christmas.
I can't speak for the original poster but when I read "charities that help the less fortunate" I was thinking of things other than people's pet projects. That is the whole point, that there are organisations trying to reverse social evils like homelessness and drug addiction, and perhaps projects like Gnome do not deserve the same tax previlidges because generally speaking, even after the release of Gnome 2.0 the homeless are still, largely, without homes (although having a great free GUI is extremely generous - and we can only hope that as soon as they get homes they will take advantage of this).

Re:A Charity Organization? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928623)

I would certainly agree with these sentiments, particularly given the timing of the announcement when its traditional to support proper charities assisting those less fortunate than ourselves.

What I find particularly annoying about this is the fact that several for profit companies are leveraging the gnome codebase in their commercial offerings. An oft repated mantra on this site is that its a labour of love for developers to work on OS projects, apparently this is not the case with gnome. If the gnome project wants to be taken seriously then surely they must prove that they are at least capable of self sufficiency, rather then relying on dodgy requests for hand outs.

I'll be making my donations to the staving, homeless and suffering this christmas.

Re:A Charity Organization? (3, Insightful)

Diabolical (2110) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928630)

When I think of all of the worthy charities that help the less-fortunate, the idea of a bunch of self-indulgent computer programmers taking advantage of our tax code like this is revolting.

And the very idea of having your tax money being used to wage war against a very poor country isn't?

I know i'd rather spend it on helping GNOME.

Re:A Charity Organization? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928719)

Eurocunts are weak.

Re:A Charity Organization? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928791)

And the very idea of having your tax money being used to wage war against a very poor country isn't?

That depends. Is the country in question poor because it denies such basic human rights as freedom of speech, freedom of and from religion, equality of opportunity for all regardless of race, creed, and/or sex?

Re:A Charity Organization? (5, Informative)

zombiepopper (548605) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928634)

Gnome isn't a "charity" but a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. This is right from gnome.org:
GNOME Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax-deductible in the USA
There are plenty of other organizations that have the same status that are surely more disturbing than a group dedicated to working on such a high quality (free) project as Gnome.

Re:A Charity Organization? (1)

JamesHenstridge (14875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928643)

I probably wouldn't call the GNOME Foundation as a charity either. However, it is a non profit organisation [gnome.org] as recognised by US law (I suppose charities are a subset of non-profits).

If you would prefer to give your spare income to another charity/non-profit, that is your choice. We are being upfront about what the money will be used for.

If you feel that a donation to the GNOME foundation does not deserve a tax deduction (ie. you would prefer to pay tax on the contribution), feel free to not declare the donation.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928676)

If you feel that a donation to the GNOME foundation does not deserve a tax deduction (ie. you would prefer to pay tax on the contribution), feel free to not declare the donation.

You misunderstand my objection. I don't want anyone to be able to take a tax deduction for giving to Gnome. It diverts money away from worthy charities.

Helping to develop a product that big businesses (Sun, RedHat, etc.) will sell for a profit is not what tax deductions should be for.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

spakka (606417) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928690)

I don't want anyone to be able to take a tax deduction for giving to Gnome. It diverts money away from worthy charities.

By what mechanism? Do you assume that anyone who donates to Gnome would otherwise have donated an equal amount to one of your worthy charities? Or do you think that the tax deductions themselves are somehow funded by these charities?

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928770)

Do you assume that anyone who donates to Gnome would otherwise have donated an equal amount to one of your worthy charities?

I assume that some people would have. If someone donates $100 to Gnome, that's $100 less that they have to donate to other organizations.

Or do you think that the tax deductions themselves are somehow funded by these charities?

What? That's a new one on me.

The tax deduction that you get for donating to Gnome (hypothetically speaking) would be funded by every other taxpayer in the U.S. It is the American taxpayers that fund the deductions. If you get a deduction, the rest of us have to make up for it.

Re:A Charity Organization? (1)

JamesHenstridge (14875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928704)

If you think the main reason most people work on GNOME is to help big business, then you are mistaken. It certainly hasn't been the motivation for my contributions, which started before Sun started working on GNOME, and before any Linux distro was including GNOME (let alone as its default desktop).

On the subject of tax deductability, the GNOME Foundation meets the criteria for section 501(c)(3) (the foundation's work is of public benefit). If you don't feel that it should have tax exempt status, then you should campaign against the law.

You make it sound like the foundation is trying to trick people in to donating. We are being quite open about what the money will be used for, so each person who considers donating can make an informed choice.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928729)

On the subject of tax deductability, the GNOME Foundation meets the criteria for section 501(c)(3) (the foundation's work is of public benefit).

You and I both know that organizations like Gnome were not what legislators had in mind when they drafted 501(c)(3). It reminds me of the people that put a port-a-potty on their boat so that they can claim the boat as a residence. There is a difference between ethical and legal.

If you don't feel that it should have tax exempt status, then you should campaign against the law.

Yes, I probably should.

You make it sound like the foundation is trying to trick people in to donating.

I never meant to imply that. What I believe is that the tax-deductible status will cause some people to donate to Gnome rather than to humanitarian causes.

Re:A Charity Organization? (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928750)

You and I both know that organizations like Gnome were not what legislators had in mind when they drafted 501(c)(3).

Bullshit. It was intended to support non-profit organizations, and it's doing that. The fact that you don't agree with the goals of at least one of those organizations does not make the law or it's intent any less valid.

but this contributes to free software which.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928651)

may indirectly help poor nations become more efficient(i.e., upgrading the agricutural market) without having to dole out tons of money to microsoft.

Yes, and for a good reason. (3, Interesting)

qwijibrumm (559350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928664)

When I think of all of the worthy charities that help the less-fortunate, the idea of a bunch of self-indulgent computer programmers taking advantage of our tax code like this is revolting.

Ok.... where do I start? First off, what makes you think that the GNOME project, or any free software project does not help the less fortunate. The GNOME project, along with the rest of GNU, is constantly being deployed in less developed countries. This helps provide education on computer use and programming skills to people who otherwise couldn't afford the expensive software. The fact of the matter is education is the key to break out of poverty. GNOME, as part of GNU provides this.

How the hell is any free software project self-indulgent? Maybe the feeling of skill and greatness when you submit a patch for a bug fix, but self-indulgent what are you talking about? These "self-indulgent" programmers provided me with a desktop environment, and I have scarcely given a thing back.(sorry I'm poor too.)

The people who make the GNOME project possible don't see a return short of feeding themselves, just like the Salvation Army, or the American Cancer Society. They clear their overhead and donate their product and services to anyone who needs them, just like any legitimate charity.

Re:Yes, and for a good reason. (1, Troll)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928700)

First off, what makes you think that the GNOME project, or any free software project does not help the less fortunate.

To some small extent, it does. But it helps the fortunate far more. The majority of third-world countries have very few computers relative to their population. The amount of money that could be saved on software would have no discernible effect on the lives of their citizens.

The GNOME project, along with the rest of GNU, is constantly being deployed in less developed countries.

And it is good enough already. These people need food, clothing, shelter, and medicine, not a more polished version of a Linux GUI.

How the hell is any free software project self-indulgent?

Because it is a hobby for those involved. They do it for personal fulfillment.

They clear their overhead and donate their product and services to anyone who needs them, just like any legitimate charity.

Do you think that Habitat for Humanity will be donating buildings to Sun and RedHat? Of course not. They will donate them to needy families. Legitimate charities do not invest tax-deductible contributions to develop products that are resold by big business.

Re:Yes, and for a good reason. (2)

ender81b (520454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928717)

Because it is a hobby for those involved. They do it for personal fulfillment.

And what exactly is a charity? Do you not donate to a charity to get some form of personal gratification for helping those in need, by giving some of your excess to further some goal that is dear to you?

While, in principle, I agree to you that Gnome is hardly my idea of a charitable organization I don't see any reason to criticize their work or call it, in so many words, a fraud of our tax code. I have seen more worthless charities than I care to see and Gnome is hardly an abuse of the current tax code. They donate their work to the public at large to be used however they want to use it and accept donations for the public. Is it traditional? No. Is it still a non-profit organization? Hell yes. Are you under some sort of odd obligation to support it? No. No one cares, if you want to support it do if you don't believe in supporting it don't.

Legitimate charities do not invest tax-deductible contributions to develop products that are resold by big business.

In so many words, fool. What do you call charities that accept sponorship of big companies? Advertisement plain and simple. This charity function funded in part by blah blah. Are they not, using your defination, simply 'selling themselves out' by allowing for their image/goodwill/goodworks to be used to advertise a business and tie to it? Ah but since they do, what YOU define as, good works that is ok? I say that by producing a legitemate, free, alternative to windows Gnome does many good works by allowing for a free desktop enviroment that can be used by any organization that can better spend the $200 it would normally spend on a os/GUI on more important things. In that sense Gnome is indeed a charity since the 200$ it would cost for, say, a windows XP liscene can be better spent feeding children/building houses/curing aids whatever.

Sigh. people need to *think* more.

Re:Yes, and for a good reason. (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928761)

What do you call charities that accept sponorship of big companies?

So that they can get money to do charitable work.

Advertisement plain and simple.

No, that's why the big companies donate. It's not why the charity accepts the donation.

Are they not, using your defination, simply 'selling themselves out' by allowing for their image/goodwill/goodworks to be used to advertise a business and tie to it?

No. The charity work that they do still benefits the needy. Suppose FedEx sponsors Habitat for Humanity. Both win. Habitat for humanity gets much-needed money and FedEx gets good press.

That's far different than Gnome taking tax-deductible donations and then creating a GUI that is sold by Sun/RedHat/etc.

I say that by producing a legitemate, free, alternative to windows Gnome does many good works by allowing for a free desktop enviroment that can be used by any organization that can better spend the $200 it would normally spend on a os/GUI on more important things.

Okay, suppose that the government of Sudan suddenly got all of their software for free. How much money would that save on a per-capita basis? This may come as a shock, but there is not a computer on every desk in Sudan. Libraries are not found in every city with Internet access readily available. There are a handful of computers in most third-world countries and whether the government buys $200 operating systems or gets them for free has no bearing on the lives of the millions of people that live in those countries.

What helps third-world countries is software designed to run on old, slow computers that lack the memory, hard drive capacity, and speed to run things like Gnome.

people need to *think* more.

Your last post was damned good evidence of that.

Re:Yes, and for a good reason. (2)

ender81b (520454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928784)

For one I am an active member of save sub-saharan orphans [savetheorphans.org] and am not a fool when it comes to the problems facing third world countries. What I take objection to is people who automatically assume they are *Right* and that whatever person x is doing is *Wrong* like you are doing with this Gnome business. Let's take a look at your assertation that somehow what Gnome is doing by *shock* allowing it's product to be sold by SUn/Red Hat/etc is somehow wrong.

No. The charity work that they do still benefits the needy. Suppose FedEx sponsors Habitat for Humanity. Both win. Habitat for humanity gets much-needed money and FedEx gets good press.

No. The charity work that they do still benefits the needy. Suppose FedEx sponsors Gnome. Both Win. Gnome gets much-needed money to further develop a needed free GUI and Fedex gets good press.

THere is *no* difference between the two. None, except that one is more traditional so, according to your view, is more *right* somehow. It's a narrowminded view of the world.

Let's assume that, out of a population of 37,090,298 (Cia world factbook) 1/10 of 1 percent have a computer - that's 37,090 computers. Which, btw, is far, far below the actual number since the reported number of internet users is 50,000. At any rate if they would switch entirely to OSS they would save, at 200$ per computer, 7,418,000$ dollars. That's 7 million dollars that quite a big chunk of change. I would also point out that Gnome minimum system requirements are quite a bit less than the latest version of windows xp. I could also point out that Gnome will continue to be supported far longer than windows xp.

Alas, I would have more to say but I have to finish writing a 6 page paper due in 6 hours. Good day sir.

Re:Yes, and for a good reason. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928763)

You need to think more. This whole issue is ridiculous, a bunch of geeks that doesn't want to work for a living just everyone else shouldn't be sponsored by the tax-payers like this!

They should go out and find a real job or they should _really_ help the needy with food, shelter and so on. Stop this nonsense.

It's outrageous!

Re:Yes, and for a good reason. (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928742)

I kind of wish Sun weren't planning to use Gnome, as it would make it clearer to you that this whole business has nothing to do with supporting corporations.

Say I take a few million dollars (assuming I had it), and set up a park with some investments to fund maintenance of the park. No one is charged admission, and everyone is free to roam around whether they be stock broker or homeless bum. If some corporation chooses to have their annual picnic in that same park, is it now "supporting" business?

Of course not! It is still open to all, used by all, and is still not costing anyone admission.

The fact that some corp like Sun has chosen to use the "park" provided by Gnome does not make it a corporate pawn -- it just means another member of the community is accepting the offer to use the facilities.

While you may view free software projects as a "hobby", many of those who work on the projects believe in the good of what they are doing every bit as much as you do when you contribute to the charity of your choice. While there is a significant degree of ego and pride involved in contributing quality code, it is no more "self-indulgent" than your feeling of having "done good" when you write that donation check.

Re:A Charity Organization? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928705)

The advancement of technology helps society. Charity to poor trash is merely a waste of resources designed to make the giver feel good.

hmm... (1)

lingqi (577227) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928546)

let's see how long it takes for the name "Malda" to come up here [gnome.org]...

as of now (18:42 Dec 20 Tokyo Time) - I havn't found any /. editors on the said page yet.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928588)

You'll hardly find him there...

Most of slashdot authors use KDE - go ask them and see (heck, Rob even contributed some icons to KDE)..

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928769)

Why should they feel obliged to? Have you donated anything?

Translation (-1, Troll)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928549)

"In the current economic climate, financial support from corporations has tightened" = Martha Stewart is no longer sending us Christmas cookies and doilies. All they got was fruitcake, sans rum. [Obligatory attempt to confuse moderators]sadjfioasjfiwojenmifojioisjodIAMCORNTRO LLIO

WRONG! (4, Insightful)

tomlord (473109) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928551)

Were I to contribute, what percentage of my contribution would go towards paying people to write publicly licensed software? Ok, none? No sweat: what part of my contribution would go towards people who are architecting, in a credible, informed, politically neutral way, publicly licensed software? What, none?

Ok, now how much of my money is going to fund a PR engine and admin engine that benefits, almost exclusively, a few for-profit businesses? Pretty much all of it?

Lovely.

-t

Re:WRONG! (3, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928604)

They're pretty clear about donations supporting a conferance/show in Ireland IIRC. No where do they suggest that the fund would go to developers or development efforts.

Re:WRONG! (1)

JamesHenstridge (14875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928621)

A significant bit of the funding will probably go towards flying developers to the conference. Despite the internet making communication a lot easier, it isn't a substitute for face to face meetings.

For instance, the conversations at GUADEC2 really kicked the GNOME 2.0 development process into gear Before that, many developers had been concentrating on writing apps for the 1.x platform, rather than improving the platform.

Has Ximian conrtibuted? (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928552)

It would make sense if they did, right? If I've understood things correctly Ximian uses quite a bit of stuff from Gnome.

Ximian conrtibutes inherently (4, Informative)

cposs (545553) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928592)

I think you have it a backwards there. Ximian, along with Red Hat and Sun, is one of the main developers of Gnome. Ximian contributes to Gnome by its very existence. Furthermore, the founder of the Gnome project, Miguel de Icaza, is one of the founders of Ximian [ximian.com].
And before some ignorant troll pipes up, no, Ximian does not exploit OSS coders by selling someone else's code, they charge for services and a few properitary, in-house-developed products like Connector [ximian.com]. If you want to use Ximian Gnome, and not get their services, you can download [ximian.com] it for free right from their site, as always.

Re:Ximian conrtibutes inherently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928611)

And, by closing and selling things like Connector, Ximian are proof that businesses can not survive on open-source software alone.

Re:Ximian conrtibutes inherently (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928647)

Well, I was trying to imply that I don't know, that't why I asked ;)

But thanks for clearing that up, it feels self-evident now... :)

Tax deductions? Preposterous! (0, Redundant)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928553)

Come on, this is rediculous. There may be some worthy causes out there, but I hardly think an organizationd devoted to creating pretty window managers for Linux is worthy of money then the US Government.

Oh wait. nevermind.

Re:Tax deductions? Preposterous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928624)

And how much of the money donated to charities goes towards purchasing commercial software?

tax deductions (1)

phantomwolph (552305) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928557)

Not that it has ever stopped me before but it would be nice if us Canadians could get a tax break too when we contribute to U.S. charities. The other part that sucks is if I give $100.00 Canadian it's about the same as $60.00 U.S.

Re:tax deductions (2)

cperciva (102828) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928581)

Canadians can claim tax deductions for donations to US charities up to their US-source income. If you've done any freelance work over the past year, it's quite likely that you'll be able to claim the full deduction.

Time tax deductible? (4, Interesting)

tamnir (230394) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928558)

What if you do not want to donate money, but rather contribute with your work? I don't think any time investment can be tax deductible right now. That would also be pretty hard to track and verify.

Still, that would be an interesting idea, specially to the Open Source community, which relies entirely on its dedicated developers. Sure money could buy you some drones, but they'd be more expensive and much less productive than the Open Source people.

So, do you think there is any way/chance to ever see time donations being tax deductible too?

Added incentive (1)

bace (628761) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928559)

Now there is an incentive for tight fisted Gnome users to help out the cause. The words tax deduction make some people go crazy. Pluss it's good Karma

Tax deductions (1)

bcliftondotcom (632765) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928560)

...shouldn't be the main motivation for giving money to charity (and now one of your favorite open source projects), but nowadays donations and reduced taxes are inextricably connected. A true charitable contribution is giving resources to others out of the spirit of helping them. Any gain made in giving is good, but it shouldn't be the motivation.

Gnome becoming a US-registered charity will probably help raise the amount of money they receive, so that's wonderful. Anybody that likes using open source software should contribute however they can (code, money, reporting bugs, etc).

Re:Tax deductions (3, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928620)

...shouldn't be the main motivation for giving money to charity (and now one of your favorite open source projects), but nowadays donations and reduced taxes are inextricably connected. A true charitable contribution is giving resources to others out of the spirit of helping them. Any gain made in giving is good, but it shouldn't be the motivation.

If the government would reduce (eliminate!) my tax burden, I'd gladly give my hard-earned money to charitable institutions. It won't. Therefore, to give me an incentive to give away even more of my money (and it is my money, not the government's), they should at least give let me deduct that amount from my taxable income. Preferably, they'd do even more, but that's highly unlikely.


Donating your time or skills is all well and good, except that when you have to work to make ends meet, your free time becomes precious. I'd rather spend what little free time I have on me first, and then on charity if there's any left. Add to that all of the charity organizations that publicly state that they'd rather have monetary contributions than contributions of time, and it becomes even less likely that I would donate my time. So, that leaves giving money, and as far as I'm concerned the government takes too damn much of that already. There's nothing left for charities.

fuck this shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928565)

If I had to give money, I'd rather buy a copy of Windows XP than funnel it to the GNOME project. I mean, practice what you preach. This is a bastardization of "free" software -- it's more "lay-a-way." I bet RMS is rolling over in his early grave now.

Re:fuck this shit (1)

murrayc (19323) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928605)

MS force you to give them money. GNOME would like it if you gave them some money. There's a big difference. The FSF has always welcomed donations, and I'm sure RMS is very happy with that.

Re:fuck this shit (-1, Offtopic)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928626)

(Sorry for feeding the trolls...)

Free software does NOT mean free-of-charge software (although it comes free-of-charge most of the time). Rather it is used in context similar to the "free" as in "free speech", since you can do whatever you like with the software.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

On Vagueness...and a correction (2, Interesting)

mbathgate (617932) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928566)

What he means is that they "became a tax-deductible organization this year," so any deductions made right now are deductible (save your receipts!).

The letter seems a little vague to me, though:
With the help of private donations, the foundation will be able to fulfill more requests from hackers for travel subsidies.
Blanket pleas for donations to a decent cause will usually bring in money, but what will really bring in donations is specifics as to what the money will be used for and how much they need.

How much do they generally subsidize travel expenses? How many people come? What service is the conference to the developers/hackers that can't be provided otherwise? Why does it have to be held in Dublin, Ireland?

There are of course answers to those questions, but if Gnome really wants my money, then Tim and the rest of the team are going to have to provide more details. Until then, I'm skeptical.

Charitable? (3, Informative)

Doctor Hu (628508) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928580)

...and this year, they become a charity organization...
Well, tax-exempt non-profit under 501(c)(3), at any rate, which covers organisations other than those that are humanitarially charitable in intent. I'm not sure that I'd class Gnome Foundation [gnome.org] quite in that catagory.

this baffles me (2, Interesting)

Stanley Feinbaum (622232) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928586)

if a software group needs to make an "appeal for help", obviously something is wrong either with the software or the management!

Just look at Gnome's competitor KDE. KDE is still free software, but by having a clean UI and using less resources, it has become the standard linux desktop interface. It's also featured as the default UI in most distro's such as in Red Hat's Linux 8. We don't see KDE group asking for help and donations!

Personally, I don't put my money into what I see as inferior companies.

Re:this baffles me (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928591)

Shouldn't feed the trolls but

1. Since when is KDE the DEFAULT Ui in RH8?

2. This is an appeal for a specific function ie: GUADEC, which I am not aware has any equivalent in KDE

Re:this baffles me (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928665)

> KDE is still free software

KDE has the backing of TrollTech who are pretty much focused only on QT and anything that shows QT in a good light.

GNOME has backing too but it's from organizations whose interests are extremely broad.

> by having a clean UI

It's relative. Bad UI's are bad...anything better than bad is subjective.

> using less resources

Really? Then how come I still see discussions on how to optimize KDE with compiler directives so it doesn't take so long to load libraries?

> the standard linux desktop interface

Another subjective statement. Can you say that with authority?

> the default UI in most distro's such as in Red
> Hat's Linux 8

Better check your facts there, chief!

> We don't see KDE group asking for help and
> donations

Really? Then what was all that noise I heard a while back calling for an accounting on the donations given to the KDE foundation?

Re:this baffles me (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928774)

We don't see KDE group asking for help and donations! Yes we do here [kde.org]

I have some work for them, (4, Funny)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928609)

I could really use some gnomes around the house to help with a few projects. I don't pay very well, but you need the money, no?

talk about being poles apart (3, Interesting)

katalyst (618126) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928612)

At one end, Redhat has finally made profits thanks to its Advanced Server edition which comes bundled with Oracle. And here we have Gnome which accepts donations, and makes those tax deductable. These are 2 organizations, essentially working to promote the same technology... but going about it differently. I guess, KDE will fall somewhere in the middle.
Whatever, OpenSource is on its way.

only if you can guess which shell the pea is under (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928614)

" Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) spoke this morning on C-SPAN about the Bush administration (and Republican side of the aisle in Congress) subversion of the Sarbanes-Oxley Corporate Accounting Reform Bill and (with ex-SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt) of the new Accounting Oversight Board by "starving" (badly underfunding) both the SEC and the Accounting Oversight Board. Even now that Donaldson has been nominated as the new SEC Chairman, Bill Webster is still the (lame duck) chairman of the Accounting Oversight Board and House Republicans have blocked any increase of funding for enforcement of our securities laws stating that they plan to pass a continuing resolution next month to merely maintain paltry pre-Sarbanes Bill funding levels. This cripples the securities and accounting fraud reforms which the public (myself included) had hoped for from our government. House Democrats (including Markey, Frank, and Dingle) have pushed consistently for increased funding and now have issued a formal report on the SEC Accounting Oversight Board Chairman Selection Process which reflects a deplorable negligence by the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans. Whether this negligence is "accidental" or part of a stealthy and intentional strategy to undermine all such reforms and to enable continuing fraud on the massive and highly damaging scale which has been preying on individual investors for at least the past three years, the chilling effect on our securities markets (especially the stock market) will continue and deepen. The President's promises to double SEC funding (quickly) have been broken. As Ed Markey mentioned, this is the first time a major securities investigation has been led by a state attorney general (Spitzer) without any high federal official visibly leading it instead. This clearly indicates to me the administration's unwillingness to take corporate scandals and restoration of investor confidence honestly and seriously enough to effectively reform this fraudulent accounting environment well enough to restore our securites markets to sufficient safety and honesty for my savings to find a home there. I cannot imagine investing my hard-earned savings in stocks of publicly-held corporations traded on the NYSE or NASD while this travesty of "reform" at the administrative/funding level continues. It was difficult enough for legislative reforms to be enacted by Congress (and the President signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Bill into law even though he now refuses to effectively implement it, eliminating it via negligence) only to see them blocked by an administration led by those who were themselves too much involved in alleged securities improprieties or fraud in the past. The fox is still guarding the henhouse where we've been asked to invest our own nest-eggs."

L0L [google.com] 10 [trustworthycomputing.com]

eyecon eyegas lemming sea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928685)

if you neglect to send a few bucks to folks like the gnomesters/eff, you're not going to like IT in a couple of years.

so don't come whining to US, when there's only won channel [trustworthycomputing.com] left.

so, the billonlyUS FraUDs et AL, on wall street of deceit, knead only to ?pay?, a billyun dollars of yOUR hardearned real money, to yOUR fuderal ?gov't.?, & we're all m$ok again?

no admission of ANY wrongdoing on ANYONE's part? that's sleek.

L0L [google.com] 10 [trustworthycomputing.com] mod me up robbIE, IT's getting gooed out here. very merry.

off topic my .asp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928692)


if even some of the larceny at the "top" could be .controlled, ucann bet your worth less buyassed stock markup options, that there'd be money from gnome on, for works in the public interest.

we (you/me yOUR ?gov't.?) GIVE fuddles billyuns for that payper liesense crud, whilst considering legislation against the hobbyists. do you think 300$ is going to impact that scenario?

what fauxking head in the sillysand frauds is moddin' diss stuff.

Where does ximian come into it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928644)

Anyone care to comment on Ximian's role with GNOME?

So is this a biannual activity or lamer than that? (1)

Chexsum (583832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928682)

Come on Microsoft, GNOME needs your excess money and they keep your users happy by providing a decent desktop for their PC so it makes sense to donate!

They provide GNOMBA so that their PC looks like its still running Windows and then Windows can seem reliable.

They support the Mono stuff so .NET will work nicely if a donation is made so again Microsofts Technologies will seem excellent.

Dump the hax0rs that find all the exploits in Windows also by donating some cash *tax deductable* - what more can you ask for?

You can dump all the gamers from the system that make it hard to support new hardware *without BSODing* and Windows certified games work with WINE already.

You think ActiveX is good - wait till you see some Bonobo action *NB they can probably send you some MPEGs of bonobo action if you ask nicely and also donate*.

Take the good and give away the bad *they say money is evil you know*. *shrug*

Why all the bitching? (4, Insightful)

Strepsil (75641) | more than 11 years ago | (#4928701)

I don't care if it's for a conference or pizza and beer - it's enough for me that they asked. I'll hand them fifty bucks, no problem (and I just did). I'm not hurting right now, and I've had a hell of a lot of value out of GNOME.

Please note, you people saying "what about the starving children," that I am doing this in ADDITION to other charitable donations, thanks very much. I'm hardly snatching money from the mouths of the innocent to hand it over to pale and chubby programmers.

If you don't want to give them money, fair enough. Don't. You get that right with Free Software, you know? It's not like they figured out a way to make you pay for their products, even if you don't want them.

They're asking nicely - you can decline just as nicely, you know.

Desktop? Why? I don't even have a mouse, Mickey. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4928772)

They sound like beggars. I picture Gnomes on the
street corner holding a cardboard sign: Help Me!
I can't make it. God Bless You.

Nobody asked them for a "desktop". Desktops are
for Morons. Get a CLUE!

What's the matter? Can't compete with MickeySoft?
Is the Abusive MickeySoft Monopoly beating you up? Well
Then, I guess you'd better start begging.

Let them eat cake.
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