Hi Bastien et al, I'm sorry for the late reply but I wanted to take the time to clarify my vision.
Having an honest experience in the proprietary software world, I observed that having "official support" was a requirement for any technological choices. As such, choosing a product from a given company was always seen as a "safe choice". Companies feel more safe when there is this "official support" available and pay a lot of money for that. One huge problem of free software in the commercial world is that people think that there's no support for it. Richard pointed out that the FSF maintain a list of commercial providers, and I think that this is the reason: to show that Free Software is a good product with commercial support. As Martyn said, we have at least one record of one company switching away from GTK+ because of the lack of perceived support. I believe that it should be part of the work of the foundation to promote GNOME and every GNOME technology as a viable, high-quality, commercially supported solution. This seems to be confirmed by this quotes on the foundation.gnome.org main page: "The Foundation will act as an official voice for the GNOME project, providing a means of communication with the press and with commercial and noncommercial organizations interested in GNOME software." Improving the promotion of GNOME as a commercial solution will led to more people looking support for GNOME and more money invested in the GNOME economy in general. In the end, a lot of features, bugfixes or even new products are in fact paid by customers which benefit to the whole community. I could give you some examples that I'm currently witnessing but I don't want to use this thread as an advertising channel. I believe that there are a lot of potential customers waiting around the corner. There is way more than Nokia. A lot of small companies want to use GNOME technologies for a niche product and need some kind of support. Improving the GNOME market would mean the creation of new GNOME companies, it would means allowing some GNOME hackers to be paid full time instead of doing a Windows IT job during their 9-17 shift. As a result, the quality of GNOME will also be improved. Improving the situation would be a benefit for everybody. But improving the situation is not only about adding a webpage. It's really about adding a new paradigm to the GNOME foundation. The GNOME foundation should act as the owner of a commercially supported product. This is of course huge and I don't think it would be achievable in one year. But, if elected, I would like to achieve at least the first steps in that direction. Le lundi 23 mai 2011 à 12:02 +0100, Bastien Nocera a écrit : > > Definitely, in fact, that's exactly what I discussed with Martyn on > foundation-list a couple of weeks ago. I hope I convinced you that it was not only about a webpage. > > > But think that the "communication about commercial support" is only the > > tip of the iceberg, that there is often small issues or > > misunderstanding. > > What sort of problems do you expect to see? I'm pretty unclear on what > "small issues or misunderstanding" you would see. Bad wording from my parts. Let's state it this way: the GNOME foundation is currently acting as a the owner of a Free Software product. Which is fine but, IMHO, could be better. I believe that the GNOME foundation should act more as the owner of a commercial grade free software product. The fact that it's free software and that there are multiple companies is a strength : + more competitive market (cheaper price for the customer) + no vendor lock-in + more flexible solutions None of those strengths are particularly visible. On the opposite, people think that their is no support at all. > > It is not only about having a page that list the > > commercial support companies. It's more about a deep collaboration > > between the foundation and the companies that live from GNOME. > > I personally don't think that the Foundation needs to be involved in > setting this up. Rubber-stamping this, certainly, but I don't think that > those companies that offer services need the Board to be involved to > make changes to the GNOME website. I hope that I explained it better this time. > > > And for such deep collaboration to be optimal, the board is the best > > place. > > > > > - isn't the Advisory Board, and not the Board, the group where the > > > GNOME companies (and others, obviously) should be represented? > > > > I think that the board should represent the community. As I said in my > > previous mail, I believe that the community is mainly composed of > > independents, big companies with GNOME products and small companies with > > GNOME services. Thus, I believe that the board should be a fair mix of > > people from those different backgrounds. I especially happy to see the > > candidacy of Diego, Ryan and Andre regarding that. > > I would argue that the Board doesn't need to match the represention of > the community, but needs to represent the community at large. Otherwise > we would have a different voting system. I let this decision to the voters. They will choose themselves how they want to be represented. > Bringing your knowledge of a certain subject to the Board is certainly a > good thing, but I don't think a person needs to work for a consultancy > to be able to represent consultancies effectively, for example. I think I understand your point but I don't really agree. I think that people follow their own interests. Regarding my employer, I want to make it clear again: I didn't sign my Lanedo contract with my blood and I'm not tight to Lanedo. We have record of companies disappearing from the GNOME world (for whatever reason) but I'm sure of one thing: there will always be GNOME companies. I want to support the GNOME entrepreneurs and all the GNOME companies. I may not be working for Lanedo in a few months/years. But I'm sure that I want to continue to work for GNOME companies. My interest is thus to make GNOME a flourishing market for everybody, not just for Lanedo. Sincerely yours, Lionel _______________________________________________ foundation-list mailing list email@example.com http://mail.gnome.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-list