> On Oct 17, 2016, at 11:48 AM, Paul Phillips <p...@patchpitch.com> wrote:
> Hi John,
> I'll begin with my motivation.
> I've been using open source software for around 20 years.  I have been using 
> the Linux OS platform at home all that time and where possible also at work. 
> As anyone who's been a user of FOSS for a reasonable time would know, it's 
> not all plain sailing - many a time is required to google forums and get 
> under the hood to fiddle with a config file.
> But there are many things that don't work, missing drivers, or that missing a 
> feature that would be really helpful. Apart from at work where I've had to 
> use a VM to run company-mandated windows software, or highly specialised apps 
> that don't have equivalents in the open source world, I've gotten by.
> Obviously one answer to the downsides is to roll up my sleeves to help out.  
> The main trouble for me is that I'm relatively time poor.  I did try to help 
> out at one project called Gnome planner (and yes, you can google it if you 
> want).  I'm not proud of my early rookie use of git, but I did write a patch 
> to add a feature that I was missing from the gantt chart planning tool.  It 
> served me well while I was using it for work (until they forced me to start 
> using MS project). I submitted the patch, but AFAIK it has never been applied 
> to the main trunk.  I have not chased this up.
> PatchPitch is a reaction to the time poor thing, but still wanting to help.  
> If I'm going to be of any use, I'll need to figure out a way of deriving a 
> partial income to compensate me for the time I spend, otherwise I simply 
> won't have time to help. So yes, this is a venture designed to generate 
> income for me and any future team that is built.
> The main idea, like bountysource and one or two other sites is to crowd fund 
> features and bugs. And the idea behind this is to give users an option to 
> address specific areas of pain for them where previously they may have had 
> none. I am trying to improve where these other sites have not been a raging 
> success. They have seemed to focus on building the site and hoping people 
> will come. I was wanting to approach the project team directly (hence my 
> posts here) to work out whether we could figure out a way that *could* work 
> and hence have a greater chance of real success.
> At this point, I'd like to say that I certainly agree with your conflict of 
> interest assessment if I was to become part of the development team and I was 
> soley responsible for outsourcing project management work from donations - 
> especially if there was a lack of transparency.
> My original thinking, however, was that I would remain independent of the 
> Gnucash team.  I would help to raise funds and project manage the work.  The 
> funds would cover the costs of all the work, including my own, which would 
> all be disclosed. Initially, I expect that the actual development work 
> (software or other) would need to be outsourced. You rightly point out that 
> writing the proposals, selecting and supervising the contractors, evaluating 
> the quality of the code, design and documentation are all important aspects 
> of the process.  If I am not part of the development team, then in order for 
> the work to be acceptable and therefore able to be merged into master, the 
> team would need to be involved somehow - either they would need to trust me 
> or a member of my team, or they would need to do some of that themselves.  
> The main "interface" tasks that I see are the proposals, possibly the 
> selection of the workers, and the review and final acceptance of the 
> completed work.
> And so the viability of this concept hinges on these interface tasks and 
> hence why I am discussing this now to gauge interest (especially in light of 
> the significant amount of code re-write ahead) and to see whether there are 
> possible ways to work cooperatively.


Had you approached us that way originally you would have generated much less 
discord and suspicion. It's a shame you instead chose to start off the way you 

I've explained more than once to you that no-one in the GnuCash team is 
interested in managing anyone. What you're proposing now is just another layer 
of the same thing: Sure, you'd contract with and project-manage the developers 
and documentors, but we'd still have to contract with you.

Incidentally, there's another wrinkle to this which makes it impossible for 
GnuCash to contract with anyone, but thinking of it reminds me of an entity 
that might be interested in working with you and helping you flesh out what you 
need to develop your business, maybe even to help you understand the 
prospective market for it.

The wrinkle is that there's no legal entity called GnuCash, so it's not 
possible for GnuCash to execute a contract with anyone. We have discussed a 
couple of times signing up with The Software Freedom Conservancy 
(https://sfconservancy.org/) to cover that angle but decided that at present we 
didn't have a need to. I suggest that you get in contact with them; they work 
internationally and have a good lawyer on their board (who used to be the 
counsel for the Gnome Foundation and so has a solid grasp of the legal needs of 
FOSS projects). I think you'll make more progress with your goals that way than 
with any individual project.

John Ralls

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