> On Oct 18, 2016, at 8:13 AM, Paul Phillips <p...@patchpitch.com> wrote:
> Hi John,
> Indeed it is a shame, and I regret causing the discord and suspicion.  Please 
> accept my apologies.
> Thanks for your insight and the link to the SFC.  I shall get in touch with 
> them.
> The only other way of engaging with the GnuCash project without the need of 
> either a contract or management oversight is to create a fork.  It would 
> therefore obviously be completely optional whether the dev team adopted any 
> of the changes.  But if the fork development matched the Gnucash roadmap and 
> project guidelines, the chances of merger would presumably increase.
> However the key to enabling this to succeed is the user base, and as a fork, 
> the user base starts from scratch.


There are forks and then there are Github forks. The latter is one usual way 
for "outside" developers and documentors to contribute, submitting their work 
through a Github pull request (which is a bit different and much easier to use 
than the traditional git email pull request used by the Linux project.

The other kind of fork is what happened with Open Office a few years ago: 
Unhappy with the way Oracle was managing the product, a large chunk of the 
development team took the code base and created a new product, Libre Office. I 
think that's what would have to happen with a "commercialized" GnuCash: The 
"commercial" team would have to create a new product to work on to guarantee 
that the paid-for work actually gets released in a product. 

I've put "commercial" in scare-quotes because the new product would still be 
limited by the provisions of the GPL and the GnuCash project would be able to 
merge any changes that they liked into the Free version. Both because of that 
and the limitations of the GPL the "commercial" entity would have to find some 
other way of monetizing the product; that's normally done on open source 
projects by selling support. IMO that's a hard nut to crack: Developers, 
documentors, and managers are expensive and the "commercial" entity would need 
a pretty hefty cash-flow; a reasonable-sized team might run as much as $1M/year 
once overhead is included.

John Ralls

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