Summary: Response to weak defence of Banshee’s monetisation plans (which can help the project increase its influence inside GNOME)
In case anybody wonders about OpenSUSE, there is not much to say about it. Last night we looked at 4 months of OpenSUSE news (planet syndication) and there was nothing major there. Joe Brockmeier from the OpenSUSE project (he was the community manager) pushes this into the news because other than more OpenSUSE Weekly News (preaching to the converted), there is little going on at OpenSUSE and the current community manager of OpenSUSE now defends Mono pushers (Banshee lobby) who are also his colleagues. It’s done using an analogy which misses the point:
openSUSE is in the process of setting up a Foundation (or e.V. or…). Once there is a Foundation, it will be on the lookout for funding. Obviously my employer will support it, we are a stakeholder in the future of openSUSE. And provided we support the Foundation’s goals. But the Foundation will also want to explore other ways of generating income.
What doesn’t work?
Donations and merchandising don’t seem hugely profitable in other communities. Sure, openSUSE did well at FOSDEM, selling 16 crates of openSUSE beer and donating the money to FOSDEM. But we’re still talking about a few hundred euro’s and that’s including the t-shirts we also sold for FOSDEM. That wouldn’t keep the openSUSE Foundation running. So I understand that the $10.000 that Banshee brings the GNOME Foundation each year is interesting from a distro point of view. But ethics and common sense should play a role here too. I guess it might make sense to take a 20 or 30% cut in discussion with the projects – not 75 or 100%. So it might bring some revenue. Not enough still.
This is not a good comparison because Banshee promotes Mono and Microsoft, whereas OpenSUSE spreads GNU/Linux (there are now requests to spread it further using DVDs while there are service interruptions Pascal Bleser discloses). To suggest that making money the way Banshee does should be comparable to foundations is simply misleading. █