[Coco] how hobbyist projects get done and retrocomputing politics
John R. Hogerhuis
jhoger at pobox.com
Tue Jul 19 14:37:09 EDT 2005
On Tue, 2005-07-19 at 00:15 -0500, Roger Taylor wrote:
> The reason I ask is that a while back I asked to hire a person or persons
> to help put together a C compiler for Portal-9 using source code that is
> already available on the web, and I got some negative comments from people
> who valued their time preciously and thought I was being riduculous with my
> offer. The result of my asking for help with a C compiler was a total
> failure, especially after tons of posts were made about how much minimum
> wage would have added up to over X number of hours of worki. :)
I remember that conversation Roger, and I think you took the "negative"
comments the wrong way. The upshot was that the fixed bid you offered
was neither an incentive nor a disincentive...
The point was that if it was going to be done it would be by someone who
was willing to do it for free anyway. Given that, you might as well hold
on to your money. The request for what you needed was enough to capture
the right people's interest.
And cc6809 project was started on SourceForge, and ended up losing steam
due to no one to work on the code generator. But if you read the recent
posts, James Diffendaffer has just picked that up. We may have a C
compiler yet. I know you want a win32 native version, but believe me
having a target compiler on POSIX type system will be portable to Win32
(using mingw32 or Cygwin).
> I see that not only have you gotten impressive response for your project,
> but people seem to trust you highly considering you're rather new
> here. One of my promises many years ago was to always give back to the
> CoCo community with everything I create or ask for volunteers for, yet my
> long-time established and solid steel presense here didn't have an impact
> on my ability to get a single volunteer out of hundreds of onlookers.
I think that's probably because he is doing the heavy lifting... he
negotiated with Lonnie, formed a contract, and has committed to doing
most of the work himself. He's getting results and people see that and
trust it... anyway it doesn't cost anyone anything to believe in him.
Anyway he is the only one with a contract. Legally, he is the only one
who can redistribute the end product other than Lonnie himself. There's
no one else to trust.
For myself I feel the same way about you and coco3.com, portal-09 and
the advice you give on the list. You have the positive reputation you do
in the community because of what you do.
Look through the recent archives, you'll see how we went from "Lonnie
will never let us create a free electronic version of Rainbow" to
"Lonnie is letting Michael Harwood produce a paid licensed version of
Rainbow." I think the key was simply talking to Lonnie and figuring out
under what terms *he* would be interested in allowing electronic
publication, rather than getting upset that his terms didn't match what
everyone wanted, a freely downloadable version.
But of course it is costing Michael too... he can't massively distribute
the effort, so he has to worry a lot more about his own costs. Also
there's no natural mechanism of compensation for volunteers possible,
not even a gratis copy of the final work.
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