[Squeakfoundation]Nudge, nudge!

Dan Ingalls squeakfoundation@lists.squeakfoundation.org
Fri, 11 May 2001 14:33:47 -0700

Paul McDonough <wnchips@home.com> wrote...
>1.  The StableSqueak effort and the main SqC thrust can reinforce one
>another, to great mutual benefit.  Think not of a fork, but rather of
>interweaving strands, like those pop-drawings of DNA.

I agree, and will save the rest for another message.

>2.  Without the pink plane, the blue plane soars off into a never-never
>land which has little or no impact on the world outside its own creative
>minds.  Without the blue plane, the pink plane becomes a dreadful,
>lifeless, stale, hopeless place of dark, smelly alleys and tumbleweed,
>and nowhere to work but Microsoft.

I agree strongly about this.  It seems to me that we have a number of=
 blue-plane interests represented on the Squeak List, and what is really=
 needed from SqF (or someone else if SqF decides to abdicate) are...

	A conventional and reliable process for system releases

	A conventional and reliable clearinghouse for images and VMs

	A source for documentation and other support

This could sound like SqC wants SqF to do all the hard work, and keep all=
 the blue plane fun to itself.  This is not at all what I mean.  Our work=
 will always be out in the open, and anyone else can go blue whenever they=
 want to.  It's true that there is hard work to be done and that I/we can't=
 do it all ourselves.  Remember that he SqF movement began from expressed=
 needs for better inclusion of *everyone's* work, and also the need for=
 standards, documentation, scheduled releases, etc.

I see the SqF as a symbolic flag around which we can all rally and declare=
 the things that are needed for this community to truly thrive.  I believe=
 the items listed above are needed, and are not strengths of SqC, so whether=
 you consider them pink or purple, we still need to come up with a way to=
 get them done.

>3.  Pardon while I yell out the name of the 400-lb. gorilla at the
>table.  "Money".  Imho, this Squeak Foundation is rolling along pretty
>well, actually - if you've ever tried to put togethor the neighborhood
>school-bake-sale or something, you know it's not easy to get a volunteer
>effort moving quickly.  Cees et al. are doing a lot, and being quite
>effective.  But to do a job on the scale that's being talked about,
>there must be money, or a critical mass of people with sufficient
>leisure to devote essentially full time.
>One way to fund a foundation is through corporate sponsorship.  Squeak
>has plenty of allure, but few delivered "success stories" - and without
>the success stories, corporate donors become more difficult to convince.
> So that's where StSq comes back in.  The idea behind that effort, as I
>understand it, was not to supercede Squeak itself, but to provide a
>steady, backward-compatible, solid platform to allow one to take
>advantage of Squeak's best developed features, but without having to
>know all that much about its internal workings, and without the highly
>interwoven nature that makes such things as headless apps pretty tricky
>to put together.  That's what led me to volunteer to play with the
>pre-release image (good schtuff!, albeit still a ways to go).
>It is my belief that once such a platform becomes available, the sheer
>brute force of economic opportunity is going to push *someone* to use
>Squeak to make a buck.  That someone, if s/he has the least grain of
>sense at all, will recognize the value of contributing to efforts such
>as StSq, SqF, and Squeak Central, in their preferred currency, be it
>cash, time, or code.  In that slice of the business community which has
>thought about how to build open-source based businesses, Rule Number Two
>is taken as a given:  always give back to the community!  And then the
>community becomes stronger, there's more time/effort available for
>Squeaking along all planes, more Squeak jobs out there, and it all loops
>back.  That's my hope, anyway, as I really want to see Squeak go where
>we all know it can go.

Money *is* important.
It's fuel for the ship and it's also a concrete acknowledgement that we=
 have, as they say in the biz, a "going concern".  I think there are several=
 reasons for people to want to ante up for a free product.

Consider sandwiches:  Are you willing to pay more for one made today than=
 one made yesterday?  Stock quotes have been out in the open for years, but=
 people who care are still happy to pay for the latest.  Get it?  If you are=
 a Squeak developer, you are certainly going to want to track the=
 forthocming release, have input to it, and be able to test your product=
 through alpha beta and gamma, so you're ready when the release is ready.

Also, take a look at all the other programming environments.  The real money=
 and the real action is not in the programming environments (duh: ours is=
 free), but in consulting and support.  Paying clients get consulting and=
 support.  Maybe spotty at first, but at least some one-on-one channel where=
 questions get answered promptly, and where people can recommend various=
 sources of documentation, and other experts to contact.  I can imagaine a=
 sort of "open consultants bureau" growing out of this facet of SqF.

I think that if SqF could state its...
=2E.. that we could get half a dozen companies to pony up $5000 each,=
 another half dozen benefactors to chip in $1000 each, and maybe 100 opther=
 good Squeakers and true to come forth with $50 each.  It won't build us a=
 corporate headquarters on Maui, but it would sure feel like we had a going =

	- Dan