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Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Site Builder
Joined:
2006/12/2 23:57
From Athens/Dublin
Posts: 937
Back in 2005 I bought my first AmigaOS 4 machine, and before that I had a few Amiga computes in my possession and a lot of years in this community in my back.

Early enough I got involved voluntarily in many projects to move that platform forward. Got involved in OS translation through the Greek ATO, and funded with donations a lot of projects. Yeap, even the Timberwolf. Became one of the first X1000 beta testers and the beta tester of AmigaOS 4, X5000, A1222 and Enhancer Package.

All these years worked tirelessly not only on finding problems, reporting them and test back, but also on pushing the platform a bit further with participating or organizing events, promoting AmigaOS 4 and related products, etc..

I am sure a lot of the members of this forum did the same thing, putting a lot of time on this platform, because it is not just a hobby, but also a passion.

On the other hand we see companies fighting each other on courts, others apply bad practices on customer's computers and we are witnessing a war happening in the community. And I feel that this war is taking place on our shoulders.

Companies are using beta testers and developers, working for free (not all of them though) to help on moving things forward. This work is sold by the same companies and they earn a significant amount of money. And have in mind that the beta testers pay for the hardware and the software they beta test. They get nothing for free.

So I wonder, where is the fine line on working for free to help things move forward, when others gain money by your work, closing the source and do whatever they like? What would happen if no beta tester or developer accept to work for free, unless what they develop is going to be freely available and open sourced? What would happen to this community? Would those companies survive?

At the end, if those companies want to create their own products doing whatever they like, the way they like, shouldn't the work behind these products get paid?

Am I still so naive to work for free for this platform? What is your opinion?

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Just popping in
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2012/7/16 18:57
From Istanbul
Posts: 218
@walkero

At least for hardware: With being a beta-tester, you get discounts on buying the hardware, I guess this is some sort of payment for your work.

E.g. For A1222, it is getting the motherboard 5-6 years before the release :)

I think we need a small but healthy market. So that maybe our small companies can even think of paying to beta-testers.

First 2-3 months of 2021 wasn't bad , we got OS4 updates, A-Eon updates. There should be some momentum to keep the interest alive.

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Site Builder
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From Athens/Dublin
Posts: 937
@SinanSam460
Quote:
At least for hardware: With being a beta-tester, you get discounts on buying the hardware, I guess this is some sort of payment for your work.


That's not always true, i.e. for the A1222 I paid more than the announced price. For the X1000 and X5000 sure, I paid less money, but we pre-ordered those machines even before they were manufactured. And we can discuss if that discount covers years of beta testing or not.

Don't get me wrong. My message is not a whining of lack of payments. It is more of a discussion if the companies that develop commercial products should pay the beta testers and all the people involved or should they go with open sourcing the products.

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
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2020/11/17 12:08
From Slough
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It's certainly a crime that more money has been spent on lawyers these past 20 years than on software developers.

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Just popping in
Joined:
2017/1/3 6:03
From Atlanta GA
Posts: 77
@Walkero

As as mostly quiet lurker I can say from observer standpoint nodding my head to what you posted. To a fact I am aware of all the conflicts and questionable behaviors you raise.

With regard to hardware; paying to be beta tester or early adopter is pretty normal. You are usually enticed in normal markets to participate to build products and have head start getting something to market early. But lets be honest the Amiga HW market is all hobby so I would not say anyone is getting a competitive advantage being a HW beta tester other than you get to play with new hardware. I would not fret that.

Software; Beta testers paying for privledge to being beta tester. It seems weird and previously industry wide you would get to be beta tester and pay discounted price or free upon release. But this is Amiga a low yield so I would rephrase and say you are paying to be early adopter. That would be what we see common place now with crowd funding of games or on Steam. Not that it eases the weird feeling for our generation but it is more normal these days than not. How much feedback you give is up to you you paid them to have early access. Test a release, maybe if I have time or care at the moment. That's my take.

Open source or not. I find I participate more with open source that is not GPL. I don't like idea of sharing my product source but am more than happy to share work on compilers or tools or widgets. For example: In the case of Enhancer. I would prefer all the reaction gadgets to be Opensource. 1. They would be better tested with more eyes. 2. You would have more developers willing to make more components since there would be reference components. AEON weird licensing wall for a About box, Toolbar, or etc. is sorry... stupid. They wont wind up in my stuff. I will write my own and share opensource. Now the products they build multiviewer, notedpad etc... sure pay for that that is a developer building something useful. I choose to purchase install or not.

Finally questionable practices of overwriting system components with ones of same name and co-opting the system. I have made public statements to my feeling that AEON Enhancer overwriting datatypes and common commands is more harmful to the ecosystem then beneficial. Its appears as a vain attempt to present themselves as more in control of the IP. Is it shady or ethical... well I think every individual has to judge on that. I think the original intention of Enhancer was good but somewhere it went off the rails. I am not sure who was making the product calls.


As for you feeling about time. The thing is right now I seriously doubt any party is making money(getting rich). I think there are those that are maybe a little exploitive that maybe they can make money someday. But I think that is misguided on their part. Then there are those that are doing what they feel can keep this little Toy OS alive for posterity(I'm ideologically aligned to this group)

Personally I play with AmigaOS as a hobby as such its my time. I am working on something that if I can get to work I will share with all. Sometimes I need to participate in Beta to get what I need to work. If that helps advance platform great. That's cool I'll do that, Ill point out issues if I find them. But thing is I own nobody anything when I work for free or payed to have access. I limit who I participate with. I am privately vocal to those that I think are misguided and move on if we agree to disagree.

When the Settlement in 2009 happened and the X1000 came out I was observer wanting to jump in. I bought one of the first X5000 publicly available. At that time there was much optimism in the public forums. Now... its a shit show(Legally and in Forums)

No one looks good. Not Hyperion, not Cloanto nor AEON.


To be clear there are a lot of really great people in the Amiga community that I can thank. This and os4coding.net are the only forum I will post on at all.

But if you are feeling exploited I am sorry for that as I appreciate all the you do and share freely and assistance you have freely given me. Me ill continue lurk and to just stay away and work on my hobby at my pace help those that help me and tune out the shit-show.

Regards
Doug

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2006/12/6 20:39
From California, Unitied States
Posts: 399
@walkero
Quote:
At the end, if those companies want to create their own products doing whatever they like, the way they like, shouldn't the work behind these products get paid?

Am I still so naive to work for free for this platform? What is your opinion?


This is a hobby market and will never be anything more. It's a hobby and I enjoy donating my time and money to try and improve things or writing program and scripts. If you think your contribution is worth something, try contacting the companies that are paying and see if your contribution is something they are willing to pay for. If not, it's up to you to decide if you enjoy the hobby enough to contribute for free. In my opinion it's not a question of naive or not. It's your choice and you have to decide for yourself if you enjoy it enough to donate or not if you don't get paid. It's not like anybody is getting rich of the Amiga market. If it wasn't for all the volunteers and people willing to work for what I'm sure is less pay than they could get in other markets, there would be no Amiga activity left. I for one am great full to all who contribute, paid or not, so that I can sill enjoy my hobby. Does that make me naive, not in my eyes. If others think so I don't really care and to those who whine about it and don't contribute, you don't have to be here so go find something you enjoy and let the rest of us enjoy our hobby.

Just my opinion.

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Supreme Council
Joined:
2006/11/19 18:16
From London, England
Posts: 1343
@walkero

As ktadd said, (to paraphrase), your work as beta tester was done on a voluntary basis, you knew that when you started. You may go on to higher things, and if you think your work is worth paying for, take it up with whomever may pay the bils.

Whining about it on a forum is not going to better your situation.

It is what it is, and it's doubtful much more will come of it. If only we could all work for Microsoft....

Simon

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Site Builder
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2006/12/2 23:57
From Athens/Dublin
Posts: 937
Possibly I was not clear, and this is my fault. I am not whining of not get paid for my work. And of course I don't ask anyone else to decide for me. I already have decided for what I am doing.

My question is, should we put more effort on projects that are public and open source, instead of following companies and major players? I mean, should we all push on open sourcing everything, so that these are going to be available to everyone, and demand something like that, or not?

Do you see a benefit for our community on this things?

The discussion is if we need to change perspective or not, to something more open.

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Just popping in
Joined:
2011/7/20 20:01
From In the sticks
Posts: 178
@Rigo

That reads a little bit harshly, certainly doesn't come across as whining to me anyway.

@walkero

I'm probably biased here as I'm lucky enough to do a job where all of my code is open source so making my amiga stuff open source is just more of the same for me. The issue is getting the time. For instance, I haven't had a chance to look at the gdb port for a few weeks, though it looks like I'll be able to again from the start of next week.






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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2006/12/6 20:39
From California, Unitied States
Posts: 399
@walkero
Quote:
My question is, should we put more effort on projects that are public and open source, instead of following companies and major players? I mean, should we all push on open sourcing everything, so that these are going to be available to everyone, and demand something like that, or not?

By all means, work on open source stuff if you would like. We have taken advantage of open source to make a lot of gains in terms of libraries and even some applications and that's great. The reality is though that AmigaOS4 is not open source and given the current situation, may never be. If everyone decided to only contribute to open source the OS and drivers would not have progressed at all. I think we need people working in both worlds and that seems to be what is happening. AEON is paying people to advance the OS and I don't see these contributions becoming open source, understandably, since they are paying for it. The results have been some nice progress with the enhancer package that would never have come from any open source projects.

So, contribute where you would like and let other contribute where they like. At least things are moving in what I consider to be a positive direction, even if it isn't happening as fast as we would all like and even if there are some decisions made that we may not agree with (overwriting OS4 programs), but better to have progress than fight over how that progress is made. If people don't like the direction things are going, they can make the choice to not participate.

My take is, what ever the contribution, open source or not, translation, beta testing, bug reporting or just buying and using, it moves us in a better direction than people not contributing. Everyone contributes in the way that they choose and it helps. It's those that do not contribute and just whine (not saying that's what your are doing) are the ones that are destructive and should find other hobbies. Fortunately this forum is pretty much free of those types. I hope it stays that way.

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
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From In the sticks
Posts: 178
FWIW I really appreciate the beta testing and bug reporting you did on earmark George, it was super helpful. The more people chipping in, whether it being testing, developing, etc. the better, the more apps we get. I mean Roman is a one-man powerhouse of getting stuff ported!




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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Just popping in
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2012/10/17 20:42
Posts: 105
If your day job is paying enough for your present and future (including your family) then it is fine. If you struggle you better put your talent where you can earn more money because life is short.

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Home away from home
Joined:
2007/9/11 12:31
From Russia
Posts: 7044
@Kamelito
Quote:

If you struggle you better put your talent where you can earn more money because life is short.


I not sure George means anything of that low-level. He does not mean he seeking money from his hobby and he probably has enough from his job. He means that should he help Hyperion or AEON when they do things he didn't like or not. Like, we all know how Ben does the business. Or, that Mattew overwrites system components broken functionality. Of course, that kind of kills motivation to help on the level one can.

@George

I know what you mean: why you should help Hyperion while there is Ben owner, and why you should help Mattew when he overwrites system components. Yeah, quite logical. But then, it means that you still can report bugs (without spending too much time on them) and test some things, but the majority of your hobby/free time put on your own projects where is no one dictates you what and how to do :)

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
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Thanks guys for your replies. Roman got it right. I don't care to earn money from AmigaOS and the software I beta test. And I don't believe that those companies are going to be rich. Which makes it even more stupid for them to waste money on lawyers and in courts, fighting each other.

What I wanted from this thread is to initiate a discussion if we, as a community, should continue to watch them and try to help wherever we can, or demand something to change, and if so, what this could be.

Maybe we could ask them to be more transparent. Maybe ask them along with the commercial products, to produce open source utilities or articles that could help new developers. It is exceptionally great that A-Eon, for example, created the Core package with a lot of examples in there, but unfortunately, they kept it behind a registration wall. Maybe we could ask them, as others mentioned before me, to put it on public servers, i.e. aminet or os4depot.

I believe a strong community can push in a way the behavior of these companies, the same way they help them being successful.

See for example the Manjaro Linux community and the discussions that happened when they wanted to replace LibreOffice with FreeOffice. The community denied the whole change and pushed to a different solution that was helpful for everyone. And if you check the story, it didn't happen in a good way. Podcast, forums and news websites were full of flame. They even accused Manjaro team that they earn money from that transition.

Again, I am not asking anything from anyone. I am just initiating a discussion.

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Just can't stay away
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2006/12/9 10:44
From Lyon, France
Posts: 1341
@walkero

Your point is a nice one. I totally agree with you.
It's fair to ask this question.

As was said here, money went to layers instead of developers and this is what leads to have not enough developments to push the platform forward.

I wonder why companies don't make arrangements like it's done in the PC world instead of fighting.
It would cost less and money could be used for better purposes.

But I guess we cannot do anything about it. We just have to hope, or quit :-/

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Home away from home
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2009/7/7 4:34
From Man Cave, Canada
Posts: 2523
I hear ya my friend and like you I’m not exactly happy with all the infighting and lawyering up between Amiga companies over the years but the way I see it is you have to do what you think is right and what you enjoy to do.

I know you did a lot of work to get the amigaos.net website up and running and donated to quite a few bounties that had lots of promise and preordered more than a few items that never showed up at your door.

In the end we’re still here battle scarred and all when we could have just said F-it a vey long time ago eh I say thanks to you..US

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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Just popping in
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2007/2/1 13:29
From Bergamo, Italy
Posts: 109
@walkero

> should we put more effort on projects that are public and open source, instead of following companies and major players?

I think open source initiatives and business driven companies are both fundamental components that may advance the platform.
Sure, sometimes they may extremely diverge in the internal mechanism that drive each action, but when they work together a great results can be achieved.
This is particularly true for the hobbyist Amiga platform, where the market barely sustain the very few remaining companies that try to live on such a niche market.

There should be close cooperation between the two environments when a common goal cannot be achieved by one party alone, the alternative is wiping out completely any attempt to continue the development on anything "next generation" and consequently fall back in the retro-computing.

I am telling this because is the main reason that got me involved in the PowerProgressCommunity (https://www.powerprogress.org/) because I wanted a notebook with AmigaOS 4.1 and there was no company openly pursuing that goal. This is a concrete community driven action that tells the existing companies what do we want.
So far, the cooperation with the guys at ACube Systems has been great. PowerProgressCommunity alone could not go that far, and the same is valid for ACube, they couldn't afford to undertake the notebook project alone.

Sure, when I see that only 60 people are financially (https://www.powerpc-notebook.org/campa ... three-working-prototypes/) supporting the project of having the most powerful Amiga ever in a notebook form factor is not what I have hoped for, nevertheless we still are progressing.

I am advertising the project with this post?
Definitely yes.


Edited by virgola on 2021/5/13 11:36:37
Edited by virgola on 2021/5/13 11:38:33
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Re: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
Just popping in
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From Bergamo, Italy
Posts: 109
@all

See what I mean?

Amiga Kit Ltd just donated €100!!
Thank you guys!!

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