Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

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RaptorEmperor
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by RaptorEmperor » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:29 pm

Don't get me wrong, like I said earlier, I support Thorium, especially if it means we finally have a way to fund ReactOS development. I just have a bad habit of seeing where things can go terribly wrong so I was voicing my concerns. :)

I am familiar with Crossover, though to be honest I don't know anyone who actually uses it over Wine. (And that being said, I only know a few people who use Linux to know what Wine is, they usually go back to Windows because Linux is a headache. But I digress.) In reality, if Thorium does get enough funding before the deadline, it would probably have a better business case than Crossover, especially since everyone's going nutty about The Almighty Cloud right now. This also could turn one of ReactOS's weaknesses into a strength: people who wouldn't support ReactOS because they view Windows desktops as becoming obsolete soon anyway might support Thorium because it would give them a way to use Windows apps on their fancy iPads and Androids, which currently isn't possible except using emulation and quasi-illegal recompiling of code. I can already visualize someone tapping on what appears to be an Android or iOS app but is actually a Windows-via-Thorium app, and seeing a little "Thorium services starting" notice right before it boots and runs just like a native app, a la XP Mode.

At the same time, Crossover still seems to be closer to Wine than Thorium is to regular ReactOS, so I'm not sure how well the comparison holds. Crossover is Wine with proprietary add-ons for ease of use, whereas Thorium requires an entire cloud infrastructure that ReactOS Core is just one part of. (Correct me if I'm wrong, though. If Thorium is based around the whole "I can use Arwinss as a remote X server" concept then perhaps fireball's persistence on keeping that branch alive so long finally makes sense, a fair chunk of work towards that is already completed, and I'm worrying over nothing.) In the simplest terms, my biggest jitters are if desktop ReactOS gets sidelined by Thorium. But I'm going to try and think positive for a moment (hard for me, btw ;)) and tell myself even if the Thorium infrastructure were to take up a lot of development time, having actual funding will still mean there's more development towards desktop ReactOS than there currently is with all (or mostly) volunteers. If the Wine team can pull it off, so can the ReactOS team. :)

With all that being said, when my next paycheck rolls around I'll try to remember to contribute $10 or so towards Thorium. I'll post a link on my Facebook to see if any of my nerd friends notice, though the ones that do know what ReactOS is usually are pretty pessimistic about it, especially considering how long development's taken.

I like the idea of a Kickstarter campaign, but the only problem that it's all or nothing; if we don't break $120,000 by the deadline then Thorium has a budget of exactly $0. The fundraiser last year didn't reach the target amount, IIRC that was only like $40,000, and that ran for a couple of months instead of the month and a half this campaign is running. Have any of the devs tried reaching out to any tech sites to try and raise awareness of the campaign? And are there any backup plans in case funding isn't raised by the deadline?

All that being said, despite my previous jitters, I'm still down for the cause, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

mametoc
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by mametoc » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:52 pm

No offense, but I don't see why Thorium should get the support what WôÓS don't had it.

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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by EmuandCo » Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:53 am

I did not see any KS from WôÓS. Did you? Well, it's true that it's mainly to support the evolution of ROS, but it's done by giving ROS a task to do for a commercial project. The money which might result of it will be spent for ROS and full time developers. So I don't get this POV.
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Webunny
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Webunny » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:22 pm

EmuandCo wrote:I did not see any KS from WôÓS. Did you? Well, it's true that it's mainly to support the evolution of ROS, but it's done by giving ROS a task to do for a commercial project. The money which might result of it will be spent for ROS and full time developers. So I don't get this POV.
I think the POV comes from the viewpoint of reciprocity and fairness. Let's take the hypothetical example where I, or two other devs or ex-devs or whatever made a commercial project based on ROS, decided that the majority of what it brings in be re-invested in ROS and put it on Kickstarter.

Would one still be of the opinion ROS (or thorium for that matter) could not be put on Kickstarter because there is already a project on kickstarter, and there can't be two? Would it still be allowed to heavily promote my (/others) project on the forum? Would it still get 2-3 articels on the frontsite of ROS to promote it, like Thorium got? Etc.

I think there is only a slim chance of that. Yet, with Thorium it all happens, which is why one could conclude Thorium gets a preferential treatment. It would be different if Thorium is projected as THE official project which presented ROS (or ROS represents Thorium in an official way)...but, until the last post of Aminde, this was far from clear. It seemed like the isue was kept ambiguous, saying it's not the same project when it suited best (for legal reasons, perhaps), and saying it's the same project when it was more opportune to say so (in regard to attracting donations). But you can't have it both ways, really.

Even till today, while it's clear now that Thorium is endorsed by the (majority of) ROS devs, it's still not entirely clear why a different legal identity was necessary, if ROS actually recognises it as the same project (also legally, and not only defacto), how the 'deal' between ROS and Thorium is set up (aka, what percentage goes back as re-investment), who decides what about what (can Thorium decide which part to code first, with the money it has gained), what the contractual rules are (can thorium in the future suddenly decide to drop out and go with it alone, as some kind of fork of ROS, without giving anything back to ROS), etc.

All these things remain a bit vague, and that is not entirely to my liking. One could see it as some kind of fork, which raised the question why one would sponsor a fork, instead of ROS itself. Aminde made it already a bit more clear with his last post, but I wonder why it wasn't communicated much sooner and much more openly. As it stood now, the impression was created it was just *another* project created by two (ex)devs based on ROS, but why one would have to sponsor that instead of ROS wasn't at all clear, unless one wanted specifically something for a cloud-service.

But frankly, imho, most that sponsored thorium on kickstarter did so because they wanted to sponsor the development of ROS, NOT because they're extremely interested in that particular cloudservice. Which is why I made earlier posts where I argumented one could better do it directly with ROS (under ROS' name), then. z98 and others disagreed, but I remain of the opinion it could as well have been done that way, with at least as much success, and probably more, as now some indirect way to sponsor ROS with a name no-one knows.

Anyway, it's not that I can't appreciate what people do for ROS, even when in the form of Thorium, it's just that, once again, the communication to the outside world wasn't really done that well. It would have been nice to know in front, and certainly now, what exactly the administrative, financial and logistical intertwining is and what agreements exist between the two entities. I know the ROS foundation is a non-profit organisation, and the thorium foundation is a commercial enterprise(?), so what are the precise links between the two, what are their respective house-rules, do they both have charters and what is said in them - also in regard to eachother, etc. All that info is nowhere to be found. This is difficult to reconcile with what is constantly being said on the ROS site about 'transparency'; even when I'm sure it's not done on purpose, it remains an oversight and a point that should be worked on.

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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by EmuandCo » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:38 pm

Well, if it was not clear... I tell ya now. Thorium IS ReactOS. The main goal is to promote ROS by gaining the needed financial support and not just once like by a fundraiser. A commercial success makes it possible to support the project continuously. Meaning we can hire devs for fulltime and stuff.

The name was chosen because of it's commercial nature and slightly other aim of use. Like Wine and Crossover Office.

Thorium will NEVER be able to reach a point where it wont give anything back to us. GPL, you know? It's changes to ROS' modules have to stay open.

The founders are NO ex devs btw.

Yes, I agree, that the communication was a bit too late and might look a bit forceful now... but the mistake is in process of being fixed. Sorry for that.
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Webunny
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Webunny » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:28 pm

EmuandCo wrote:Well, if it was not clear... I tell ya now. Thorium IS ReactOS. The main goal is to promote ROS by gaining the needed financial support and not just once like by a fundraiser. A commercial success makes it possible to support the project continuously. Meaning we can hire devs for fulltime and stuff.

The name was chosen because of it's commercial nature and slightly other aim of use. Like Wine and Crossover Office.

Thorium will NEVER be able to reach a point where it wont give anything back to us. GPL, you know? It's changes to ROS' modules have to stay open.

The founders are NO ex devs btw.

Yes, I agree, that the communication was a bit too late and might look a bit forceful now... but the mistake is in process of being fixed. Sorry for that.
1) Yes, I know what the stated goal is. What we don't know is how the administration, logistics and financial issues are dealt with. One should also be careful explicitly saying ROS IS Thorium (unless one absolutely is certain it's like that in all - including the legal - senses, of course). For instance, imagine another third-party company using Thoriums derivative/product, but something goes wrong and they suffer losses, and decide to sue Thorium. If NO (official, legal) link exists between the two, then that company has no legal grounds to sue ROS. If, however, as you say - and if this is to be deemed the official response - that Thorium IS (also legally) the same entity, then nothing stops that company to sue ROS too (or at least the ROS foundation; non-profits are not exempt from being sued, after all). It DOES matter thus, what the *exact* legal responsibilities are of both, and why it is potentially dangerous to make statements that both are the same.

2) Considering the 'giving back': I was not talking about the code. I was talking about the money. Let me ask a direct question which can be clearly answered: is it theoretically possible, in the future, that the two devs (or at least the board of Thorium) could some day decide: well, thanks for the donations, but now we are going to keep everything for ourselves, and give nothing to the ROS foundation anymore. The fact that, if they work on it further and the code - when and if released - comes back, does nothing to soften the blow for those that sponsored thorium with the intend that it would go to ROS. Take, hypothetically; if some other dude you never heard of makes a fork of ROS, says it *IS* ROS and that sponsoring his project is the same as sponsoring ROS (because any code he would make can be re-used), and then keeps the money for his own fork, would you agree with that? After all, he's sponsoring HIS project then, not THE (ROS) project. So, my question is: is there a legally binding contractual agreement between Thorium and ROS, about the donations?

3) Could be, I thought I read in a post here somewhere that at least one of them is not an active dev anymore. Also, on the thoriumwebsite, they speak in the past tense (aka; they "have worked" on ROS), which also rather implies it's not currently the case anymore.



In essence, I think that the moment it are different legal entities, it's already impossible to say that one IS the same as the other. Wine IS NOT the same as crossover, and Debian is not the same as Red Hat, and Ubuntu not the same as Linspire, even if all of them use the same code and it's distributed under the GPL as well. So I don't follow the reasoning that, because the code is gpl'ed, the entities that make or organise it are the same as well. If I would want to sponsor Ubuntu, I wouldn't therefore sponsor Mandriva, because they're saying it's all gpl'ed and ubuntu can use the code later as well, or because it's "used to promote Linux", and that "Mandriva IS Ubuntu". Umm...no, it isn't.

So, another question that can be clearly answered (transparency): when you say Thorium IS ROS, do you mean it is also LEGALLY the same entity? If they aren't legally and organisationally the same entity, then it can not be said it IS the same thing, even if the code of both can be used, just like all other distro's and Linuxvariants out there can't say they're the same, even though their code is GPL.

mrugiero
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by mrugiero » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:00 pm

Webunny wrote: 1) Yes, I know what the stated goal is. What we don't know is how the administration, logistics and financial issues are dealt with. One should also be careful explicitly saying ROS IS Thorium (unless one absolutely is certain it's like that in all - including the legal - senses, of course). For instance, imagine another third-party company using Thoriums derivative/product, but something goes wrong and they suffer losses, and decide to sue Thorium. If NO (official, legal) link exists between the two, then that company has no legal grounds to sue ROS. If, however, as you say - and if this is to be deemed the official response - that Thorium IS (also legally) the same entity, then nothing stops that company to sue ROS too (or at least the ROS foundation; non-profits are not exempt from being sued, after all). It DOES matter thus, what the *exact* legal responsibilities are of both, and why it is potentially dangerous to make statements that both are the same.
ReactOS can't be sued because something went wrong in the software and the company suffered losses, as ReactOS uses the GPL which explicitly states the software authors are not liable for it and there are no guarantees.
2) Considering the 'giving back': I was not talking about the code. I was talking about the money. Let me ask a direct question which can be clearly answered: is it theoretically possible, in the future, that the two devs (or at least the board of Thorium) could some day decide: well, thanks for the donations, but now we are going to keep everything for ourselves, and give nothing to the ROS foundation anymore. The fact that, if they work on it further and the code - when and if released - comes back, does nothing to soften the blow for those that sponsored thorium with the intend that it would go to ROS. Take, hypothetically; if some other dude you never heard of makes a fork of ROS, says it *IS* ROS and that sponsoring his project is the same as sponsoring ROS (because any code he would make can be re-used), and then keeps the money for his own fork, would you agree with that? After all, he's sponsoring HIS project then, not THE (ROS) project. So, my question is: is there a legally binding contractual agreement between Thorium and ROS, about the donations?
A third party can't say his project is ROS, because ROS is copyrighted, he needs the ReactOS foundation to authorize him.
However, yes, a company can always do that. But even ReactOS foundation can say tomorrow "well, so long and thanks for all the fish". Fact is, the company's success depends in having ReactOS be a good product. That and the GPL are all the bindings you really need. An unsuccessful company is worthless, so I bet they will try for ReactOS to be the best it can be.

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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Z98 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:19 pm

Withholding code derived from ReactOS would be illegal if Thorium wanted to distribute it in any way, shape, or form. Things get a bit fuzzy with software as a service but since Thorium's goal is to be more than just a SaaS provider, there isn't a way for it to legally withhold changes even if the company wanted to. On the other hand, the people behind Thorium have no reason to act like that since the backlash would be stupendous and the move pretty idiotic considering the personal relationships that'd get nuked in the process. And while you may not know Steven Edwards since he has not been active in the community for a while, he was a former project coordinator and is a firm believer in free software and open source, so his credibility with the ReactOS developers is pretty firm.

The people backing Thorium need to understand however that to get ReactOS to the point where it is usable as a virtual desktop environment is different from getting ReactOS to the point where it runs reliably on all of the various hardware configurations that exist on physical systems. A lot of work making ReactOS stable for virtual machines will help also on real hardware, in so much as things like the memory manager, scheduler, and the user mode components will need to be solid to function reliably and efficiently. But there are also other things, like specific, essential hardware drivers, that do not need to be nearly as robust because virtual machines tend to be better behaved. So while Thorium's success will make ReactOS better, the rate of progress between various components will be uneven.

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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by EmuandCo » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:18 pm

Btw, we are mentioned HERE
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by gonzoMD » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:37 am

EmuandCo wrote:Btw, we are mentioned HERE
I asked the German IT sites Heise, Golem and Computerbase for a news.

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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by EmuandCo » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:15 pm

gonzoMD wrote:
EmuandCo wrote:Btw, we are mentioned HERE
I asked the German IT sites Heise, Golem and Computerbase for a news.
Worked ^^

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/ ... 90408.html
http://www.golem.de/news/thorium-core-k ... 04056.html
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by gonzoMD » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:44 pm

EmuandCo wrote:
gonzoMD wrote:
EmuandCo wrote:Btw, we are mentioned HERE
I asked the German IT sites Heise, Golem and Computerbase for a news.
Worked ^^

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/ ... 90408.html
http://www.golem.de/news/thorium-core-k ... 04056.html
I think it is more than just "Worked".

We have 150 backers now, before we had around 60 iirc this has grown more than 100%.
It seems that me and also lot of other community members were right when we said that it's because of missing PR that there are no pledges.

I hope that some native English speakers get in contact with American and/or International websites too, as they reach many more people.

Do it like me, spread the word!!!

I believe in this campaign!


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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Jedi-to-be » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:18 pm

And do not forget about effect of "first penguin". Without first 60 backers I don't believe that current additional 101 could ever arrive.

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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Webunny » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:26 pm

Jedi-to-be wrote:And do not forget about effect of "first penguin". Without first 60 backers I don't believe that current additional 101 could ever arrive.

Meh. It's all relative. The only thing that matters is exposure, that's all. Did we get a mention on slashdot? That alone would make it jump from 150 backers to 500+.

Aka; media exposure IS PR, of course.

Been a while now since I was involved in it, but I could try to use my old contacts on slashdot to see if I can get a ROS/thorium mention in there, if no-one else has tried it yet...

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