Snippet: On Not Taking Money for NetNewsWire ☇

Shared on February 22, 2023

Brent Simmons:

NetNewsWire has no bank account and does no accounting. The organization Ranchero Software that hosts the NetNewsWire repo on GitHub does not exist as a legal entity — it’s not even a non-profit. (It’s real, though, in the sense that you can give a group of people a name.)

If we took money, even a little bit, I’d want to change all that. I’d file with the state of Washington, set up a bank account, start keeping track of income and expenses, separate NetNewsWire stuff from my stuff, start paying taxes. This would take up time I could have spent working on NetNewsWire itself. And I’d hate it.

So that’s problem one. Problem two would be — who gets the money? After we take out $10 a month for expenses, where does the excess go? There are a bunch of people who spend lots of hours every month working on the app — how would we divvy up the money we get? I can’t think of a fair way.

As regular readers of this site know, I’m a big fan of RSS for keeping tabs on sites I regularly follow and think you should give it a try if you haven’t. While there are a number of excellent tools for subscribing to RSS feeds, NetNewsWire was my go-to, got sold off, ended up with yet another owner, and finally ended up back in the hands of Brent Simmons. I totally get where he’s coming from—even taking a little money would add a big inconvenience and burden for something that appears to be a fun project that is making the world a little better. As such, since I can’t tip, I’ll at least recommend that you check it out on Mac, iPhone, and iPad (and be sure to subscribe to this site while you’re at it).

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.