[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [Debconf-discuss] DebConf9 reconfirmation period started ; ends 7 June

Hi MJ,

Unfortunately a lot of important tasks for DebConf9 have happened later than we
would have liked, though it is nevertheless coming together quite nicely. I've
included below a few responses to your feedback from my perspective as
DebConf10 local team lead. We will also keep these issues in mind for DebConf11
and beyond.

On Thu, Jun 04, 2009 at 03:14:32PM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> Micah Anderson <micah@riseup.net> wrote:
> > Those folks who have requested travel sponsorship are trending towards
> > the realization that the cost of travel that they initially put into
> > Penta was based on the costs that they came to after research into
> > flight costs many months ago and now the costs have changed
> > significantly since then. If you update these costs in Penta, you loose
> > your place, if you dont update your costs, then you may find out that
> > when sponsorship comes that the amount you receive is not going to be
> > enough in the end. So you are stuck waiting, and every day you wait the
> > chances grow slimmer that you will be able to go at all. 
  It was a time when
> things were going on and I've encouraged various people to donate
> money to the project, so I thought I'd request sponsorship.  In the
> end, another group underwrote it but even getting a receipt so I could
> get reimbursed was not straightforward.
> Furthermore, putting in a conservative estimate results in one being
> put further down the travel sponsorship queue than people who submit
> optimistic estimates, according to
> http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf7/SponsoringDetails
> (I didn't find a similar page for 8 or 9 - has it changed?)
> I'm disappointed to read this situation continues.  I feel that the
> obvious adjustment would be:
> 1. to allow folks who have requested travel sponsorship to put three
> values into Penta: best price, that day's list price and worst case;

For DebConf10 we should definitely investigate this idea more.

> 2. prioritise early; and

We are going to try to do many things earlier next year, including travel
sponsorship prioritization. As for making final decisions, we can't do that
until we know that we will have at least a certain amount of money for travel
sponsorship, but since we are planning to start soliciting new NYC/US-specific
sponsors for DebConf10 starting immediately after DC9, I imagine we'll reach
that point sooner in the DC10 preparation cycle.

> 3. reimburse people for travel almost as soon as they have purchased,
> so you can take a conservative approach to allocation (between list
> and worst), but still get almost as far as possible down the queue.

We only want to reimburse people when they actually show up, since it makes no
sense to sponsor someone's travel that they don't actually take for whatever

However, as a former SPI Treasurer, I know that at some past DebConfs SPI
handed reimbursement checks to US and Canadian attendees during the conference
itself. I'm hoping to try that approach more broadly next year. SPI can also
electronically initiate international bank transfers including to Europe, even
during the conference if sufficient funds are present, if people give us that

In response to this comment:

> That pretty much summarises my experience with Debconf travel
> sponsorship and its unrealistic relationship with European transport
> service booking horizons a couple of years ago.hat info.

I only will say that, for those attendees who want to take the train to
DebConf10, the US national passenger rail company, Amtrak, opens bookings 11
months in advance.

Thanks very much for the feedback, and I hope to reduce this problem next year
and going forward. I hope to see you in Cáceres and New York.

- Jimmy Kaplowitz

Reply to: