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Re: [Debconf-team] [Coordination] Timeline changes proposal for DC16



also sprach Lucas Nussbaum <lucas@debian.org> [2015-08-25 10:26 +0200]:
> This sounds wrong to me. For me, the role of bursaries is to decide, for
> a specific attendee, if s/he should be sponsored to attend or not.
> That's a yes/no question (a hard one, but still). If you end up needing
> more budget to cover the sponsorship for all those that should be
> sponsored, just ask for more money from Debian.

This is not sustainable without a dependable cash flow. If we take
in enough money from sponsors, then sure, we can extend the budget
to accomodate more people. And in special cases (like DC16 with
expected high travel costs — though I kinda doubt it'll be much more
than e.g. Nicaragua), we can commit Debian money on top of it, but
in general, we will need to set a budget aside and work therein, and
then it boils down to yes/no or some other solution of the knapsack
problem.

> But deciding that someone's attendance is not worth getting
> sponsored, and then, in the end, sponsoring it, sounds like
> throwing money out of the window.

I would never phrase it like this. If someone cannot get sponsored
in round 1, then this is because there isn't enough money. If that
person can later be accomodated, then that's great.

> And on the other hand, deciding that someone should not be
> sponsored based on the initial assumption of the sponsorship
> budget, even if that person's attendance would be beneficial to
> DebConf/Debian, is a net loss for Debian.

This is a symptom of possibly the hardest challenge for DebConf
orga: while we all want to value each other equally and would rather
invite everyone than say no to a single person, DebConf takes place
in the real world with limited resources, and while this line of
thinking is laudable, it's also possibly the single most contentious
subject at the root of most disputes we have within the
organisation. DebConf orga sometimes needs to make decisions in the
absence of time or an optimal solution, and sometimes that decision
is deciding not to sponsor someone.

That said, let's not forget what we are actually already doing: For
DC15, we set aside (and mostly spent) 33k € to fly people to the
conference. This is more than ever before (I think), and it's *way*
more than any other FOSS-related conference I know. One can always
strive for more, but do stop and look around once in a while, and
be proud of what we're already doing.

-- 
 .''`.   martin f. krafft <madduck@debconf.org> @martinkrafft
: :'  :  DebConf orga team
`. `'`
  `-  DebConf16: Cape Town: https://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf16
      DebConf17 in your country? https://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf17

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