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Re: Future Debian CD plans

On Sun, 19 Jan 1997, Bruce Perens wrote:

> We have to grow up. We are completely broke and I've been supporting
> the project out of my pocket. We can't afford the legal help to
> incorporate as a tax-exempt non-profit. We can't afford to pay for the
> master FTP server. We can't advertise or send out publicity. It happens
> that a good many people think we have a fine system, but we can't sustain
> it this way.


> Guys, this is really our last chance to make something of the system.
> If we don't take steps now, the more professional Linux distributions are
> going to walk all over us.


I had no idea that Debian's financial situation was so grim and that you
were starting to get discouraged.  I suggest that you start a list to
brainstorm some ideas for getting Debian into a healthier state.  I'm
sure that all Debian users and developers may be able to contribute some
collective wisdom and ideas to help. 

Here's a couple of small ideas:

1)  Offer a Debian CD Subscription Service
    - yearly subscription fee payable up front
    - provide 3 or 4 updates per year via CD perhaps accompanied 
      by a newsletter (real or via email)
    - this may perhaps be similar to what FSF is doing

2)  Offer Debian User and Debian Developer T-Shirts
    - these can be on the expensive side as long as it's clear that
      their purpose is to support further Debian development.

3)  Set Up a Debian Linux Consultants Network
    - perhaps this could be "staffed" by the developers themselves
      for those that need and are willing to pay for extra hand holding
      or even to have things done for them over the net
    - have a portion of the billing of these services flow to the 
      Debian not-for-profit organization that you will eventually be
      able to start
    - note that this should not preclude the free sharing of information
      on the mailing lists, but be supplemental to it for those that
      need it.

4)  Offer a Debian Organization Membership
    - this would be sort of a sponsorship/patron type of membership
      similar to what Larry Wall et al are doing with Perl (check out
      the Perl web site for details on how they are doing this).

Well, that's a few ideas of the top of my head.  

I certainly think that the Debian version of Linux is technically
excellent and its philosophy and spirit are worth the effort to find a
way to keep it going.   

Best regards,

Nick Busigin     <Sent from my Debian/GNU Linux Machine>    nick@xwing.org

To obtain my pgp public key, email me with the subject: "get pgp-key"

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