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Re: Using money to fund real Debian work

On Sun, 08 Oct 2006, Pierre Habouzit wrote:
> Le dim 8 octobre 2006 12:34, Raphael Hertzog a écrit :
> > In the worst scenario, the sponsor will be disappointed and will not
> > give money any more. But if the rules are clear from the beginning,
> > it's only fair.
> it's not true. If the sponsoree well-beeing (because he tries to live 
> from that) depends upon that, he may take bad decisions to have the 
> money after all.

It's difficult to speak in general here. A solution to a customer
can always be delivered because the developer can provide modified
versions of the package even if they are not integrated into Debian. So I
don't think that being paid can justify integration of bad work within

But really, the spirit of those "project proposals" is that they are meant
to be enhancements to Debian in general that would benefit the donor.
And they are not meant to be a solution for a given customer... 

And if the comments associated to the project proposal indicate that
there's some controversy in the idea behind the project, then the donor
would be aware that there's a risk that the stuff doesn't get integrated
into Debian proper.

> > > Moreover, I don't want to see the money "flow" be influenced by
> > > DDs: that's unethical, and deviant.
> >
> > You don't want donors to decide directly what to fund and you don't
> > want us to tell them what to fund?
> did i said that ? you misread me.
> I want the donor to decide what they want to fund, and choose who they 
> will fund directly, because asking Debian would either be done:
>  (1) through GRs (hahahahahaha)
>  (2) through a small comitee that would be biased, or that would suffer
>      from *BIG* conflicts of interests.

You don't list the solution that I explained: with an always-running vote
among developers. The DD who have been mentors for Google's summer of code
have used a web application to evaluate the proposals of students. While
it was far from perfect, it worked quite well to identify the projects
which were the most desired/popular.

> > > I'm (almost) fine with a Bounty structure, but the sponsors and
> > > sponsoree should define the terms of the bounty directly, with or
> > > without contract, that's their call.  But I DON'T WANT to see a DD
> > > structure in the middle, *ESPECIALLY* for "counselling" purposes:
> > > that would only benefit to the known developers, not the
> > > technically good ones.
> >
> > So you would be okay with the structure that I described, provided
> > that there's no voting mechanism and that donors are left to
> > themselves to select the projects to fund?
> I'm not sure to fully understand /what/ you proposed, so I reserve my 
> judgement for now, until I see a proper, clean, detailed, open 
> proposal.

Giving some hints now, while I'm trying to design that proposal would be
helpful... I discussed my proposal with you at several occasions on IRC,
it was also relatively detailed in my french blog post on the subject.

> > > Good technical solutions are still what Debian is about right ?
> >
> > This is not related:
> > - known developers are not necessarily bad developers
> > - technically good developers are not necessarily unknown
> so that would only benefit the good *and* known one ? what's the 
> fairness in that ?

No, fairness in selection of projects depends on the donors, and we can't
control the donors. We can simply have an open infrastructure giving a
chance to everybody.

I believe we agree on that. But I was going further by saying that we
should give as many informations as possible to the donors so that they can
select the projects to fund based on concrete information. But you seem to
think that letting all DD vote on the proposals is not fair because it
would only benefit to the known developers.

I respond to that: I hope DD are able to vote on technical merits of
individual proposals instead of relying only on who proposed it.

And I want to point out that being known in the free software community is
not something undoable. It's usually a matter of doing good work and
having other appreciate your work. It takes time but that's not a problem
in itself: we tend to reward contributors who have been involved for a
long time, even the NM process selects on that criteria.

> > And even if technicall bad but known developers are paid to do some
> > work, nothing prevents technically good developers to make sure the
> > project is sane from the beginning by reviewing the project proposals
> > on the infrastructure. And nothing prevents further improvements
> > later in the process. Being paid doesn't mean that we stop doing free
> > software.
> did I said so ? are you trying to divert my thoughts into some lame 
> FUD ? or did you truly not understood me to that level ?

I only explained why paying known developers doesn't result in technically
bad decisions for Debian...

Wasn't that the point of your rethoric question ("Good technical
solutions are still what Debian is about right ?") ?

Raphaël Hertzog

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