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Re: Using money to fund real Debian work

On Mon, Oct 09, 2006 at 06:54:09PM +0200, Martin Schulze wrote:
> When money is involved the project changes.  Developers will have to
> ask why devel 1 is paid but not devel 2?  Is devel 2 not doing good
> work?  Will it work for devel 1 if they work more on Debian so get
> paid as well?  Why does devel 1 have to work on a day-job to get
> something to eat but not devel 2?  Why is the project involved in
> selecting people worth for funding?  Why can't all developers who work
> hard on getting Debian better be funded similarily?  I know that
> several people have lost their motivation to work on Debian as before
> (yes, others will hate me for writing this again) because of this.
> Some developers ask themselves already why they should work on some
> tasks, when others are to be paid for their Debian work, and they have
> other obligations as well.
> Even if aj named this as "experiment" not all possible experiments
> have to be tried out.  Somebody mentioned an unknown chemical that you
> probably don't experiment with by simply drinking it and watching the
> outcome.  Though, for Debian and Dunc Tank this is exactly what is
> done.
> Paying developers of a project directly or indirectly by the project
> is not healthy when the project consists of more than the paid
> developers.
Let's say that there are two packages, foo and bar.  The maintainer of
foo would like to have more time or more help with the package, as would
the maintainer of bar.  Now, if someone joins the maintainer of foo as
co-maintainer to help out, the package gets better and the maintainer of
foo gets to spend more time on other things, perhaps working to feed his
family.  Would the maintainer of package bar get upset?  Probably not,
he would be happy to see Debian improve.

OTOH, what if this individual has no technical ability to help with
package foo, but has financial resources.  Perhaps he says to the
maintainer of foo, "I'd like to hire you to spend 10 hours a week for
the next 4 weeks on this package to improve it."  Now he perhaps doesn't
need to work as many hours at his day job and his family still gets fed.
Debian is still improved.  Would the maintainer of package bar get
upset?  Based on what you have said, possibly.  But why?  The maintainer
of package bar did not get upset when someone with technical ability
volunteered to co-maintain package foo.

How is it any different if a third-party directly hires a developer to
do some work than if the third-party gives the money to the Debian
project as a whole and says "decide best how to spend it"?  Seriously,
what is the difference, other than that in the latter case, some people
are going to get all offended because they weren't picked?

Would I love to get paid to my work on Debian?  Sure, who wouldn't?
But, is it going to make me quit if someone else working on something
for Debian gets paid to do it?  Nope.  I would submit that people who
consider quitting or actually quit over something like that probably
have other issues to deal with.  For example, why join the Debian
project in the first place?  Seriously, if money is someone's nly or
primary motivation, they should go work for Red Hat, Novell or



Roberto C. Sanchez

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