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Re: Using money to fund real Debian work

Roberto C. Sanchez <roberto@connexer.com> wrote:
> [...] Person A gets mad becuase he is afraid that person B will will 
> get pay for something that both had originally agreed to do for free.

Now there's a key part of the problem: this changes agreements that some 
developers made with the debian project.  While that doesn't make it 
wrong in itself, some people may not agree with the new terms.  I 
believe they should be allowed to state their objections in an effective 
way and suggest ways to find a wider agreement, as a bare minimum.

However, Dunc-Tank seems to be a bizarre half-in-yet-half-out-of the 
debian project structure which changes the agreement and still tries to 
involve DDs, yet is ultimately beyond the project's control.

> Well, tough.  It is the donor's resource.  It is utterly insane for a 
> resource limited organization to refuse additional resources, 

If the cost of accepting a donation is greater than refusing it, then it 
is insane to accept it.

> especially when there are not any additional restrictions imposed.  

I thought all donations from dunc-tank were restricted to particular 
people and times.

> Please, people get over it.  So what if someone else gets paid and you 
> don't?  If you came into it with the notion that you were going to do 
> it for free, then that is a decision you made for yourself.

For some of us, that is fine.  Others will move debian down their list 
of priorities if they feel debian is becoming Yet Another Pay The Bills 
scheme.  Others may move it down until they feel it benefits them 
more.  Others may try to build little empires that only they can 
service, in the hope of being paid for running that empire later.

We've seen these patterns happen for other free software projects.  Can 
we avoid them for debian, or at least try to predict what damage we need 
to take into consideration?  This money is not without potential loss.

> Now, go read the parable one more time to make sure you understand it.

It's amazing what inequalities and injustices can be defended with 
scripture if you squint at it the right way.

Roberto C. Sanchez <roberto@connexer.com> wrote:
> There is no sanity attack.  In fact, what I was implying is that there
> is an apparent lack of maturity on the part of those who are
> irrationally against something which is supposed to help improve the
> project.

Right, it's not a personal attack, you're just saying all objectors are 
immature(!)  8-/

> > Can Dunc-Tank advocates answer these essential questions?
> > | Why is devel 1 paid but not devel 2?
> 1) Because there are limited funds.

Not an answer.  For example, we could split the limited funds between 
devel 1 and devel 2 in some way.  Why is devel 1 paid but not devel 2?

> > Is devel 2 not doing good work?  
> 2) No.  Devel 1's work was deemed more important/critical/visible/etc.

So why would anyone expect devel 2 not to see this as a message that her 
work is more unimportant, non-critical, invisible than others?

Also, if getting paid is motivating for some, then you can be fairly 
sure that not getting paid will be demotivating for others.

> > | Will it work for devel 1 if they work more on Debian so get paid as 
> > | well?
> 3) Why does it matter?

I don't know, but it clearly does matter, else the question wouldn't be 
there from someone as serious about this as Martin Schulze.

> > Why does devel 1 have to work on a day-job to get something to 
> > | eat but not devel 2?
> 4) Because the project cannot afford to pay someone completely
> full-time.  Or perhaps, the resources need to be spread out over more
> tasks.  Or perhaps, the task does not require as much time.  Or perhaps,
> devel 2 is a student and is able to his/her work in conjunction with a
> school project or something.

Again, not an answer.  How about paying people according to their needs, 
or according to their desire?

> > Why is the project involved in selecting people 
> > | worth for funding?
> 5) Because the project is in the best position to prioritize tasks that
> are important to the project.

Currently, dunc-tank is not task-based.  Why is the project involved in 
selecting *people* worth funding?

> > Why can't all developers who work hard on getting 
> > | Debian better be funded similarily?
> 6) Because the resources are not unlimited.

Again, not an answer.  If one doesn't assume that it's only worthwhile 
paying people for big blocks of time, this reason does not work.

I hope the above shows that there are some tough questions underlying 
the complaints of some against Dunc-Tank and not just personality 

> > > For example, why join the Debian project in the first place? 
> > 
> > Because it's more efficient than the alternatives for many tasks.
> > 
> Then that is fine.  It is why we have a choice to use Debian or to use
> something else.  It is why we have a choice to contribute to Debian or
> to contribute to something else.

Not unreasonably, people who have been major contributors to Debian feel 
unhappy with the prospect of walking away without trying to share the 
benefit of their experience without other projects where people who 
agreed to do tasks for free start being paid.  Even if we disagree with 
their conclusions, we should try to learn from their experiences.  Those 
who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

> > > Seriously, if money is someone's nly or primary motivation, they 
> > > should go work for Red Hat, Novell or Canonical.
> > 
> > However, some developers won't make the ethical compromises necessary to 
> > do so.  What if money is one of your motivations, not only or primary?
> > 
> Life is riddled with decisions.  Most people must either make ethical
> compromises or financial compromises.  Choose your poison.  [...]

That's largely bunk IME.  Also, someone whose only or primary motivation 
is money won't go for Red Hat, Novell or Canonical, as you don't often 
get rich by working as a wage-slave.

Roberto C. Sanchez <roberto@connexer.com> wrote:
> [...] Why is it that we cannot rejoice in other people's good fortune?

We can rejoice for them, but we should also mourn if we believe it is a 
net harm to the project.  Why should we only rejoice if other people 
make their fortune as a result of our common project when we need to 
make our fortune from it, yet make no fortune from it?

> Why cannot we rejoice in the idea that there are people out
> there who care enough about free software (for whatever reason) that
> they wish to finicially support its development?

Do you think that those people who want to financially support 
development would be happy with financially supporting developer 
disenchantment?  Can we rejoice if we con them?

Stephen Gran <sgran@debian.org> wrote:
> In my world, I have to work full time in order to pay the bills, and
> this reduces the amount of time I have for things that are fun.  Do
> things work differently in your world?

In my world, my work is fun.  More so than debian hacking, even.

> If so, what are the emigration rules like?

Immigration to England seems absurdly awkward and inconsistent.

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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