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Re: Using money to fund Debian: social issues

Em Segunda 09 Outubro 2006 13:54, Martin Schulze escreveu:
> Paying developers of a project directly or indirectly by the project
> is not healthy when the project consists of more than the paid
> developers.

I think there's a point Joey's not directly addressing, even if he sees its 
consequences. Until now, all this thread has talked about individual 
motivation of developers. About that, the point I want to make is that the 
dunc-tank project already is a factor of discouragement, at least in the case 
of Joey. 

But the funding of developers has other consequences. In the event this idea 
fully succeeds (and I think it's really possible), we may think about 
a "core" debian team, most of them in key positions, who are funded by 
Debian. At certain moments, they will face (necessarily, I think) the 
following dilemma: they have to choose between freedom and the continuity of 
the project. I mean, they will be really indispensable to the project, 
they'll know it, and they'll have to take decisions about contenting or not 
the main donors. There's no jealousy or evilness here. If the donors stop 
donating, there's no more project. They will 'naturally' tend to satisfy the 
donors, probably in little changes (as I firmly believe most or all DDs will 
rather resign than accept an abrupt change towards non-freeness). After all, 
when there's really no other way, Debian ships non-free parts - and I'm not 
saying it should not do so (non-free is not the Debian distro, but it's 
shipped by Debian; think firmware, license texts, Debian's trademark etc.). I 
don't know if it'll destroy the project, but I'm pretty sure there'll be 
consequences. You (IANADD) can try to guess if they will be only minor, you 
can just try to see what will happen, or you can try to stop it now.

As a sidenote, as for the social implications, I agree with those who said 
there's little difference between debian funding developers and  other 
employers doing so. But there's a difference, in quantity. If Debian 
officially starts collecting donations to pay developers, it can succeed very 
well, enough to form a core team, as stated above. It's true that hp or ibm 
could suddenly enroll 50 DDs (or 500), with no further task the improving 
Debian, and those 50 would be likely in the same situation of the 
debian-funded guys. But I think that would be seen at least with caution by 
the other DDs, and it would not be the case for debian-funded DDs. 


Tiago Saboga.

(very happy debian user. Thanks for the great work!)
(I am not a native speaker)

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