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Re: Using money to fund real Debian work

On Wed, Oct 11, 2006 at 03:00:02PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Raphael Hertzog writes ("Re: Using money to fund real Debian work"):
> >  But if the structure is open to everyone, then everybody has a
> > chance to request funding.

> This is precisely what is wrong with funding the RMs, and what makes
> it different from funding some particular package development or
> feature or what have you.  The structure is _not_ open to everyone.

> The RMs personally are in a privileged position for requesting
> funding: their role within Debian is critical for the whole project;
> it is not easy for someone else to come and learn how to do it; it is
> not easy for someone else to get permission to do the work instead;
> and of course their decisions are politically important for many
> people (so it's right and proper that we are cautious about who we
> give the RM power).

> If I decide I can do the RM job better than the RMs, and my pet
> benefactor agrees with me, I still can't get paid to do it unless I
> can get the existing RMs and/or the DPL to agree.  And of course there
> is a (financial, now!) incentive for the existing RMs not to agree. [1]

I am aware of at least one DD, who was *not* a member of the release team,
that was funded for a while to work on fixing RC bugs to help improve the
quality of the Debian release.  He did not acquire this contract because of
any privileged position he held in the project, but AFAIK because of his
reputation in the community for being a skilled developer.

I think it would be wonderful if more DDs were able to get paid to work on
improving the quality of Debian.  Being an official member of the release
team does not give one any exclusive advantage in being able to help get us
ready for release, with the exception of certain activities related to the
freeze and testing updates/removals which are a minority of all release team
work.  So I see no particular reason that other developers couldn't be
funded for working on the etch release as well as / instead of the RMs; the
big advantage that the release team has as a target for funding is that
they're the people that have *already* demonstrated a committment to doing
the work necessary to get us to a release...

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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