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Re: Position Statement to the Dunc-Tanc "experiment"

On Thu, Oct 26, 2006 at 01:42:46PM -0700, Chris Waters wrote:
> This is completely and blatantly false!  The only thing that's
> different this time is the prominence of the developers involved
> relative to the prominence of the institution, and the amount of
> publicity that has ensued.  (And, unlike _some_, but not all, previous
> cases, the initial goal of the institution is to improve Debian rather
> than to fork it.  And in at least one earlier case, the goal changed
> from forking to improving after the initial fork proved unsuccessful.)

And I don't think it's even been true that the difference is the
prominence of the developers that were involved.

For example, when Bdale was DPL, he was also the CTO of Linux at
Hewlett Packard, and in such a role he certainly had a lot of
influence over what HP would fund its employees to do --- and HP, to
its credit, has hired/supported quite a few DD's.  So while this isn't
exactly the same as AJ and Dunc-Tank, it's pretty close.  

As another example, some of the other commercial Debian efforts where
headed by Debian developers which were "high profile" (such as the the
original founder of our project!) and they hired/funded DD's --- and
the world didn't end.

I think the biggest difference is that there are a few (and thanks to
the GR we know they are definitely in the minority) very vocal people
whining very loudly that this is somehow unprecedented and that the
Death of the Project has been predicted.  (News at 11 :-)

On Fri, Oct 27, 2006 at 09:08:31AM +0200, Michael Meskes wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 26, 2006 at 10:16:19PM +0200, Marc Haber wrote:
> > I, personally, do not, however, find that amount unreasonable for a
> > one-month engagement as a contractor.
> But then it should be described that way too.

It always was described that way; go back and check some of the
original e-mails.

In fact, when discussions of how much the RM's would be paid, it was
Bdale who argued that while it shouldn't be a princely salary, that we
shouldn't take advantage of someone just because of their dedication
to Debian.  And as some people have already pointed out, once you
include taxes, business expenses, medical care (which as an employee
your company is footting the bill, but as a contractor, you have to
pay for it), time between engagements, retirement (another thing which
your employer pays but as a contractor you are responsible for
paying), the amount under discussion is not at all unreasonable.

One of ther reasons why the exact amount wasn't disclosed originally
was because it would lead to these kinds of ratholes.  In Bangalore,
the average salary of an I/T profession is one sixth what it is in the
US --- and even with that proportionally much smaller salary, an I/T
profession in Bangalore is earning so much money compared to everyone
else that they can afford private chaffeurs and maids/butlers (and
given how bad the roads are in Bangalore, many of them will hire
drivers so can get something useful done during the two-hour drive to
their apartment).

And really, why *should* it matter how much people are getting paid.
You do the work that you do because you love it, right?  What other
people are getting paid should be irrelevant to whether or not *you*
are happy doing something as a volunteer.  I may have been the first
North American kernel developer, but the amount of money I got from
the IPO's was negligible --- especially compared to one of the Red Hat
founder who did relatively little development work at all, but
happened to have a right-sized check book at the right time.  He's now
comfortably retired with millions and millions, and I'm still a
working stiff.  But hey, I consider myself incredibly blessed, and I
do a lot of work that is completely uncompensated, very late into the
night.  Did I get demotivated because certain lucky folks earned
bazillions and were able to buy mansions in Lake Tahoe and Chicago?
No, because I know that life isn't fair, and that money wasn't why I
got involved in Linux and Debian in the first place.

Folks who are claiming that they are demotivated because two people
have volunteered to give up a full month of their time to take on a
job where they giving up something like 75% of their normal income ---
and the problem is that they gave up only 75% instead of 100% ---
those people who are kvetching should take a very deep look into their
hearts and motivations.

If that's what it's all about for those folks, maybe those people who
have left Debian are really doing themselves (and the project) a

						- Ted

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