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Debian money

Hi folks,

Way later than planned (sorry :-(), here's a summary of the ideas that
people have thrown at me for how we can/could/should spend more of
Debian's money. I asked for suggestions both in person and via mail
when at DebConf, and we held a BoF there too.

In summary, we have quite a lot of money in the bank with SPI in the
US. We also have (smaller) amounts scattered around with other groups
around the world, most notably FFIS in Germany. We have enough money
that we could become a target, but almost definitely not enough that
we'd be able to defend ourselves in a legal fight in the US.

Suggestions and comments from others

There's quite a long list, in *rough* order of the priority I would
(personally) give them so far. If you think I'm missing anything, or
would like to push something up or down the order then please say so
on the list!

 1 New hardware / equipment

   a The DSA team have a wishlist of new hardware they'd like, along
     with a set of donated machines that need configuring and/or
     shipping. As far as I'm concerned, so long as the individual
     requests here look reasonable then they get approved as and when
     they happen.

   b Maintainers of big packages might benefit a lot if we can
     loan/donate big machines to them to make things faster. Should
     be an easy thing to work out - nominate such people please!

 2 Fund developer gatherings:

   a Teams interested in a face to face meeting to work on their part
     of the project should be provided a simple way to get funding for
     transport, lodging and food. Sounds like a good plan, and we're
     already doing this quite a lot, including sponsorship from
     various people like Extermadura.

   b More money for DebConf travel sponsorship; we already do some of
     this, but could do some more if desired. It would also be helpful
     in future to guarantee underwrite income earlier so we can
     confirm travel sponsorship much earlier. Easy to do.

   c Encourage more people in the NM queue / recently-joined DDs to
     apply for sponsorship to travel to DebConf if they need it; let's
     encourage people to get fully involved in the community.

 3 Legal costs

   a Pay for legal advice if needed. We have some cover for legal
     advice via SPI, but we may need to ask for more than the pro bono
     services might be able to give us.

 4 Marketing stuff:

   a box(es) of equipment to take to stands at various shows and
     expos. Might be useful, but could be expensive. Where do we store
     it/them? Who organises shipping?

   b ads in the media in various places? Very expensive imho, so I'm
     not convinced. How much money do we spend?

   c marketing to new developers: posters to put up at universities?
     T-shirts or other gifts for new people working on bug-fixes,
     translations etc.? Could be useful, but again expensive.
   d target the developing world with CDs / DVDs etc.? Might help, but
     I'd be much happier to fund developer gatherings and/or mini
     confs to boost Free Software than give away media that might just
     end up in the bin.

 5 Pay people to do stuff we don't/can't/won't:

   a technical writing for end users (users guide and admin guide):
     "Even though we have some pretty good technical documentation for
     stuff like packaging and we have a nice short reference we don't
     have documents like other distros have for the end users." Sounds
     like a cute idea to me; proposals welcome.

   b News team; person/people to work on collating the news reports
     that we have for something like DWN/DPN. The publicity team are
     already working on new ideas in this area, so I'd rather leave
     things with them for now and see how they pan out.

   c Press officer / Debian ambassador to go and talk to corporations,
     the press etc.

   d Training for Debian folks where we think it would be helpful

   e artwork / design

   f suggestion that we should use money to pay outsiders to do some
     existing press/news/admin/whatever work to leave the existing
     people more time to do development work. I'm not so convinced;
     it's up to the volunteers doing this work to do what they enjoy,

 6 Fund other related projects
   a Debian Edu. Clearly good for us to do - heavily linked with

   b Gnash. Petter is very keen on this, but I'm not so sure. Don't
     they have other ways to get funding? Thoughts?

 6 Dunc tank 2?

   a Some people think this could be made to work, but I'm really not
     convinced at all.

   b We could offer bounties for specific work, maybe, but there would
     be a lot of discussion needed before we could set something up
     like this

Steve McIntyre, Debian Project Leader <leader@debian.org>

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