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Re: KickStarter for Debian packages - crowdfunding/donations for development

On 14-06-13 23:24, Paul Tagliamonte wrote:
> Right, but this leads to one of two things:
>   - No money is shared with dependencies (leading to people flocking to
>     awesomewm, gnome, kde, chrome, wine, apache2, etc)
>   - Money is shared with dependencies (leading to people flocking to
>     gcc, linux, libc6)

Which is a problem, why?

What happens with the money should be decided by the maintainers of the
package. Before you'll see "flocking", there will have been such a
decision already (otherwise there's no money and thus no "flocking").
Given that, I can see only a few possible outcomes:

- The maintainer(s) decide to put all the money in a fund that is used
  for things like meetings among the package's maintainers. In other
  words, there is no direct financial benefit to be had, and thus I
  don't expect people to be interested in joining purely for financial
- The maintainer(s) set up some complex scheme by which financial
  benefit is equally distributed among contributors based on size of
  contribution. People may flock to that package, but the net result
  will be a better package. This is a good thing. If many people try to
  join the packaging team, eventually all the low-hanging fruit will be
  gone and people will start looking for other packaging teams to join,
  because the possible benefit no longer outweighs the investment to be
- The (main/sole) maintainer decides to egoistically take all the money
  for themselves. They alienate all other maintainers, and nobody ever
  wants to work with them anymore. The package suffers, until it is
  hijacked or taken away by decree of the TC or similar. This is a
  possible problem in the proposed scheme, but I don't think it could
  involve any "flocking", since there's no benefit to be had.
- The (main/sole) maintainer decides to quit their job and live off
  donated money instead. Debian gets a more focused developer (and,
  thus, better packages) as a result. This is essentially similar to the
  second scheme, except that other people will have a harder time
  keeping up with the full-time developer.

Unless you think money is dirty, I don't see how any of this would
involve "flocking" in a problematic manner.

Am I missing something?

> I'm not sure, but I've seen at least one high-profile F/OSS project
> maintainer (with project email, writing from it) saying "I've written a
> patch for this bug, it's done, but you need to give me money before I
> release it". Putting an official system into place might make this more
> common / easier to make look "official".

If/when this were to happen in Debian, I think it would be fair to kick
said developer out of the project, on the basis of them violating the
"do not stand in the way" rule of constitution §2.1.1.

This end should point toward the ground if you want to go to space.

If it starts pointing toward space you are having a bad problem and you
will not go to space today.

  -- http://xkcd.com/1133/

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