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Re: PaySwarm-based Debian donations

Martin Owens <doctormo@gmail.com> writes:

> The case was stated, it wasn't made.

Then we'll agree to disagree.  But I'll point out that the status quo is
to not do this.  I believe the onus is on you and others who agree with
you to be convincing, not for me to convince you.

> It's that social weight and influence that is what 'paying for' things
> means. If the money is paying for things that are contrary to the Debian
> developer consensus then there users who disagree with that direction.

I don't think that would be surprising.  We know there are people who
disagree with our direction.  I'm not sure why you think having more
evidence of that would be particularly useful.

One of the primary strengths of Debian for me is that it's an operating
system that we collectively build for ourselves.  If other people find it
useful, that's a wonderful bonus, and I take pride in trying to make it
more broadly useful.  But my primary goal is to create an operating system
that *I* want to use.

Other people work on Debian for other reasons, and that's fine; I have no
objections to that.  But I consider that participatory spirit to be very
important to the "soul" of the project and don't want to lose sight of the
fact that Debian is driven by the people doing the work.  Some of them
are, of course, motivated by money (I am, for some of the things that I do
on Debian), but those motivations are all individual, are part of the
personal background that we bring to the project, are part of *us*, not
part of the project.  They're not something that the project is imposing
*on* us.

> Avoiding money is a way to avoid having users direct things. I get that.

The point is not to *avoid* anyone directing something; the point is to
focus on the direction the individual participants in Debian bring to the
project, rather than focusing on what work is funded.

> I just think users should be involved in that way. I don't even
> understand why secretive manipulation outside is preferable to open
> transparency inside. The arguments are boggling.

If you run across arguments that are widely shared that you find boggling,
usually that's a sign that you're lacking some shared background or
understanding or are using a different set of base assumptions.

> Seeing the responses here. I don't think Debian is ready yet.

That seems to be a point of agreement, then.

> All we'd like really is for Debian to get out of the way of upstreams
> and provide the platform for getting money (and developers) to projects
> as neatly as possible and in a friendly a way as possible.

Then maybe you should focus on explaining how Debian is "in the way" and
how that problem could be addressed rather than trying to change something
about the Debian project that many of us consider fundamental.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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