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Re: On a policy for non-debian foss content in a mini debconf


On 06/09/14 at 16:31 +0530, Pirate Praveen wrote:
> Hi,
> There was recent discussions on debian-dug-in list [1][2] on the content
> of a mini debconf being planned in India during October 17 and 18.
> The event is being organized in an engineering college with a good track
> record of free software contributions [3]. I proposed a mini debconf in
> the hope of getting more contributions to debian. Since we did not get
> many debian contributors to attend the event and encouraging the student
> who already contributed to give talks on their Free Software contributions.
> But many in the community felt mini debconfs and debconfs have been
> primarily about debian and having other talks would confuse attendees.
> Some suggested 1/3 of the talks could be about debian as debconfs have a
> debian day where local community can join.
> I would like us to define the requirements of calling an event mini
> debconf as a policy so we don't have to have this debate every time we
> organize a mini debconf.
> My suggestion would be to leave that to the local organizers based on
> the strength of local communities to decide how much debian content
> would qualify for calling it a debconf.
> I'm also thinking about creating a new brand like "debian utsav" which
> would mean a joint event of debian and local debian community to share
> each others experiences.

I was approached earlier this year (in April) about this event, and the
possibility for Debian to sponsor this event. After seeking some
feedback, I decided to allocate 4500 EUR, or 6000 USD, to this event, to
participate in the funding of travel for Debian contributors to/from the
event. The name of the event was not a very important factor for this;
the fact that the event was focused on Debian was, as well as the
recommendations I got from several DDs.

Later, it seems that the people in charge of organizing this event had
discussions about widening the focus. I was Cced late in that
discussion, and clarified that (on Aug 20th):
> Debian can only support this event if it's centered on Debian. $6000
> is quite a lot of money for Debian, and not something we can spend on
> non-Debian-centric events.
> However, if you want to make it non-Debian-centric, Debian could maybe
> just pay flights for one or two DDs that will give talks during the
> event.

I think that the main discussion that needs to happen is between the
organizers of this event, to decide what the focus will be. As I wrote
On Aug 20th, Debian could maybe still sponsor travel for 1-2 DDs who would
give a couple of talks each at the event, even if the event is not
focused on Debian, provided that it is worth it for Debian (e.g.; what's
the expected attendance at the event?). But time is running out, as
prices for flights are going to increase soon.

I don't feel the need for a stricter policy on the naming of
MiniDebConfs. Events can get funding from Debian even if they are not
called MiniDebConfs, and conversely, events named MiniDebConfs are not
guaranteed to get funding.
Also, I don't think that MiniDebConf is a strong brand yet. As Steve
pointed out:
> why anyone would want to
> misleadingly describe something as a "DebConf" if it's not about
> Debian


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