I think it is really important that we find a way to accept funding like this. I'm fine if we as a community have concerns about the specifics. But free software isn't supposed to mean developers don't get paid, or the software doesn't get funded (or even the software itself isn't expensive although given the user freedoms you are generally able to find someone to give you the source code cheaply). Also, Debian is at a disadvantage, because we are not able to effectively fund development in ways that other projects can. I think it is important for us to find ways to counter those disadvantages. Things I like about this proposal: * The Debian Project is not choosing who to fund or which projects to fund. There might be cases where we choose to do that, but for a lot of reasons we've discussed regularly that has a tendency to disenfranchise our volunteers and create uncomfortable power dynamics. * Anyone with sufficient funding could do the same thing. I think that's important, because it means that if someone doesn't like Freexian's approach, they can do their own. yes, there are ways in which if you have more money, you have more influence. That's true in many areas of the world including in various ways in the Debian project. Which brings me to the third thing I like: * This process sounds relatively transparent. It's clear who has the ultimate influence (money) and what procedure is being used. There's one thing I don't entirely like, although I am not raising it as an objection: * It's too tied to LTS. This is purely personal bias speaking here. I personally would love it if over time either this proposal or some other group doing something similar managed to get sponsors who were less and less tied to LTS. I want to emphasize that this is not an objection. Freexian is reasonably focusing on the market they have connected with and is doing a great job.
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