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Re: Questions to the candidates


On Sun, 25 Feb 2007, Mike Hommey wrote:
> Hi,
> These questions may be skipped by AJ, because the answers are obvious.
> What do you think of the dunc-tank initiative ?

As you know, I've been involved in the dunc-tank board. I accepted the
offer of Anthony because I'm really interested in the topic of free
software funding and it was an opportunity to learn more.

I think we shouldn't be afraid of using money to enable us to do more
stuff sooner than otherwise.

Unfortunately we have big cultural differences when it comes to use of the
money. Some people are only interested in the positive result (steve and
andy worked hard to help us release etch sooner) while other feel they are
some sort of second class developers because they will never have that
opportunity to earn money while doing Debian stuff. Others are simply
embarassed by the initiative because it was led by the DPL (even if he
tried to make it clear that he was doing it as individual).

In the end, the like Sam said, the problem is not so much the "what has
been done" than the "how it has been done" (and by who it has been done).
The cultural gap exists and it even exists to some point within the
dunc-tank board. 

On one hand, I have been advocating a transparent structure for funding
projects of all Debian developers. The donors would affect the money to
some projects and the developers would rate all the projects. Hopefully
the best rated projects get quickly funded because of this. This was
mentioned in a linux.com article: see "future directions" in
and I also elaborated a bit in french in my blog

On the other hand, a few members of dunc-tank seem to prefer having an
elected board which would decide how to wisely spend the money collected.

This cultural difference is something that can't be ignored as it has
generated quite a lot of unhappiness. We'll have to live with this
limitation and find an acceptable compromise, because even if that
initiative is over, it's certainly not the end of the story concerning the
topic of "funding Debian work".

> What do you think are the result of the "experiment" ?

* We have the proof that people are ready to give us more money if we can
  show them concrete results in response.

* It's possible to be paid, to let people know that you're paid, and 
  and still work together as usual (sometimes even better, since the
  contract imposed regular reports which resulted in blog entries which
  have been useful to all of us who are watching the progress of the

* Deciding what to pay (and hence who to pay) and how much to pay is
  a very difficult task. How can we ensure effective use of the money
  without giving the power to decide to a small subset of Debian people?

Raphaël Hertzog

Premier livre français sur Debian GNU/Linux :

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