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Re: Question for DPL Candidates: Debian $$$

On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 09:24:29PM +0000, Joseph Nahmias wrote:
>Hello Steve, Luk, and Zak!

Hi Joseph!

>Having just particpated in the latest SPI board meeting, I've learned
>that The Debian Project currently has over 125k USD in reserve.  This
>amount (even setting aside the recent 30k debconf9 sponsorship by HP)
>seems to be at a point where we as a project should start articulating
>and coming to some agreement on what an appropriate level of reserves
>is, and how (on what) to spend the excess.
>Given that both platforms stress the leadership and communication
>functions of the DPL, and that the DPL is the one specifically empowered
>by the constitution to decide (along with the membership) how that money
>is spent [§5.1.10], I'd like to hear some thoughts from all of the
>candidates on:
>    1 - What is an appropriate reserve level for the project?

I think we currently have too much money; I'd be happier if we dropped
it down by 50% or so. As far as I see it, most of the people who
donate money to Debian are giving it to us to use it, not to just
leave it sat in the bank. I've also been told by various people that
if they saw us using the money more, they'd donate more.

>    2 - How should funds above that level be allocated?

I've already made a point of trying to spend more money in my year as
DPL than previous DPLs, and I believe that we should continue on with
that policy.

We have always spent money on more hardware where necessary, but
mainly for consumables rather than directly on machines. We already
tend to get lots of offers of hardware donations, and it's more useful
in my experience to spend our own money on maintaining and upgrading
those machines rather than buying new.

I've deliberately pushed people to arrange meetings and travel to
conferences where they are useful to Debian. This is a no-brainer, I
think: we've had a lot of good results from those meetings and
conferences, for example paying for Luciano to travel to Las Vegas to
talk about the openssl bug.

Finally, there's always Debconf. For a few years now we've spent some
of the SPI money on Debconf to help top up what we can find from
direct sponsorship. In the current financial climate we may have to
spend more to keep things running OK there.

Do you have any further ideas yourself on where we should spend our

Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me 

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