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Re: Question to all candidates: financing of development

On Sat, Mar 13, 2010 at 4:18 AM, Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> wrote:
> Imagine a DD contacts you, she wants to setup an infrastructure to finance
> Debian related projects (i.e. paying people to enable them to work on the
> projects that they'd like to do for Debian) but she wants to avoid the
> main mistakes made during Dunc-Tank; in her project:
> - everybody can propose projects to be financed
> - the projects to be financed are selected by the Debian developers and
>  by the donors
> - eligible projects can only concern new developements and not recurring
>  tasks

This sounds quite similar to how the GSoC is done.  The main problem
in this scenario is actually finding the sponsors to pay for the
developers, and then control that the projects get done as expected.

> What advice would you give her?
> What other pitfalls from Dunc-Tank must she pay attention to?

We have already participated in a number of GSoCs (four, if I'm not
mistaken), and it hasn't issued any social problems like Dunc Tank
did.  So, if there were to be other sponsors willing to pay for a
similar thing, it's not likely that there would be a bad reaction
towards it.

However, if it's seen as a "Debian" thing, instead of an external
thing like GSoC is, then it might lead to some resentment from the
side of the people that don't get any money for their work.

> Do you have concrete suggestions for her on how it should be working?

The main issue would be that the whole process should be very
transparent.  When money plays a role, it's very important that
everybody knows what kind of money we are talking about, what the
responsibilities of the people receiving the money are, and how the
whole thing actually benefits Debian.

> Would you encourage her to go forward or would you try to convince her to
> forget this idea?

I don't like it too much, so I would definitely not encourage it.  I'd
tell them to discuss this idea (with more details) on debian-project
and see what the general opinion of the project is, and only decide to
go forward with it or not after that.


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