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Re: Finding sponsors for Debian

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 12:56:00PM +0100, Holger Levsen wrote:
> IIRC you still need to reply to a mail I sent to leader@ about this,
> where I question this or maybe parts of it :-) Let me summarize:

I don't think so :-), but I might be wrong of course. Please prod me at
leader@d.o if you confirm it's the case.

> If DebConf goes well, this modell works nicely. 
> But if it goes really bad (not just a little), because the DebConf orga team 
> made some stupid decissions, bad mistakes, etc. I dont think Debian as a whole 
> should be liable for eg 100k€ losses. (As much as I dont want the individuals 
> / the specific debconfX NGO to be in that debt for this, I do think if they 
> mess it up, they have to pay the bill.)

Well, DebConf chairs are DPL delegates for a reason, and this is a big
part of it. This means that the Project, via the DPL, trusts you to be
responsible with the DebConf budget. It is a big responsibility, as I'm
sure you realize. In choosing the people who are now appointed as DPL
chairs, I've indeed looked for a good mix of skills that I thought are
needed to run DebConf. That included the ability to keep an eye on the
budget and stay away from risky agreements.

But the delegation also means that if you screw up badly, it will be
Debian who would have screwed up badly. That is part of the game. And
while you surely feel more the risk of screwing up with DebConf budgets
(a very healthy fear, if you ask me), there are plenty of other places
where Developers with responsibility in the project might screw up and
endanger the Project. Again, that is part of the game. By only looking
at worst case scenarios you simply end up doing nothing: we should
rather evaluate risks, try to minimize them, and then go for it.

... and speaking about risk minimization, part of the DebConf / Debian
"reconciliation" discussions included the presentation of a _tentative_
conference budget to the DPL for review before starting spending
money. That is a sensible safeguard measure, IMHO, and I'm looking
forward to start practicing with it :-)

Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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