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Re: Usage of Debian's Money

On 2013-03-13 02:57, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
Since both of you want examples of possible uses of money, here you have
some that I quickly came up with:

1/ Grant some amount of money to the release team to offer as bounties on
release blocker issues that are not going forward.

I wouldn't be against experimenting with bounties, but like Lucas I would much happier about non-cash bounties, and also think that non-bounty "rewards" by people being public thanked for their work might be sufficient incentive in many cases.

2/ Have the ftpmasters write up a spec of what needs to be done to finally have "ddeb support" (or "PPA" or ...) and use Debian's money to contract
with someone (unaffiliated to Debian?) to actually implement the spec
under the
supervision of ftpmasters. Copyright of the code written would fall under

This doesn't sound fundamentally different to me from "pay someone to fix bugs in zsh"[1], or paying people for other normal Debian activities. I could much more easily accept us e.g. paying an accountant or a lawyer for some work that is clearly not related to Debian volunteer roles, though even in those cases I would want us to try to find volunteers first.

(Also, if no one in the Debian community was interested enough to write code for the spec, I would wonder if there was a problem with it.)

3/ Buy advertising space on various media to recruit new contributors and
lead them into our (improved) mentoring infrastructure.

In principle, I don't think I am completely set against paying for advertising. However, I cannot immediately imagine a case where we would expect sufficient benefit from normal media advertising for it to be worthwhile.

Note that we already get e.g. free magazine advertising for DebConf, and could surely get additional similar deals if we wanted; and you certainly know that e.g. Google gives free advertising credits to some projects:

Offer goodies as
rewards to new contributors who successfully played some game which
tricked them into contributing to Debian.

I would want to be persuaded that it wasn't too expensive -- the postal costs would likely outweigh the costs of cheap "goodies" in many cases. However, in principle it would be ok from my point of view, in the same way that a few non-essential costs at a Debian event are ok.

I suspect that I would be unconvinced by most ideas that suggested
that we spend spend money in ways that it would not be permitted for
SPI to spend money under relevant legislation and the SPI by-laws.

What kind of restrictions are you referring to?

(I answered that in another subthread.)


[1] I'm sure there are no bugs in zsh.

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