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Re: All DPL candidates: Debian assets



Hi Hector,

On 14 Mar 2014, at 13:25, Hector Oron <zumbi@debian.org> wrote:

> Hello DPL candidates,
> 
> First of all congratulations for your nominations. I have several
> questions for you, I hope you do not mind to reply:

Thanks for your question, it’s good to see a DSA member engaging with the election :)

> a. Debian hardware infrastructure
>   0. What do you think of Debian teams owning their own
> infrastructure (hardware)?

I believe there’s a real risk here. It’s important for everyone to remember that the work they do is for the project, not individual. I don’t agree with Lucas here that items purchased by a TO belongs to that TO, except in a strictly legal sense. The point is that it belongs to the project as a whole.

I don’t think it makes much sense for a team to unilaterally purchase hardware without reference to DSA, but also that DSA should be able to accept any specialist requirements that any team have.

I’ve seen this both as secretary and release manager, and I believe that DSA in general does a very good job of being flexible in requests.

>   1. If Debian team gets hardware resources from external
> parties/sponsors in monetary form, would you be willing to spend that
> money buying hardware for that team, or re-use existing hardware which
> is already part of Debian assets and save that money for something
> else?

Hrm, monetary form in exchange for hardware is a tricky theoretical. I believe it’s important to ensure that any donations are used with the wishes of the donator. Thus, if a donation came in for a specific purpose, then it should be spent on that, or returned. So I guess my answer is the latter.

The issue is that I would try and ensure this problem doesn’t occur in the first place - there shouldn’t be a problem that there is excess hardware by a team that can be solved by existing DSA resources which requires external fundraising!

> b. Debian money
>   0. If Debian had an excess of cash, which topics do you think
> are more important to spend that money for the overall project
> benefit?

I don’t think there’s an “if” here. Ever since I was secretary of SPI, I’ve been concerned about the amount of money that Debian has earmarked. Again, I disagree with Lucas here - I don’t think that saving donors money is a good plan, our donators expect their donations to be spent to progress the project.

At the moment, in just SPI, we have > 100k USD awaiting being spent. As an indication, that’s enough for a DebConf without any sponsors! Our donations should be spent. Be that better porter boxes, or a better backup service, or simply making sure our core machines are replaced regularly.

Neil

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