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Re: How to leverage money to accomplish high impact Debian projects

Jonas Smedegaard <jonas@jones.dk> writes:

> Quoting Gard Spreemann (2021-03-23 16:18:10)
>> Louis-Philippe Véronneau <pollo@debian.org> writes:
>> > On 2021-03-22 16 h 43, Didier 'OdyX' Raboud wrote:
>> >> Le vendredi, 19 mars 2021, 17.49:54 h CET Louis-Philippe Véronneau 
>> >> a écrit :
>> >>> On 2021-03-19 08 h 02, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
>> >>>>> I've been telling a few people last month that I would really 
>> >>>>> liked to have an Enterprise Edition Online MiniDebConf, 
>> >>>>> unfortunately I don't have any time/energy to instigate that 
>> >>>>> currently.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Something for a Debian fellow that we could hire ;-)
>> >>>
>> >>> I for one would be less motivated to help with videoteam tasks if 
>> >>> I knew someone was paid to organise a miniconf.
>> >> 
>> >> Would your motivation also be affected if an individual was paid 
>> >> only for a specific task that noone in the team found particularily 
>> >> interesting to do?
>> >> 
>> >> (I don't know much about how the videoteam works, so I don't know 
>> >> if that's a good example, but let's see…) For example, what if 
>> >> someone (paid) handled the storage and timely shipping of all the 
>> >> hardware, as well as the actual ordering of new hardware, leaving 
>> >> the (what I assume is the more interesting part) configuring, 
>> >> design and conception of the system to volunteers?
>> >
>> > I'm not opposed to paid labor per-say. I think the previous examples 
>> > of Debian paying TOs to do accounting is a good one.
>> >
>> > So to answer your question, I wouldn't be opposed if we contracted 
>> > an enterprise to handle our gear for us.
>> >
>> > I don't think it's something particularly fun to do and I see that 
>> > more as an administrative task, akin to accounting.
>> >
>> > "Organising a miniconf" isn't though.
>> Is there a fundamental difference between paying someone to do 
>> "non-fun administrative tasks" like accounting, and paying someone to 
>> help out with orphaned/RFA'd packages (cf. Christian Kastner's recent 
>> "How to motivate contributors to work on QA" question)?
>> It seems to me, to some extent, that a package that is orphaned or 
>> RFA'd is per definition "not fun enough" for a volunteer to work on.
> Accounting is a mandatory activity regardless of its fun-factor.
> Seems backwards to to me to pay for keeping packages alive that we have 
> lost interest in.

That's a good point, I agree. What about packages that we have lost
interest in, but that our users very much have not? Admittedly, I have
no idea of what the cardinality of that intersection is.

Or alternatively: are there hard-to-maintain packages that are highly
useful to users, but where there just isn't enough interest to overcome
a very high maintenance burden? Could paid work help offload the
maintainer of such packages (leaving them with more of the fun parts and
less of the non-fun ones)?


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