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

Quoting Gard Spreemann (2021-03-23 16:40:32)
> Jonas Smedegaard <jonas@jones.dk> writes:
> > Quoting Gard Spreemann (2021-03-23 16:18:10)
> >> 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)?

Yes, paid work helps some maintainers - but that's the wrong question!

The right question is if paid work helps Debian *and* does not at the 
same time disturb (other parts of) Debian too much.

Next question is then how much is "too much" - I have no answer for 

If Debian paid for working on orphaned packages, then I would probably 
orphan some of the packages I now maintain as a volunteer, to then work 
on those same packages for pay.  I would not consider that cheating: 
Some of "my" packages are genuinely less fun to maintain, and would 
certainly be *lesser* fun if knew that others were paid for doing 
similar tasks.

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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