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

Christian Kastner <ckk@debian.org> writes:

>   * Someone gets paid to improve Debian

Some packages end up in this situation because there is no need for them
to be in the archive.

If you pay someone to keep them in, you are removing the evolutionary
pressure that ensures that Debian doesn't fill up with dross, so you're
actually paying someone to make Debian worse in that case.

How can one tell the difference between useful stuff and dross?

Given the diversity of use cases that Debian covers, I think the only
way is to allow things to drop out of the archive if they attract
insufficient interest to stay in, be that from volunteers or paid-for
effort funded by interested users.

That way, people that care get to notice the thing dropping out of the
archive, and do something about it ... or not.

If we had a committee deciding which mediocre packages were sufficiently
important to have money thrown at them, we'd effectively block new
enthusiastic volunteers to step up to do the job unpaid, we'd remove any
incentive for users to fund such work directly, and we'd remove a lot of
the incentive for writing a replacement that was better than the things
that nobody wants to maintain.

As Jonas points out, we'd almost certainly also demoralise the fine
people that already maintain loads of rather uninspiring packages, and
cause them to make the problem worse by orphaning those packages.

Cheers, Phil.
|)|  Philip Hands  [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]  HANDS.COM Ltd.
|-|  http://www.hands.com/    http://ftp.uk.debian.org/
|(|  Hugo-Klemm-Strasse 34,   21075 Hamburg,    GERMANY

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