Debian money

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Debian money

Sam Hartman-5
Hi folks,

Way later than planned (sorry :-(), here's a summary of the ideas that
people have thrown at me for how we can/could/should spend more of
Debian's money. I asked for suggestions both in person and via mail
when at DebConf, and we held a BoF there too.

In summary, we have quite a lot of money in the bank with SPI in the
US. We also have (smaller) amounts scattered around with other groups
around the world, most notably FFIS in Germany. We have enough money
that we could become a target, but almost definitely not enough that
we'd be able to defend ourselves in a legal fight in the US.

Suggestions and comments from others
====================================

There's quite a long list, in *rough* order of the priority I would
(personally) give them so far. If you think I'm missing anything, or
would like to push something up or down the order then please say so
on the list!

 1 New hardware / equipment

   a The DSA team have a wishlist of new hardware they'd like, along
     with a set of donated machines that need configuring and/or
     shipping. As far as I'm concerned, so long as the individual
     requests here look reasonable then they get approved as and when
     they happen.

   b Maintainers of big packages might benefit a lot if we can
     loan/donate big machines to them to make things faster. Should
     be an easy thing to work out - nominate such people please!

 2 Fund developer gatherings:

   a Teams interested in a face to face meeting to work on their part
     of the project should be provided a simple way to get funding for
     transport, lodging and food. Sounds like a good plan, and we're
     already doing this quite a lot, including sponsorship from
     various people like Extermadura.

   b More money for DebConf travel sponsorship; we already do some of
     this, but could do some more if desired. It would also be helpful
     in future to guarantee underwrite income earlier so we can
     confirm travel sponsorship much earlier. Easy to do.

   c Encourage more people in the NM queue / recently-joined DDs to
     apply for sponsorship to travel to DebConf if they need it; let's
     encourage people to get fully involved in the community.

 3 Legal costs

   a Pay for legal advice if needed. We have some cover for legal
     advice via SPI, but we may need to ask for more than the pro bono
     services might be able to give us.

 4 Marketing stuff:

   a box(es) of equipment to take to stands at various shows and
     expos. Might be useful, but could be expensive. Where do we store
     it/them? Who organises shipping?

   b ads in the media in various places? Very expensive imho, so I'm
     not convinced. How much money do we spend?

   c marketing to new developers: posters to put up at universities?
     T-shirts or other gifts for new people working on bug-fixes,
     translations etc.? Could be useful, but again expensive.
     Thoughts?
   
   d target the developing world with CDs / DVDs etc.? Might help, but
     I'd be much happier to fund developer gatherings and/or mini
     confs to boost Free Software than give away media that might just
     end up in the bin.

 5 Pay people to do stuff we don't/can't/won't:

   a technical writing for end users (users guide and admin guide):
     "Even though we have some pretty good technical documentation for
     stuff like packaging and we have a nice short reference we don't
     have documents like other distros have for the end users." Sounds
     like a cute idea to me; proposals welcome.

   b News team; person/people to work on collating the news reports
     that we have for something like DWN/DPN. The publicity team are
     already working on new ideas in this area, so I'd rather leave
     things with them for now and see how they pan out.

   c Press officer / Debian ambassador to go and talk to corporations,
     the press etc.

   d Training for Debian folks where we think it would be helpful

   e artwork / design

   f suggestion that we should use money to pay outsiders to do some
     existing press/news/admin/whatever work to leave the existing
     people more time to do development work. I'm not so convinced;
     it's up to the volunteers doing this work to do what they enjoy,
     imho.

 6 Fund other related projects
 
   a Debian Edu. Clearly good for us to do - heavily linked with
     Debian.

   b Gnash. Petter is very keen on this, but I'm not so sure. Don't
     they have other ways to get funding? Thoughts?

 6 Dunc tank 2?

   a Some people think this could be made to work, but I'm really not
     convinced at all.

   b We could offer bounties for specific work, maybe, but there would
     be a lot of discussion needed before we could set something up
     like this

--
Steve McIntyre, Debian Project Leader <[hidden email]>

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Re: Debian money, booth on german church meeting

Thomas Koch-11
There's a german association, "Linux user in der Kirche"[1] (Linux user in the
church), which plans to organize a booth on the next big meeting of the german
church in 2010.
They aim is to promote the usage of linux in the administrations of church
communities and of course private use of linux.
The cost of the booth is around 800 Euro, which must be collected from private
sponsorship until december to make the booth happen.

Maybe debian could sponsor this event?

[1] http://luki.org/

Thomas Koch, http://www.koch.ro


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Re: Debian money, booth on german church meeting

Joey Schulze
Thomas Koch wrote:
> There's a german association, "Linux user in der Kirche"[1] (Linux user in the
> church), which plans to organize a booth on the next big meeting of the german
> church in 2010.
> They aim is to promote the usage of linux in the administrations of church
> communities and of course private use of linux.
> The cost of the booth is around 800 Euro, which must be collected from private
> sponsorship until december to make the booth happen.
>
> Maybe debian could sponsor this event?

Thanks a lot for your engagement for Debian and GNU/Linux in clerical
environments.

For other events and shows we have always asked the organisers of the
event to sponsor the booth for Free Software.  This even worked for
highly commercial events such as CeBIT and Systems.  Partially these
booths weren't sponsored by the organisers but by companies already
maintaining a booth on that particular show.

I'm not sure the Debian project should start paying for booths now.

I would rather like Debian to help running the booth by providing
hardware if needed or booth material such as posters and large signs.

Regards,

        Joey

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Re: Debian money, booth on german church meeting

Thomas Koch-11
> Thomas Koch wrote:
> > There's a german association, "Linux user in der Kirche"[1] (Linux user
> > in the church), which plans to organize a booth on the next big meeting
> > of the german church in 2010.
> > They aim is to promote the usage of linux in the administrations of
> > church communities and of course private use of linux.
> > The cost of the booth is around 800 Euro, which must be collected from
> > private sponsorship until december to make the booth happen.
> >
> > Maybe debian could sponsor this event?
>
> Thanks a lot for your engagement for Debian and GNU/Linux in clerical
> environments.
>
> For other events and shows we have always asked the organisers of the
> event to sponsor the booth for Free Software.  This even worked for
> highly commercial events such as CeBIT and Systems.  Partially these
> booths weren't sponsored by the organisers but by companies already
> maintaining a booth on that particular show.
>
> I'm not sure the Debian project should start paying for booths now.
>
> I would rather like Debian to help running the booth by providing
> hardware if needed or booth material such as posters and large signs.
>
> Regards,
>
> Joey
>
There's a radical difference between technical exhibitions like CeBIT and the
Kirchentag: At the Kirchentag most of the exhibitants are non-profit. Compared
to little initiatives supporting schools in poor countries, a linux booth is
even more on the profit site:
If people switch to linux there is business to be made in consulting. (Still
luki is such a small association that there members would not be likely to
profite from such business.)

Regards, Thomas Koch

Thomas Koch, http://www.koch.ro


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Re: Debian money, booth on german church meeting

Joey Schulze
Thomas Koch wrote:

> > Thomas Koch wrote:
> > > There's a german association, "Linux user in der Kirche"[1] (Linux user
> > > in the church), which plans to organize a booth on the next big meeting
> > > of the german church in 2010.
> > > They aim is to promote the usage of linux in the administrations of
> > > church communities and of course private use of linux.
> > > The cost of the booth is around 800 Euro, which must be collected from
> > > private sponsorship until december to make the booth happen.
> > >
> > > Maybe debian could sponsor this event?
> >
> > Thanks a lot for your engagement for Debian and GNU/Linux in clerical
> > environments.
> >
> > For other events and shows we have always asked the organisers of the
> > event to sponsor the booth for Free Software.  This even worked for
> > highly commercial events such as CeBIT and Systems.  Partially these
> > booths weren't sponsored by the organisers but by companies already
> > maintaining a booth on that particular show.
> >
> > I'm not sure the Debian project should start paying for booths now.
> >
> > I would rather like Debian to help running the booth by providing
> > hardware if needed or booth material such as posters and large signs.
> >
> There's a radical difference between technical exhibitions like CeBIT and the
> Kirchentag: At the Kirchentag most of the exhibitants are non-profit. Compared
> to little initiatives supporting schools in poor countries, a linux booth is
> even more on the profit site:
> If people switch to linux there is business to be made in consulting. (Still
> luki is such a small association that there members would not be likely to
> profite from such business.)

It seems to me that these consulting businesses would be good
addresses to ask for sponsorship of a Debian/GNU/Linux booth if there
is no way getting a free booth for a charitable association such as
the Debian Project or the GNU/Linux community.

Regards,

        Joey

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Re: Debian money, booth on german church meeting

Joey Schulze
Martin Schulze wrote:

> Thomas Koch wrote:
> > > Thomas Koch wrote:
> > > > There's a german association, "Linux user in der Kirche"[1] (Linux user
> > > > in the church), which plans to organize a booth on the next big meeting
> > > > of the german church in 2010.
> > > > They aim is to promote the usage of linux in the administrations of
> > > > church communities and of course private use of linux.
> > > > The cost of the booth is around 800 Euro, which must be collected from
> > > > private sponsorship until december to make the booth happen.
> > > >
> > > > Maybe debian could sponsor this event?
> > >
> > > Thanks a lot for your engagement for Debian and GNU/Linux in clerical
> > > environments.
> > >
> > > For other events and shows we have always asked the organisers of the
> > > event to sponsor the booth for Free Software.  This even worked for
> > > highly commercial events such as CeBIT and Systems.  Partially these
> > > booths weren't sponsored by the organisers but by companies already
> > > maintaining a booth on that particular show.
> > >
> > > I'm not sure the Debian project should start paying for booths now.
> > >
> > > I would rather like Debian to help running the booth by providing
> > > hardware if needed or booth material such as posters and large signs.
> > >
> > There's a radical difference between technical exhibitions like CeBIT and the
> > Kirchentag: At the Kirchentag most of the exhibitants are non-profit. Compared
> > to little initiatives supporting schools in poor countries, a linux booth is
> > even more on the profit site:
> > If people switch to linux there is business to be made in consulting. (Still
> > luki is such a small association that there members would not be likely to
> > profite from such business.)
>
> It seems to me that these consulting businesses would be good
> addresses to ask for sponsorship of a Debian/GNU/Linux booth if there
> is no way getting a free booth for a charitable association such as
> the Debian Project or the GNU/Linux community.

Hi again,

I've just seen that LUKI e.V. is an association that actively seeks
donations.  If you'd have to pay for a booth at the next Kirchentag
and the organisers are unwilling to sponsor a booth, wouldn't LUKI
e.V. be the canonical organisation to ask for sponsorship.

Regards,

        Joey

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Re: Debian money, booth on german church meeting

Steve Langasek
On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 10:52:37AM +0200, Martin Schulze wrote:
> > It seems to me that these consulting businesses would be good
> > addresses to ask for sponsorship of a Debian/GNU/Linux booth if there
> > is no way getting a free booth for a charitable association such as
> > the Debian Project or the GNU/Linux community.

> I've just seen that LUKI e.V. is an association that actively seeks
> donations.  If you'd have to pay for a booth at the next Kirchentag
> and the organisers are unwilling to sponsor a booth, wouldn't LUKI
> e.V. be the canonical organisation to ask for sponsorship.

My understanding was that this was about helping LUKI afford to *have* a
booth at the event, not about Debian having its own booth at the event.

--
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Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
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Re: Debian money

Josselin Mouette
In reply to this post by Sam Hartman-5
Le jeudi 10 septembre 2009 à 00:57 +0100, Steve McIntyre a écrit :
> 1 New hardware / equipment
>
>    a The DSA team have a wishlist of new hardware they'd like […]

Full ack. Hardware is not that expensive, lack of hardware should not
hold back any of our development.

> b Maintainers of big packages might benefit a lot if we can
>      loan/donate big machines to them to make things faster. Should
>      be an easy thing to work out - nominate such people please!

We could also think of hardware for some specific tasks. We would need
too much for the kernel team, but for example, wouldn’t Xorg developers
win from having one graphics card from each major series from the main
hardware vendors?

> 2 Fund developer gatherings:
>
>    a Teams interested in a face to face meeting […]
>    b More money for DebConf travel sponsorship […]

Given the compared efficiency of both kinds of meetings, I think we
should favor more specific meetings (like the Extramadura ones) rather
than Debconf, which could end up sucking all our money given the number
of participants, for little added benefit.

> 3 Legal costs
>
>    a Pay for legal advice if needed. We have some cover for legal
>      advice via SPI, but we may need to ask for more than the pro bono
>      services might be able to give us.

We could already make more use of the SPI legal advice. There have been
quite a number of cases where we did not have enough expertise, and
where we were left in the dark.

> 4 Marketing stuff:
[Lots of nice but expensive stuff]

This kind of thing should be encouraged, but maybe with a different pool
of funds. I’d be all for creating a specific entity gathering funds for
marketing operations if there is enough interest in it.

--
 .''`.      Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `'   “I recommend you to learn English in hope that you in
  `-     future understand things”  -- Jörg Schilling

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Re: Debian money

Giacomo Catenazzi
In reply to this post by Sam Hartman-5
Steve McIntyre wrote:

>
>  1 New hardware / equipment
>
>    a The DSA team have a wishlist of new hardware they'd like, along
>      with a set of donated machines that need configuring and/or
>      shipping. As far as I'm concerned, so long as the individual
>      requests here look reasonable then they get approved as and when
>      they happen.
>
>    b Maintainers of big packages might benefit a lot if we can
>      loan/donate big machines to them to make things faster. Should
>      be an easy thing to work out - nominate such people please!

Some months ago Debian asked for sponsored hardware:
http://www.debian.org/News/2009/20090208

I did not read any news about his, so maybe we could use some
money for such infrastructure hardware.

ciao
        cate


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Re: Debian money

Mauro Lizaur-6
In reply to this post by Sam Hartman-5


2009-09-10, Steve McIntyre:

> Hi folks,
>
> Suggestions and comments from others
> ====================================
>
[...]
>
>  6 Fund other related projects
>  
>    a Debian Edu. Clearly good for us to do - heavily linked with
>      Debian.
>


I think that this could be really interesting.
Another thing that could be done regarding Debian and education is
to do something ala (don't hate me) Ubuntu by preparing cds/dvds and
sending them to public schools from places with little/no resources,
which unfortunately tend to receive  privative software at *low cost* (!).
Note that I'm not referring to just "hey, let's giveaway free cds! \o/"
like Ubuntu does, but something more like the OLPC project.
The downside of this idea is that will probably be too expensive,
but OTOH 1 u$s =~ 4 $AR, and I'm sure that in many places the
conversion rate goes in a similar way.

Saludos,
Mauro

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Re: Debian money

Frans Pop-3
In reply to this post by Sam Hartman-5
On Thursday 10 September 2009, Steve McIntyre wrote:
>  5 Pay people to do stuff we don't/can't/won't:

     g website redesign and restructuring
       This is something we seem unable to make any progress at and that
       is very much overdue. Especially the restructuring part would
       involve loads of tedious work and some compensation for that would
       IMO be in order. Of course we would need to agree on requirements
       first.

>  6 Fund other related projects
>
>    a Debian Edu. Clearly good for us to do - heavily linked with
>      Debian.

Not sure about that. IMO it's up to the schools and governmental
institutions that use Debian Edu to sponsor that.
However, I have no problem with Debian sponsoring development meetings
that aim to work on Debian Edu, but that comes under the heading of "Fund
developer gatherings".

>    b Gnash. Petter is very keen on this, but I'm not so sure. Don't
>      they have other ways to get funding? Thoughts?

I don't think Debian as a project should sponsor upstream development.
That's up to individual DDs.

Cheers,
FJP


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Re: Debian money

Marc 'HE' Brockschmidt-3
In reply to this post by Sam Hartman-5
Steve McIntyre <[hidden email]> writes:
>  4 Marketing stuff:
>    a box(es) of equipment to take to stands at various shows and
>      expos. Might be useful, but could be expensive. Where do we store
>      it/them? Who organises shipping?

I think this is something which we should pursue. I generally have the
impression that the Debian booth is relatively boring, while other
projects seem to be better in properly decorating, displaying their
products and attracting interest. We should definitely work on that -
currently, the Debian project booth is usually just like prejudices
against Debian: Highly technical, unattractive and of no interest to new
users.

Marc
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Re: Debian money

Philipp Kern-4
In reply to this post by Frans Pop-3
On 2009-09-10, Frans Pop <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Thursday 10 September 2009, Steve McIntyre wrote:
>>  5 Pay people to do stuff we don't/can't/won't:
>
>      g website redesign and restructuring
>        This is something we seem unable to make any progress at and that
>        is very much overdue. Especially the restructuring part would
>        involve loads of tedious work and some compensation for that would
>        IMO be in order. Of course we would need to agree on requirements
>        first.

There's a website redesign pending.  When I conclude from my own expiriences
from webwml it's mostly a fear to overload/disappoint translators that blocks
huge updates from happening.

Kind regards,
Philipp Kern


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Re: Debian money

Joey Schulze
In reply to this post by Frans Pop-3
Frans Pop wrote:
> On Thursday 10 September 2009, Steve McIntyre wrote:
> >  5 Pay people to do stuff we don't/can't/won't:
>
>      g website redesign and restructuring
>        This is something we seem unable to make any progress at and that
>        is very much overdue. Especially the restructuring part would
>        involve loads of tedious work and some compensation for that would
>        IMO be in order. Of course we would need to agree on requirements
>        first.

Such work should only be done by people inside the project and not by
external people.  There have been several attempts by external people
that haven't caused the required concense and agreement inside the
project.  New attempts shouldn't be done similar.

We also need to recall problems Dunc-Tank caused and don't make
similar mistakes again.

Regards,

        Joey

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Re: Debian money

Frans Pop-3
In reply to this post by Frans Pop-3
On Thursday 10 September 2009, Frans Pop wrote:
> >  6 Fund other related projects
> >
> >    b Gnash. Petter is very keen on this, but I'm not so sure. Don't
> >      they have other ways to get funding? Thoughts?
>
> I don't think Debian as a project should sponsor upstream development.
> That's up to individual DDs.

Or users obviously.


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Re: Debian money

Petter Reinholdtsen
In reply to this post by Frans Pop-3

[Frans Pop]

>>  6 Fund other related projects
>>
>>    a Debian Edu. Clearly good for us to do - heavily linked with
>>      Debian.
>
> Not sure about that. IMO it's up to the schools and governmental
> institutions that use Debian Edu to sponsor that.  However, I have
> no problem with Debian sponsoring development meetings that aim to
> work on Debian Edu, but that comes under the heading of "Fund
> developer gatherings".

Almost all expenses in the Debian Edu project are for developer
gatherings.  We try to organize 7-8 gatherings a year, and the cost
per gathering is around 2500 EURO, thus giving us a yearly need for
20000 EURO.  In addition to this, we buy test hardware for use at the
developer gatherings, have funded a user conference once, and funded
travel and lodging for debconf and other conferences.  We funded a
Gnash developer gathering last year.  The Debian Edu project is almost
out of funds, and need more donations. :)

>>    b Gnash. Petter is very keen on this, but I'm not so sure. Don't
>>      they have other ways to get funding? Thoughts?
>
> I don't think Debian as a project should sponsor upstream
> development.  That's up to individual DDs.

A working free software implementation of the flash web plugin is a
requirement for Debian to provide a complete free software based
desktop.  At the moment flash is used on so many web sites that the
common user will not accept a browser without working Flash.  I
believe that should be a priority of the Debian project to provide a
complete free software desktop.  And as Gnash is one of the few
projects where money will help speed up development, I believe
spending Debian money on Gnash is a good idea.  Why should Debian not
sponsor upstream development for projects that are important to
Debian?

Happy hacking,
--
Petter Reinholdtsen


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Re: Debian money

Giacomo Catenazzi
Petter Reinholdtsen wrote:

> [Frans Pop]
>
>>>    b Gnash. Petter is very keen on this, but I'm not so sure. Don't
>>>      they have other ways to get funding? Thoughts?
>> I don't think Debian as a project should sponsor upstream
>> development.  That's up to individual DDs.
>
> A working free software implementation of the flash web plugin is a
> requirement for Debian to provide a complete free software based
> desktop.  At the moment flash is used on so many web sites that the
> common user will not accept a browser without working Flash.  I
> believe that should be a priority of the Debian project to provide a
> complete free software desktop.  And as Gnash is one of the few
> projects where money will help speed up development, I believe
> spending Debian money on Gnash is a good idea.  Why should Debian not
> sponsor upstream development for projects that are important to
> Debian?

It is useful not only for Debian, so IMHO Debian could donate some
money, but only if other big distributions (RedHat, SuSe/Novel, Ubuntu,
etc.) do the same.

ciao
        cate


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Re: Debian money

Frans Pop-3
On Thursday 10 September 2009, Giacomo A. Catenazzi wrote:
> It is useful not only for Debian, so IMHO Debian could donate some
> money, but only if other big distributions (RedHat, SuSe/Novel, Ubuntu,
> etc.) do the same.

Even then not IMO. Those other distributions are commercial, Debian is
not. Our money comes from sponsors and donors who've decided to donate
their money to *Debian* and not to Gnash.

IMO it is not up to us to decide to pass on money donated to us to other
projects. If sponsors and donors feel Gnash is worth sponsoring, they
will do so themselves. Money donated to Debian should be spent on Debian.

Cheers,
FJP


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Re: Debian money

Petter Reinholdtsen
In reply to this post by Giacomo Catenazzi
[Giacomo A. Catenazzi]
> It is useful not only for Debian, so IMHO Debian could donate some
> money, but only if other big distributions (RedHat, SuSe/Novel,
> Ubuntu, etc.) do the same.

I find this to be a rather useless requirement to have, unless the
goal is to do nothing.  If something is a good idea to do, Debian
should do it independently of what the other distributions are doing,
otherwise we will waste time trying to convince other distributions
instead of spending time on improving Debian.  Are you volunteering to
convince the other big distributions to donate money to the same
projects Debian want to donate money to?  I am not.

A better approach would be to state that Debian will donate some money
and propose publicly for other distributions to do the same. :)

Happy hacking,
--
Petter Reinholdtsen


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Re: Debian money

Muammar El Khatib-2
Hi,

On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 8:45 AM, Petter Reinholdtsen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> [Giacomo A. Catenazzi]
>> It is useful not only for Debian, so IMHO Debian could donate some
>> money, but only if other big distributions (RedHat, SuSe/Novel,
>> Ubuntu, etc.) do the same.
>
> I find this to be a rather useless requirement to have, unless the
> goal is to do nothing.  If something is a good idea to do, Debian
> should do it independently of what the other distributions are doing,
> otherwise we will waste time trying to convince other distributions
> instead of spending time on improving Debian.  Are you volunteering to
> convince the other big distributions to donate money to the same
> projects Debian want to donate money to?  I am not.
>

I do agree with you, Debian should act independently of what the other
distributions are doing without forgetting that in some way we have to
compete and doing it without loosing our essence . OTOH, those
distributions that were named are commercial while we aren't. Our
priority should be to invest money in our project, our DD's and our
maintainers. Once we have covered our needs,  then I think we can
considerate donating money to others.

I found great the idea of  buying hardware for those teams that need
them, as it was said, this shouldn't be a problem for us (given that
we have the money for covering this need). Furthermore, the idea on
investing in how users see us (investing in materials for stands at
expos or more attractive artwork) to make Debian more attractive to
them in some way is very nice, too. It'd be good to break the Idea
that Debian is for people with lots of technical skills and an OS
which is not easy to use. This should be expensive, but  I think we
may destinate at least some money for it at least once to see what
happens.

Regards,

--
Muammar El Khatib.
Linux user: 403107.
GPG Key = 127029F1
http://muammar.me | http://proyectociencia.org
  ,''`.
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 `. `'
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