Q to all candidates: increase diversity with DDs outside Europe and USA

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Q to all candidates: increase diversity with DDs outside Europe and USA

Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana
Hi,

We have debated on the "debconf-discuss" mailing list about DebConf21
and it was said about the huge number of DD in Europe.

So, what the DPL can do to increase the number of DDs in other regions
outside Europe and USA?

It's important increase diversity in Debian with DD especially from
southern hemisphere, right?

Best regards,

--
Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana (phls)
Curitiba - Brasil
Debian Developer
Diretor do Instituto para Conservação de Tecnologias Livres
Membro da Comunidade Curitiba Livre
Site: http://www.phls.com.br
GNU/Linux user: 228719  GPG ID: 0443C450

Organizador da DebConf19 - Conferência Mundial de Desenvolvedores(as) Debian
Curitiba - 21 a 28 de julho de 2019
http://debconf19.debconf.org


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Re: Q to all candidates: increase diversity with DDs outside Europe and USA

Jonathan Carter (highvoltage)-2
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On 2019/03/30 18:51, Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana wrote:
> We have debated on the "debconf-discuss" mailing list about DebConf21
> and it was said about the huge number of DD in Europe.
>
> So, what the DPL can do to increase the number of DDs in other regions
> outside Europe and USA?
>
> It's important increase diversity in Debian with DD especially from
> southern hemisphere, right?

That's right, geographical diversity has some significance. There's been
some discussion all over about privilege lately and how it affects free
software contributions. Free software developers tend to come from
backgrounds where people have a better quality of life and along with
that, more free time. It's probably no surprise then that we have lots
of contributors from Europe.

I'll admit that geographical diversity won't be a high priority for me
if I get elected as DPL, while there are many diversity factors that we
can improve on, it's important to pick your battles and I think right
now promoting women in the project and getting more women involved is
the best place to focus energy on.

And, having said that, I think there's more we can do to support local
teams in different regions. For example, creating a local marketing kit
with posters, booklets, USB disks, t-shirts, other swag, etc that can be
distributed all over the world for local teams to use. As DPL I would be
very happy to approve funds for such a project, but if you look at the
areas I already intend to focus on, it would not be one of the projects
I want to drive personally. During DC16 someone did step up to run such
a project, but I think he got busy. I hope someone picks it up again in
the future.

- -Jonathan

- --
  ⢀⣴⠾⠻⢶⣦⠀  Jonathan Carter (highvoltage) <jcc>
  ⣾⠁⢠⠒⠀⣿⡁  Debian Developer - https://wiki.debian.org/highvoltage
  ⢿⡄⠘⠷⠚⠋   https://debian.org | https://jonathancarter.org
  ⠈⠳⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀  Be Bold. Be brave. Debian has got your back.
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Re: Q to all candidates: increase diversity with DDs outside Europe and USA

Joerg Jaspert
In reply to this post by Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana
On 15357 March 1977, Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana wrote:

> We have debated on the "debconf-discuss" mailing list about DebConf21
> and it was said about the huge number of DD in Europe.
> So, what the DPL can do to increase the number of DDs in other regions
> outside Europe and USA?

Well. Yes, its way easier to contribute to anything, including
free-software, if your day-to-day life does not consist mostly of
"struggle to get through", which is one of the reasons why Europe (and
the US) has so many contributors.

> It's important increase diversity in Debian with DD especially from
> southern hemisphere, right?

Southern, Northern, Western, Eastern, nicest would be if the numbers of
DDs (actually, free software community members) would coalesce with the
numbers of people living in the various areas. Same thing for numbers of
members for woman, trans, colored people, whatever.

When we ever get to that, then it really doesn't matter where you are
from, how you look, what body you carry. It only matters if your work is
good (and you are not a nutjob). That would be nice. But unfortunately
still far away.

Still, on the way to that, DPL can support with promoting those goals.
With spending money, if there are ways where money can support (say,
some diversity grant, help financing a local event, ...). Or with plain
recognition.

--
bye, Joerg

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Re: Q to all candidates: increase diversity with DDs outside Europe and USA

Martin Michlmayr
In reply to this post by Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana
(I'll turn your questions around)

* Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana <[hidden email]> [2019-03-30 13:51]:
> It's important increase diversity in Debian with DD especially from
> southern hemisphere, right?

I believe it's important, yes.  I actually had a phone call about this
topic last week with a researcher (looking at a FOSS community in
Bangladesh) who asked me what kind of outreach efforts there are in the
FOSS world.  Not enough, imho.

There are a number of reasons why many FOSS contributors are from
"developed"/"Western" nations, e.g. time, access to computers,
Internet, language, etc.  There are also cultural reasons, e.g. in
particular in some Asian countries it's very bad to be criticized in
public.  After spending some time with Jonathan Carter in South Africa
last year, I've also come to appreciate how lucky I am with a passport
from an EU country -- Jonathan has to get a visa for a lot of
countries where I can just show up and stay 1-3 months.  While Debian
can't solve that issue, we can e.g. ensure bursary decisions are made
early so people have enough time to apply for visas.

Frankly, English is another thing that puts some people at a great
advantage and others at a great disadvantage.  But I don't see how we
can solve that one.  (It's good that most communication in Debian is
written, so at least you can take your time and get it right.)

> So, what the DPL can do to increase the number of DDs in other regions
> outside Europe and USA?

The DPL can encourage mini DebConfs and other local meetups, such as
BSPs.  Once we have 1-2 people, it's much easier to get more people
involved since they will tell their friends about Debian, help them
get involved, etc.  Encourage existing Debian developers to meet up
with people when they travel.

The DPL can encourage an inclusive community and cultural
understanding.  Just creating more awareness about stumbling blocks
that people face helps because it many cases people simply have no
idea (e.g. the visa issue mentioned above).  I've definitely learned a
lot through my involvement in Debian. (And after spending a few months
in the southern hemisphere last year, I'm less likely to write
"summer" and "winter" to refer to certain months ;)

The DPL can encourage and support existing outreach mechanisms, such
as bursaries for DebConf and Outreachy, etc.

These are just some ideas.  I don't actually have great insights on
how to improve the situation, but this is definitely an area I'm
interested in and I'm open for ideas.

--
Martin Michlmayr
https://www.cyrius.com/

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Re: Q to all candidates: increase diversity with DDs outside Europe and USA

Adrian Bunk-3
On Mon, Apr 01, 2019 at 07:35:56PM +0700, Martin Michlmayr wrote:
>...
> The DPL can encourage an inclusive community and cultural
> understanding.  Just creating more awareness about stumbling blocks
> that people face helps because it many cases people simply have no
> idea (e.g. the visa issue mentioned above).  I've definitely learned a
> lot through my involvement in Debian. (And after spending a few months
> in the southern hemisphere last year, I'm less likely to write
> "summer" and "winter" to refer to certain months ;)
>...

Should Debconf move away from always being held when there is winter
in the Southern Hemisphere and summer vacation only for people living
in the Northern Hemisphere?

cu
Adrian

BTW: One of the example pictures in the English Wikipedia article "Frost"
     is from Curitiba in late July.

--

       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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Re: Q to all candidates: increase diversity with DDs outside Europe and USA

Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana
In reply to this post by Martin Michlmayr
Hi,

On 4/1/19 9:35 AM, Martin Michlmayr wrote:

>
> There are a number of reasons why many FOSS contributors are from
> "developed"/"Western" nations, e.g. time, access to computers,
> Internet, language, etc.  There are also cultural reasons, e.g. in
> particular in some Asian countries it's very bad to be criticized in
> public.  After spending some time with Jonathan Carter in South Africa
> last year, I've also come to appreciate how lucky I am with a passport
> from an EU country -- Jonathan has to get a visa for a lot of
> countries where I can just show up and stay 1-3 months.  While Debian
> can't solve that issue, we can e.g. ensure bursary decisions are made
> early so people have enough time to apply for visas.
Yes, we (brazilians) have the same issue with visas, especially to
travel to USA and Canada (as we saw in 2017).

> Frankly, English is another thing that puts some people at a great
> advantage and others at a great disadvantage.  But I don't see how we
> can solve that one.  (It's good that most communication in Debian is
> written, so at least you can take your time and get it right.)

Yes ;-)

> The DPL can encourage mini DebConfs and other local meetups, such as
> BSPs.  Once we have 1-2 people, it's much easier to get more people
> involved since they will tell their friends about Debian, help them
> get involved, etc.  Encourage existing Debian developers to meet up
> with people when they travel.

I agree we can have MiniDebConfs but the problem is the local DDs are
usually involved on the organization too. So it's important Debian
developers from Europe (and other countries) been encouraged to join
these MiniDebConfs.

I can add we should have sprints outside Europe too.

In 2016 the Ruby Team come to Curitiba for their sprint (because
Terceiro was organizing it). And we have our first MiniDebConf on the
same week.
And in 2018 we had Stefano and Holger joining MiniDebConf here, and it
was great.

> The DPL can encourage an inclusive community and cultural
> understanding.  Just creating more awareness about stumbling blocks
> that people face helps because it many cases people simply have no
> idea (e.g. the visa issue mentioned above).  I've definitely learned a
> lot through my involvement in Debian. (And after spending a few months
> in the southern hemisphere last year, I'm less likely to write
> "summer" and "winter" to refer to certain months ;)

:-)

> The DPL can encourage and support existing outreach mechanisms, such
> as bursaries for DebConf and Outreachy, etc.
>
> These are just some ideas.  I don't actually have great insights on
> how to improve the situation, but this is definitely an area I'm
> interested in and I'm open for ideas.

I can add the high prices for tickets airplane to travel from Brazil to
Europe. It's hard to us to ask help from Debian If I would like join a
Debian event in Europe. It's really embarrassing for us request
reimbursement that we know it could be used for 4 or 5 other developers
inside Europe to travel around there. I believe others contributors even
try to ask for help because they believe it's a lot of money and Debian
never will spend it with them.

And it's not only the tickets airplane. Costs with food and accomodation
are very expensive for us.

Please, for the future DPL: think about that, how to have DDs living
outside Erope joing the Debian events there.

Best regards,

--
Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana (phls)
Curitiba - Brasil
Debian Developer
Diretor do Instituto para Conservação de Tecnologias Livres
Membro da Comunidade Curitiba Livre
Site: http://www.phls.com.br
GNU/Linux user: 228719  GPG ID: 0443C450

Organizador da DebConf19 - Conferência Mundial de Desenvolvedores(as) Debian
Curitiba - 21 a 28 de julho de 2019
http://debconf19.debconf.org


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Re: Q to all candidates: increase diversity with DDs outside Europe and USA

Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana
In reply to this post by Jonathan Carter (highvoltage)-2
Hi Jonathan,

On 3/30/19 4:53 PM, Jonathan Carter wrote:
>
>
> That's right, geographical diversity has some significance. There's been
> some discussion all over about privilege lately and how it affects free
> software contributions. Free software developers tend to come from
> backgrounds where people have a better quality of life and along with
> that, more free time. It's probably no surprise then that we have lots
> of contributors from Europe.

Thanks for the words "geographical diversity", I was looking for the
right word for express my idea :-)

We have debated for a long time here in Brazil that we have much more
Free Software "users" than Free Software "developers" in general.
It's not easy find brazilians helping projects with code. And it's not
different in Debian.

> I'll admit that geographical diversity won't be a high priority for me
> if I get elected as DPL, while there are many diversity factors that we
> can improve on, it's important to pick your battles and I think right
> now promoting women in the project and getting more women involved is
> the best place to focus energy on.

I'm not sure how you are planning to increase the number of women in
Debian, but if I can give you some advice is: it's better if you
encourage the current women Developers work on this, than you directly
work with the public. Maybe you already knew that.

I learned here that women that are not contributing feel more encouraged
to help Debian if they see women Developers talking with them. It's
better women-talking-to-women than men-talkimg-to-women.

We have 3 women brazilian DDs, but all of them are not living in Brazil
anymore. So, we (men) had to make some talks encouraging women to
contributing to Debian, and this is very strange. We have women
contributing to Debian now as Adriana and Helen. We hope DC19 help to
bring more brazilian women to the project.


> And, having said that, I think there's more we can do to support local
> teams in different regions. For example, creating a local marketing kit
> with posters, booklets, USB disks, t-shirts, other swag, etc that can be
> distributed all over the world for local teams to use. As DPL I would be
> very happy to approve funds for such a project, but if you look at the
> areas I already intend to focus on, it would not be one of the projects
> I want to drive personally. During DC16 someone did step up to run such
> a project, but I think he got busy. I hope someone picks it up again in
> the future.

I am not sure if you as DPL needs to help with local marketing. I
believe it is more important if you help to send women contributors that
live outside Europe/USA to Debian events in Europe or USA, for instance.
You will help them to keep in touch with a large of women Developers
there, and give them the opportunity to travel abroad.

Best regards,

--
Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana (phls)
Curitiba - Brasil
Debian Developer
Diretor do Instituto para Conservação de Tecnologias Livres
Membro da Comunidade Curitiba Livre
Site: http://www.phls.com.br
GNU/Linux user: 228719  GPG ID: 0443C450

Organizador da DebConf19 - Conferência Mundial de Desenvolvedores(as) Debian
Curitiba - 21 a 28 de julho de 2019
http://debconf19.debconf.org

--
Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana (phls)
Curitiba - Brasil
Debian Developer
Diretor do Instituto para Conservação de Tecnologias Livres
Membro da Comunidade Curitiba Livre
Site: http://www.phls.com.br
GNU/Linux user: 228719  GPG ID: 0443C450

Organizador da DebConf19 - Conferência Mundial de Desenvolvedores(as) Debian
Curitiba - 21 a 28 de julho de 2019
http://debconf19.debconf.org


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Re: Q to all candidates: increase diversity with DDs outside Europe and USA

Martin Michlmayr
In reply to this post by Adrian Bunk-3
* Adrian Bunk <[hidden email]> [2019-04-01 18:29]:

> > The DPL can encourage an inclusive community and cultural
> > understanding.  Just creating more awareness about stumbling blocks
> > that people face helps because it many cases people simply have no
> > idea (e.g. the visa issue mentioned above).  I've definitely learned a
> > lot through my involvement in Debian. (And after spending a few months
> > in the southern hemisphere last year, I'm less likely to write
> > "summer" and "winter" to refer to certain months ;)
>
> Should Debconf move away from always being held when there is winter
> in the Southern Hemisphere and summer vacation only for people living
> in the Northern Hemisphere?

I'm not the right person to answer that (because I don't think I'm
representative, e.g. I don't have children and I might be more
flexibility in general).

Obviously, there are some cases when DebConf has to be held during the
holiday period (because that's when university students are away and
uni accommodation becomes available).  But otherwise, I think DebConf
should be flexible.  It would be good to maintain some regularly (e.g.
12 months +/-4 months) but *personally* I don't see why DebConf has to
be in July/August.

Is this something that has been discussed before?  In any case, the
DebConf team is the right team to make this decision (but of course if
timing is a major issue for some people the DPL can be involved in a
dialogue about this topic).

--
Martin Michlmayr
https://www.cyrius.com/

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Re: Q to all candidates: increase diversity with DDs outside Europe and USA

Martin Michlmayr
In reply to this post by Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana
* Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana <[hidden email]> [2019-04-01 14:51]:
> I agree we can have MiniDebConfs but the problem is the local DDs
> are usually involved on the organization too. So it's important
> Debian developers from Europe (and other countries) been encouraged
> to join these MiniDebConfs.

I definitely think it makes sense for people to attend mini DebConfs
in other regions and as DPL I would support travel support if there's
a good justification (e.g. you give a talk, hold a sprint at the mini
DebConf).

> I can add we should have sprints outside Europe too.

The problem here is that you try to minimize travel time and cost for
the whole group.  So if most attendees are from Europe, it makes sense
to hold the sprint in Europe.

But the more people we get actively involved in other regions, the
less of a reason to hold the majority of sprints in Europe.

(I know there's a bit of a chicken and egg problem here, but you
typically get involved online first, so the problem isn't that big.)

> In 2016 the Ruby Team come to Curitiba for their sprint (because
> Terceiro was organizing it). And we have our first MiniDebConf on the
> same week.
> And in 2018 we had Stefano and Holger joining MiniDebConf here, and it
> was great.

Yeah, that's good!

> I can add the high prices for tickets airplane to travel from Brazil to
> Europe
...
> It's hard to us to ask help from Debian If I would like join a
> And it's not only the tickets airplane. Costs with food and accomodation
> are very expensive for us.

Obviously, the benefits must outweigh the costs (and not just in terms
of money; also considering time, etc).  So a trip that's, say, 2000
Euro needs more justification than a trip that's 100 Euro.

But if there's a *good* reason to attend, I don't think Debian has a
problem paying for airfare, accommodation and food.

I didn't have the impression lamby had a problem with this and I
wouldn't have one.  Maybe the problem (as you hint) is that some
people are afraid to ask for support from Debian.  I think recent DPLs
(including lamby) have done a good job in asking people who go to
events to post trip reports.  This creates more awareness of how to
use trips effectively (and that it's ok to ask Debian for support if
there's a good reason).

A few points that are not directly related to your question but which
are part of the bigger picture: I think Debian needs to get better at
financial reporting and budgeting.  Even though the reimbursement
process is documented, everything seems quit ad hoc to me.  There's
not much strategic thinking in how to use our resources.  Basically,
the DPL approves expenses if someone asks, but it's very reactionary
instead of proactively asking: which events should we attend, where
are gaps, etc (and this is not just about events).  If we had a better
idea of what we want to do with our money (and better reporting of
what we did the previous year), we could do more fundraising to
support these activities.

For example, approaching a company to ask for funding because we want
to send more developers from other regions to events or because we
want to purchase more servers to do X is much easier than because we
want to increase our bank balance from X to Y.

--
Martin Michlmayr
https://www.cyrius.com/