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Re: Why do we take so long to realise good ideas (Was: Difficult Packaging Practices)

On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 10:46:48AM +0200, Ansgar wrote:
> On Wed, 2019-05-29 at 10:38 +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > Use the $300,000 on our bank accounts?
> I heard that this didn't work out well the last time ("dunc tank"),
> though that was before the time I followed Debian development.

I tend to concur with Raphael and Holger here. We've learned a few
lessons, but that doesn't mean it cannot work. Indeed, I argue that "we"
are paying developers now and you just didn't notice.

Freexian was already mentioned. But the Linux Foundation is also paying
people to make Debian reproducible. They're putting a similar amount of
money into Debian.

While Canonical maintains Ubuntu, they also pay a number of people who
work on Debian directly and often times push their work into Debian
first. I think we can honestly say that Debian wouldn't be where it is
today without Canonical's support in a positive sense.

A number of people report their activities on planet.d.o and some
disclose which parts of their work are being paid. It turns out that
some fraction of maintenance cost is performed on company time.

What all of these have in common is that it's some external (to Debian)
entity that decides which work ends up being done and that it is the
business of that external entity to source the relevant money. The
decision who is being paid is externalized from the Debian project and
that is a quite strong difference to dunc tank.

So if someone were to run a "Fix problems in Debian" company and were
able to source money for doing so, I think that'd actually work. I'm
less convinced that we can use Debian money for this in any way. But we
can still tell people: If you want to improve X in Debian, consider
donating to Y.

In a sense, I'm arguing that this money business should be
decentralized. And it already is.