[Linux-aus] Grant Scheme: libferris, evolution and libxml

Anthony Towns aj at azure.humbug.org.au
Tue Jun 7 12:12:02 UTC 2005

Jeff Waugh wrote:
>>The folks behind Google's Summer of Code, LinuxFund, bounty-hacker.org,
>>the Gnome Bounties, the Ubuntu Bounties all seem to agree with the general
>>concept too.
> But in all of those cases, that is their mission, or they have a bucketload
> of money already. That's great for them, but I don't believe "paying people
> to write Free Software" is the best use of LA's resources, focus or time
> when it comes to "supporting the Free Software community in Australia". We
> have much better things to focus on that other organisations are not already
> doing.

Actually, each of those examples don't really match Linux Australia's 
goals at all well: LinuxFund isn't actually distributing the money, and 
possibly can only distribute it to Americans, Google's project is 
limited to students and is somewhat northern-hemisphere centric with its 
"summer vacation" grants beginning in June, bounty-hacker is brand new 
and is about enabling other people to give money rather than giving 
money itself, and the Gnome and Ubuntu bounties barely even begin to 
cover all the free software projects and activities Linux Australia is 
about supporting.

And in any case, LA does have a decent amount of cash accrued. Making 
sure that's furthering LA's goals rather than just sitting in a bank 
account trickling away on operating expenses is an important part of 
running a non-profit responsibly; and demonstrating you're being 
responsible is how you get more money in the future so you can support 
more ambitious projects. At the moment, we're not making effective use 
of the funds we're managing.

Of course, maybe I should just be noting that your Gnome and Ubuntu 
involvement covers in some part doling out cash from all three of the 
effective projects mentioned above, so maybe you're just trying to avoid 
   price competition in the arena. :)

(Of course, even then it's arguable how effective the existing bounty 
schemes are; according to http://www.ubuntulinux.org/community/bounties 
there've been 12 successful bounties, and 3 bounties currently offered; 
meanwhile http://www.gnome.org/bounties/ indicates 28 successful 
bounties, for a total of about $14k. LA's annual grants budget is $24k, 
and over the past 12 months I think we've allocated less than $6k of that)

Anyway, if there are some good ideas on other things we could that would 
be *even better*, that's great; tell us about them! If there are good 
ideas on how we could manage this, that's great too. If people other 
than Jeff also think LA giving money to people just for writing free 
software, do please speak up, either on list, or to the committee 
privately. (Likewise if you think it's a spectacularly great idea)

But compared to leaving money sitting in the bank, I'd rather have it in 
free software hackers' hands.


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