[Linux-aus] LCA HOWTO Grant

Anthony Towns secretary at linux.org.au
Wed Jun 15 01:01:02 UTC 2005

Hi all,

Well, no one else seems game to put this up for comment, so I will :)


For the past few years, there's been talk of putting together a HOWTO 
document on running linux.conf.au, to make it easier for new groups to 
get up to speed, to help avoid forgetting to cover important things 
during ghosts, and to help people thinking about putting in a bid to 
host linux.conf.au know what's expected and what they're getting 
themselves into. It also seems like it might be a useful document for 
people trying to run other lca-like conferences. Unfortunately, post-lca 
burnout and other commitments tend to mean this keeps not happening.

This year we've got an offer from Alison Russell, one of this year's 
organisers, to schedule some real time to putting the document together. 
  The caveats are that she wouldn't be writing it alone, but rather 
collecting and coordinating entries and information from past organisers 
and editting it together, and that she'd expect some remuneration for 
the work, since she'll be treating it as work.

The proposal:

For Alison Russell to coordinate and assist with authorship of entries 
for the LCA HOWTO from previous organising teams, and to compile, edit, 
and complete the document for use by the current and future LCA 
organising teams and others.

The details:

Alison anticipates it will take me about a week of full-time work to get 
a decent draft ready. I imagine after that it will take another week or
two to get feedback and incorporate it. This assumes I get a moderate
amount of feedback in a timely manner. Probably 10 - 15 days full time

Dedicating up to two days a week to the project, with 15 days work is 
about eight weeks to finish.

The grant:

Fixed payment of $2000 to Alison Russell for the work. (An estimated 
rate of $130/day)

My opinion:

I think this project is a good use of LA's funds: it helps ensure that 
future LCA's continue to be a success; it encourages more cool open 
source conferences in Australia; and it enhances Australia's reputation 
for open source know-how. I think the expense is justifiable, both 
because we've already failed a couple of times at finding anyone willing 
and able to do the project on a purely volunteer basis, and compared to 
the expense that the Ghosts weekends we already incur each year.

I suspect it would be trivial to have this approved either as one of 
LCA's many internal expenses, or as a special motion within the ctte; 
but I think doing it as a grant would be superior since that gives a 
public example of the sorts of considerations that should be taken into 
account in asking for "payment for work done" from LA, rather than the 
usual "please reimburse me for expenses incurred" requests. Whether that 
ends up being a high or a low burden, having it publicly hashed out and 
a precedent in place seems useful to me.


My understanding is the LCA2005 organising ctte are happy with this 
proposal -- are there any concerns I don't know about? Part of the 
spirit of LCA is being willing to chip in without asking for something 
in return; Alison's already done a lot of that, but obviously others 
have done more, is there any concern that this is unreasonable, or 
related discomfort?

Are there any comments on the payment? Is the community happy for the 
committee to just decide on the level of review, and whether payment 
should be in advance or arrears; or do people think that some or all of 
the payment should be withheld until completion as a matter of course? I 
would expect that our informal "ghosts of conference past" will advise 
the committee whether they're satisfied with the document or it needs 
more work -- that's people like Steven Hanley (Canberra lca lead), 
Michael Davies (Adelaide lca lead, ex LA-ctte member), Mark Tearle 
(Perth lca organiser, current LA treasurer), Tony Breeds (Canberra and 
Perth lca organiser), Anthony Towns (me, Brisbane lca organiser, current 
LA secretary). Are there any concerns that ought to be considered by the 
committee in relation to that? Is there any reason to worry that the 
people who will probably be contributing to the document will be judging 
when it's finished?

Are there other comments or concerns that I haven't thought of?

Please feel free and encouraged to reply either to this list 
(linux-aus), or to send private comments to either the LA committee 
(committee at linux.org.au), or to Jon Oxer as LA president 
(president at linux.org.au), or myself (secretary at linux.org.au), even if 
you've got nothing more to say than "rock on!!" or "i dunno about this..."

We'll be reviewing comments received and discussing the proposal at our 
face to face meeting in Adelaide this weekend.

Thanks for your time :)


Anthony Towns <secretary at linux.org.au>
Secretary, Linux Australia Inc


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