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

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

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.