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Re: forwarded proposal to finance some hurd work

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: Re: forwarded proposal to finance some hurd work
Date: Sat, 7 May 2011 03:54:00 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)


On Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 12:33:24PM +0200, Thomas Schwinge wrote:

> For the GSoC, we got more good applications than we can accept (which
> is obviously limited by Google).  My idea is that we could perhaps use
> the money Tanguy is offering for paying another GSoC project on our
> own?  It's less than what Google would be paying (so we may need to
> adjust what we expect from the student), but it's still more than
> getting nothing -- so, either a student is interested in this deal, or
> not.  What do you think?

Note that we still have the $1700 from GSoC 2008, which at some point I
considered using for such a purpose....

> We'd only need to figure out a method to do this in a legally/fiscally
> clean fashion.

This is part of the reason why I gave up on the idea :-)

More importantly however -- as I stated before -- I have serious doubts
about the usefulness of small monetary rewards.

GSoC works, because Google is paying more or less a normal salary (for a
student); so the participants can do it *instead* of a "normal" job.
With only a small bounty on the other hand, essentially it remains a
spare time project: the little money offered can't really change that.

Now most people tend to think that offering a little money can serve as
an additional motivation for such spare time work... However,
paradoxically, it often has the *opposite* effect: as soon as mony is
involved, it doesn't feel like volunteer work anymore, but rather like a
very badly paid job. Thus the motivation often actually gets *worse*.

Because of this (I presume) and other problems, KDE for example refuses
bounty offers. (Or at least did so in the past...) Instead, happy KDE
users get the opportunity to pay long-term volunteer contributors in a
more suitable fashion: by buying new computing gear for them :-)

There are two fundamental differences with this. For one, it's not a
payment for any specific work to do, but rather a "thank you" for past
contributions. Also, it's not in the form of money, which always tends
to have an unpleasant tinge to it...

BTW I'd like to mention -- though this is rather hypothetical, as I
don't think we are likely to get the required sums from donations alone
-- that *if* we actually had the possibility to employ someone (even
part-time) for Hurd work, my vote would be *not* to pay a developer; but
rather, go for something the Hurd (like most volunteer project) lacks
even more severly: a community and outreach manager.


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