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TomWij
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds unfortunate. In which way is which discussion off-topic or meta? Most posts appear on-topic and about the central point; as in, "pursuing a huge impact in keeping or improving Gentoo" or "discussing the obstacles that are perceived to be in the way of pursuing such huge impact". The danger that hides in moving this thread to OTW, or locking it, is that the thread would lose its power to attract donations and/or contributions to Gentoo; I know you don't think that donations would benefit Gentoo, but reconsider the side effects that a moderation action to this thread would carry to those who think that it does have a benefit or there is an alternative like contributions to it. What can be done to keep this thread alive and kicking?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomWij,
TomWij wrote:

"pursuing a huge impact in keeping or improving Gentoo" or "discussing the obstacles that are perceived to be in the way of pursuing such huge impact".

Is neither the topic nor the point of this thread.

The topic is Gentoo has no paid developers—join Gentoo eV to change this! I have not seen any discussion on joining the e.V. for several pages now.

TomWij wrote:
I know you don't think that donations would benefit Gentoo
I'm not sure how you arrive at that conclusion as I'm one of the trustees of the Gentoo Foundation Inc. and thus have a vote in how donations to the Gentoo Foundation Inc. are spent. My position on this has been both pubic and clear for a number of years.
I reiterated it early in this thread. Feel free to read the logs of the trustee meetings since February 2008 if you need more references.

The topic is about how the Gentoo eV can inflence the paid developers situation in Gentoo, not the Gentoo Foundation Inc, so while I cite my role within the Foundation to support my opinion, its really off topic here as I have no influence over the Gentoo eV

Its also my opinion that this thread is doing nothing to help garner support for Gentoo. There has certainly been no increase on the click rate on the "Make a Donation" button on the Gentoo website. You will need to take my word for that or ask at trustees@gentoo.org The Donate button leads to the Gentoo Foundation Inc though, not the Gentoo e.V. Again, while it may be interesting, its off topic.

TomWij wrote:
What can be done to keep this thread alive and kicking?

Lets see the discussion return to the Gentoo e.V. and what if anything they can do about the paid developers situation within Gentoo. Something very relevant would be the Gentoo e.V. income and income sources. I'm sure that information is public.

Maybe they don't have the income stream?
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krinn
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomWij wrote:
The danger that hides in moving this thread to OTW, or locking it

The only danger i see in that thread is you. Everything was fine until you appears to attack SteveL and goes into your loop with zillions lines of text that are garbage.

Moderators must take you soflty, i'm not one, and i'll use that freedom to tell you : You are the bugger here.
FFS moderate yourself:
1/ stop quoting SteveL (as those are attacks as he ask you to not speak with him)
2/ you should really rethink about your "style" : stop quoting every words of everyone for the fun of quoting something & stop putting half the bible in every post to say "hello world".
That style is per itself dirty to read, and might be considered a troll behaviour : you said so many things that nobody could answer it without opening 1000 posts. So we cannot answer every point you raise, bad or good.

Quoting someone that asked to not speak with him to have arguments to seduce new dev is as useful as calling your wife to ask her to tell the girl you want to seduce how cool your are with girls.
If you want help gentoo recruitment, it would help more if you stop having words with everyone in the forum. If you have issue with someone, that happen, if you have issues with many, its a conspiracy against you or your attitude raise issues.
The question is then : is it a gentoo forum conspiracy aiming at you ? Because if it's not, then you should question your attitude then.
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TomWij
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

krinn wrote:
The only danger i see in that thread is you. [...] If you have issue [...] The question is then : is it a gentoo forum conspiracy aiming at you ? Because if it's not, then you should question your attitude then.


There is danger throughout multiple pages of the thread, as the next quote confirms. Bringing the thread on-topic could indeed also be perceived as a danger to some, as it limits which off-topic matters can be discussed; it is meant to be about joining the e.V. and obtaining the confidence / motivation to do so, not about personal quibbling of other individuals towards others or programming languages as that affects recruitment here and elsewhere.

Quoting context and giving detailed replies are appropriate but are differently perceived for an unclear reason, there are no such issues due to the attitude to avoid categorization; so, it definitely is a conspiracy. The movie Divergent illustrates this last part. This is further evidenced by whom has or hasn't received a warning about this conspiracy, as the moderators are required to. And so the stirring in the popcorn machine around the corner ends; that is, if we let the spoon rest...

NeddySeagoon wrote:
I have not seen any discussion on joining the e.V. for several pages now.


Thank you for that clarification; though I think that by extension, before people would join, there would need to be confidence and motivation in order to do so. The trick here might be to attempt to keep that extension relevant to joining the e.V.

NeddySeagoon wrote:
I'm not sure how you arrive at that conclusion


The donations in the previous post was meant in the context of "paid developers" as you have earlier in this thread stated "I don't think Gentoo would benefit from full time paid developers", as that's what part of this thread has been about; I don't mean donations in general, as they would indeed be welcome.

NeddySeagoon wrote:
The topic is about how the Gentoo eV can inflence the paid developers situation in Gentoo


Yes, the situation around them needs to be clarified; there seems to be no updates on them the last year, and there doesn't seem to be an official reference at first sight.

NeddySeagoon wrote:
Lets see the discussion return to the Gentoo e.V. and what if anything they can do about the paid developers situation within Gentoo. Something very relevant would be the Gentoo e.V. income and income sources. I'm sure that information is public. Maybe they don't have the income stream?


Spent some time on this, but the different language puts this research to a halt; is it known where they are registered? Multiple searches yield no results. Let us try to find out where they are registered, and ask them, such that we can come to a conclusion on that.
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomWij wrote:

Spent some time on this, but the different language puts this research to a halt; is it known where they are registered? Multiple searches yield no results. Let us try to find out where they are registered, and ask them, such that we can come to a conclusion on that.

It is registered in Berlin as a public-serving nonprofit („gemeinnütziger Verein“). It’s written in the Statutes, but they are only in german: https://www.gentoo-ev.org/wiki/Satzung
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab wrote:
It is registered in Berlin as a public-serving nonprofit („gemeinnütziger Verein“). It’s written in the Statutes, but they are only in german: https://www.gentoo-ev.org/wiki/Satzung

No offence, but you keep giving us links to a website in German, as if we're going to read and understand it. I really don't see the point in this approach.
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
ArneBab wrote:
It is registered in Berlin as a public-serving nonprofit („gemeinnütziger Verein“). It’s written in the Statutes, but they are only in german: https://www.gentoo-ev.org/wiki/Satzung

No offence, but you keep giving us links to a website in German, as if we're going to read and understand it. I really don't see the point in this approach.

I gave you the content on that page, too. The link was just a reference so you could check the information with a translator.
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab wrote:
I gave you the content on that page, too. The link was just a reference so you could check the information with a translator.

Where, exactly? The only links you've given are:
ArneBab wrote:
So if you want to also show your love to Gentoo with your wallet, join Gentoo e.V. today! https://www.gentoo-ev.org/
→ Become a member: https://www.gentoo-ev.org/w/images/d/df/Mitgliedsantrag.pdf

and:
ArneBab wrote:
Note that donations to Gentoo e.V. are tax-deductible by German law. See https://www.gentoo-ev.org/wiki/Satzung

Please note that my point is about the whole discussion, not just the "content on that page." If you want us to "check the information" I'd expect a link to a translation, or the content of that translation clearly marked as such.

Otherwise you're not giving us the content, just your one-sentence interpretation of it, which may be accurate, but is not by any means "the content." I've gone back over the whole thread and I can't see one post from you which would merit your description of "the content" on any of the pages you've linked. Apologies if I've missed one, but I wouldn't have said it unless I thought it a real flaw in your presentation. It's not an attack on your position, nor disagreement with the wider point (although obviously I have my share of those) but simply a request for better information.

ATM it feels as if you expect everyone to speak German, much like USians expect everyone to read English, and it comes across as rather high-handed, which I am sure is not the intent, nor does it match my experience of you. So please take it in the spirit with which it was intended: to help you improve your presentation.

The post on your blog is interesting, and I see where you're coming from; that kind of setup could work, but I still think it changes the nature of things, and you're far more likely to get worse jockeying for position than we have now, and that is what leads to the "negative verbal feedback" which is apparently so life-threatening. We already have a problem with a toxic mailing-list: i think it would get worse, not better.
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
I'd expect a link to a translation, or the content of that translation

The German context refers a lot to German laws, so it is pretty close to untranslatable unless you are familiar with German laws; they are rather different, and although probably some concept of "welfare organization" exists in the US, this will be rather different from the analogous concept in Germany which in detail certainly differ enormously. Also assertions like "tax-deductible" refer to the German law, only. Whether and how this is applicable to US system can only be told by a lawyer who is familiar with how German rules are interpreted/honoured in US in detail - a simple translation of the language of the statutes would certainly not be sufficient.
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
ATM it feels as if you expect everyone to speak German, much like USians expect everyone to read English, and it comes across as rather high-handed, which I am sure is not the intent, nor does it match my experience of you. So please take it in the spirit with which it was intended: to help you improve your presentation.

Actually the reason for not giving long english texts is that I am not Gentoo e.V., but rather just a member of Gentoo e.V. and that the website simply does not give that information.

If you have specific questions, I can dig them up on the website and explain them in english, but I cannot really add a full translation+interpretation of the website (because I don’t have the free time to do that).
Quote:

The post on your blog is interesting, and I see where you're coming from; that kind of setup could work, but I still think it changes the nature of things, and you're far more likely to get worse jockeying for position than we have now, and that is what leads to the "negative verbal feedback" which is apparently so life-threatening. We already have a problem with a toxic mailing-list: i think it would get worse, not better.


I think that depends on how employment is done. If we were to give out tasks which people compete to get assigned, I would fear the same. If we rather hire 2-3 people and give them a permanent contract with the task of “supporting the Gentoo community and spreading Gentoo”, then I think this will quickly become normal and as such have only the effect, that these paid developers have more time for Gentoo.

That’s also what the first part of that article shows: Paid hackers are motivated by the same values as unpaid hackers. They simply have more time to follow their passion:

Quote:
the source and intensity of motivation of free software developers does not differ significantly between people who work for hire and people who work without payment

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab wrote:
Actually the reason for not giving long english texts is that I am not Gentoo e.V., but rather just a member of Gentoo e.V. and that the website simply does not give that information.

I'm not sure which information you are referring to; my point simply is: if you're not giving the content, then don't claim to have given the content. And that point still stands. It leads to confusion and frustration on the part of people you're attempting to communicate with, and in fact win over to your viewpoint.

I don't have a specific question wrt Gentoo eV's legal status etc; it just stuck out which is why I mentioned it.
Quote:
I think that depends on how employment is done. If we were to give out tasks which people compete to get assigned, I would fear the same. If we rather hire 2-3 people and give them a permanent contract with the task of “supporting the Gentoo community and spreading Gentoo”, then I think this will quickly become normal and as such have only the effect, that these paid developers have more time for Gentoo.

It also has the unintended consequence that if you want to influence Gentoo from the outside, it suddenly becomes an awful lot easier: you just lobby 2 or 3 people, instead of having to win over a collective. Human psychology being what it is, we prefer to assume everything is all right, and then complain afterwards how obvious it all was that the setup was flawed, and in the context of a collective we prefer to believe that everyone is acting out of the goodness of their hearts, even when very little real kindness is evident. So the presumption of good faith, and the belief that we're all nice people, leads to increased vulnerability for the project as a whole.

Granted, you can still lobby 2 or 3 people now, and support them in lobbying more. But with full-time paid developers, it suddenly becomes so much easier. Case in point: politicians who represent only those who paid for them to get into power in the first place.

Those 2 or 3 developers are going to have an elevated status, whether you accept it or not, and fine words of intent notwithstanding. Their influence will be disproportionate, and thus we have an ultimate Gentoo badge to compete for, with real-world consequence (employment, and the loss thereof), and suddenly you attract people who want that reward, and feel they deserve it, irrespective of their intrinsic motivation. Plus even more jockeying for position, which is already the biggest problem we have, since it makes recruitment a much harder sell, as well as worsening retention.

After all, who doesn't think they do a good job? We've already had one of the new-breed put himself forward, and another drop large hints, neither of whom is anywhere near as critical as many other core utility developers, imo; and we still haven't addressed the fact that we simply do not need to pay ebuild developers, but we do need to pay infra; reliable, experienced admins are gold-dust. Just one example; only that's boring, and look here's my favourite ebuild dev/someone I think is a guru, since no-one argues with him (if you can't see the flaw in that, you have no business setting this direction afaic). Let's have a popularity contest and waste loads of time and effort on that, instead of developing software that is a joy to use.

So as others have pointed out, I don't agree that the only effect is the one you intend, although I fully believe that is all you intend: to improve Gentoo. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and all that.

In summary, it'll change the nature of things too much; atm people collaborate because Gentoo is the best platform for them to achieve the result they want. I'd like it to stay that way.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally, a lot of free software projects are amateurish, poor quality or just unfinished forever.

However, one of the most awesome projects are a mixture of paid workers + random collaborators, which does best work with free software. But... and this is a big but... these are mostly coordinated in one way or another.

Gentoo is mostly uncoordinated, except for things that would really go boom if they were not. If you pay people to work on gentoo, they would naturally try to coordinate stuff better, get more structure into the workflow and step on a lot of peoples toes... they would try to improve things and sooner or later ragequit.

End of story.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
It also has the unintended consequence that if you want to influence Gentoo from the outside, it suddenly becomes an awful lot easier: you just lobby 2 or 3 people, instead of having to win over a collective.

Granted, you can still lobby 2 or 3 people now, and support them in lobbying more. But with full-time paid developers, it suddenly becomes so much easier. Case in point: politicians who represent only those who paid for them to get into power in the first place.

In summary, it'll change the nature of things too much; atm people collaborate because Gentoo is the best platform for them to achieve the result they want. I'd like it to stay that way.

How many people are currently paid by companies to work on Gentoo?

Your whole argument rests on the idea, that currently people do not work on Gentoo for payment. Because if there is a significant number of people who are being paid by companies for working on Gentoo, then all the effects you mention are already in place, and the only change which would happen by employing people for the community is that some of the more influencial people would work for the community instead of explicitly working for an external entity which can direct their actions without any hidden work.

Also I don’t see it as necessary to win over a collective in the current situation: Actually for most changes you just need one person who does the work and is halfways decent with words. Just count the number of actual committers for portage. How many people do you actually have to influence to change it?
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab,

Comparing people employed by companies who pay them a salary and set them to work on Gentoo is not useful to compare with people employed by the Gentoo e.V. for the same purpose.
Mostly because the working on Gentoo is directed to meet the employers aims and not Gentoos.

hasufell brought up a good point about organisation, or rather the lack of it in Gentoo. In Gentoo projects are permitted to compete.
This competition is either good for choice, or a waste of resources, depending on your point of view.
As a user, I see it as good for choice, as an employer, I would see it as a waste of resources. That gets me back to my original solution. Offer a fixed fee for a well defined/bounded scope of work. One such example being bug bounties.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
Comparing people employed by companies who pay them a salary and set them to work on Gentoo is not useful to compare with people employed by the Gentoo e.V. for the same purpose.
Mostly because the working on Gentoo is directed to meet the employers aims and not Gentoos.


I think this *is* useful: The people who work for an employer have exactly the elevated position SteveL warned about. Currently the community only has volunteer-work to support stuff which is useful for normal users but not for an employer. This creates a pull which drags Gentoo into the hands of corporations.

With community funded developers there would be a stronger force to pull back towards the needs of the community. Sure, community-funded developers will have their own wishes and goals, but the mismatch between those wishes and the needs of the community will almost certainly be much smaller than the mismatch between the goals of company-funded developers and the community.

Yes, this is no perfect solution. In a perfect world, all people could just decide to work full-time on Gentoo and not worry about the next meal or how to pay the rent.

But we do not live in a perfect world, and I perceive community-funded developers as vastly better than having only company-funded developers.

Quote:
hasufell brought up a good point about organisation, or rather the lack of it in Gentoo. In Gentoo projects are permitted to compete.
This competition is either good for choice, or a waste of resources, depending on your point of view.
As a user, I see it as good for choice, as an employer, I would see it as a waste of resources.


Why do you see competition as a waste of resources as an employer but not as user? Any competing work will still be free software and as such you profit from it, regardless of whether it was created directly from your money or just influenced another project to supercede it.

The only thing I see as problematic with paying people is that it might create discussions like the one here: “How can we best chain our paid developers to do our bidding”. That is a toxic discussion, because it seeds distrust towards the people who actually do the work here.

My goal in trying to pay someone for working on free software is not to chain that person to the wishes of the payers, but instead to give that developer the free time and resources needed to realize a shared vision for the project.

I don’t see it as useful to micromanage people with a vision. The only option I see as useful is a veto, if the direction goes completely counter to the communities wishes.

Yes, we could also do this with Kickstarter projects, but that would require developers to be double-skilled: Great developers and great entrepreneurs at the same time. And this would likely cut out 90% of the great developers.

Quote:
That gets me back to my original solution. Offer a fixed fee for a well defined/bounded scope of work. One such example being bug bounties.


These have all the complications named for paying people and add to that competition on who gets the bounty which will hit for every single bounty (and not for 2-4 employment contracts given out once every few years) and will likely result in a drop in quality towards the measurable minimum needed to get the bounty.

A bounty does not achieve anything you cannot get with a permanent contract for a skilled developer, but the bounty adds lots of problems.

I prefer permanent positions a lot, because these allow people to make an investment into Gentoo and actually couple their financial future with the health of the Gentoo community. It gives them a massive stake in keeping the community healthy and growing: That’s what ensures[/profile] their own future.

And this is something which is neither realized by bug-bounties nor by corporate employment.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab wrote:
Your whole argument rests on the idea, that currently people do not work on Gentoo for payment.

No, it does not.
Quote:
Because if there is a significant number of people who are being paid by companies for working on Gentoo, then all the effects you mention are already in place,

No, they are not.
Quote:
and the only change which would happen by employing people for the community is that some of the more influencial people would work for the community instead of explicitly working for an external entity which can direct their actions without any hidden work.

Nope again: you're missing the distinction between a developer who happens to be employed by an external agency or company without telling anyone (for a start, unethical and dishonest) and one who everyone knows works for Gentoo. Like I said the latter has a lot more influence, and status, which is why people will want that badge. Compared to most volunteers, they have a lot of time, and will naturally put themselves forward for things like Council. After all it affects their employment and their work situation, so that's fair enough; on the community side, it seems to make much more sense to utilise their time, since they have much more of it and after all we're paying for it, so let's have them in Council, or devrel (which is utterly broken atm, and much more important to correct than this discussion) or in QA (also broken, and far more cogent than this idea.)

See how that goes: all the above is perfectly natural, but it leads to the consequent described, which is most definitely not the status quo.

That someone may be openly employed by a company doesn't; after all they have work to get on with, and Gentoo is a break. Even if their company decides to try and influence Gentoo, they'll have a much harder time of it, and indeed be questioned wrt their employment vs the needs of the project. Someone employed by Gentoo is in a far more privileged position wrt influencing the direction, and thus as a target for lobbying, and far far easier to get to than enough volunteer developers to swing the vote. I hope you can see that, as it's stonkingly obvious to me. (It's why politicians and their paymasters don't want real democracy, just "representative" democracy.)
Quote:
Also I don’t see it as necessary to win over a collective in the current situation: Actually for most changes you just need one person who does the work and is halfways decent with words. Just count the number of actual committers for portage. How many people do you actually have to influence to change it?

You don't seem to realise what I'm talking about; hopefully the above gives you a better idea. That you don't is natural: after all most geeks don't like to deal with political situations, since most of prefer the precision of computing to the fuzziness of human interaction, let alone dealing with large groups of people and their problems. However I find it concerning, precisely because you want to take this on, and set this direction for the whole of Gentoo. You need much more political nous afaic, signature notwithstanding.

Think of GLEP or PMS discussions that affect everyone; that's what I'm talking about. Think of Chris Gianelloni stating off-cuff "we don't need all these rules, do we boys?" and suddenly 9 months of work by the whole Community is discarded, and proctors are killed off before they were born. Those kind of discussions, would have much more weight attached to the 2 or 3 developers everyone can agree "merit" the positions you want to finance. Some developers already have that kind of status, but that doesn't mean they can't be wrong, nor indeed told that to their faces.

The road you want to go down makes it much more likely a few will be able to stifle dissent; it's already very hard to stand up to developers, and hardly anyone does, so that poison has become the norm. As soon as you question the latest gee-whiz go-faster stripes turd of an idea that hasn't been discussed anywhere, which is why it's a turd despite aiming at a real problem, you get discussion about the problem, not the so-called solution, and nasty remarks designed to shut you up with a bit of spurious "logic" (like: we don't need to discuss this on-list, since not every developer has to subscribe, from one of its most prolific posters who jumped on the thread like a viper. List subscription didn't stop that, you can be damned sure.)

The latter behaviours are much much easier for someone who works fulltime on the project, and knows literally everyone, and simply put has every incentive to make their work situation better for them, over the interests of others. After all, they have kids to feed, and a culture where "competition" is supposedly the way forward, gives them "moral" justification for doing exactly that. Don't like it? Tough, it's done, subject changed, "move on" etc etc.

This may all sound far-fetched to you, but it's very apparent to me in what you've laid out, somewhat naively. "No-one we'd hire would ever.."; "no-one we'd vote for would ever.." ; "it'll never get that bad.." -- all famous last words, but once it's done there's no way back, and frankly I don't see any insight into these issues on your part. You appear simply interested in getting the things done that you want done, and I wish you'd just be upfront about that, since it's a much more interesting discussion ime.

You're not really considering what we're laying out for you: just waiting your turn to keep arguing and objecting, in the hopes of persuading us of your agenda, which is about as useful as a discussion with TomWij, so I'll bow out now. (If you were then there'd be some acknowledgement of the points made, and you'd incorporate them into the background context of points you make, as opposed to simply rejecting everything. That's a tip for anyone who wants to take it, since it can only improve the communication round here. Note that simply shoving a few of them in without understanding, or really taking them on board, sticks out as fake from a mile off.) Good luck.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab wrote:
I perceive community-funded developers as vastly better than having only company-funded developers.

False dichotomy: the choice is between volunteers and paid employees; and the idea that one could become an employee leads to a changed atmosphere. Nothing in your plan changes that volunteers can work for whomever they like, just like non-developer users.

No company has a real incentive to change the direction as we've discussed, except for another distro like RedHat, or a commercial OS like Microsoft. The vast majority are simply users, and eg want binpkgs to work for their situation on their LAN, much like the rest of us. The ones that would prefer to control us, much prefer the cloak of a full-time employee they can lobby, much as they lobby politicians to ignore their tax-evasion-by-another-name.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab wrote:
The people who work for an employer have exactly the elevated position SteveL warned about.


Maybe it buys people a happy life and/or haves them spend more time on Gentoo due to having to care less about other things, although some non-paid people already do a comparable amount of work due to a perhaps not so busy lifestyle; but I doubt that money buys you an elevated position from a Gentoo point of view, access to certain areas could still require you to go through the recruitment, screening, relationships, elections and so on. Paying someone to work on X doesn't necessarily make that person be in control of X or be able to change it to the requirements of an employer; if that's really a goal, it would be either due to a very good person (very seldom), a fork (which happens every now and then) or more people (although paying that and not become suspect to the Gentoo community might be quite a tricky business).

ArneBab wrote:
Currently the community only has volunteer-work to support stuff which is useful for normal users but not for an employer.


This comes over as an assumption to me; parts of Gentoo can support an employer, but I would agree that we're not shaping a total solution for them that would have an out of the box experience as that basically steps away from what Gentoo is about.

ArneBab wrote:
This creates a pull which drags Gentoo into the hands of corporations.


Maybe, but the few developers for a few companies only have a limited effect by themselves; while it's hard to tell who is working for an employer, I'm willing to believe a lot of us (want to) work for the community.

ArneBab wrote:
With community funded developers there would be a stronger force to pull back towards the needs of the community. Sure, community-funded developers will have their own wishes and goals, but the mismatch between those wishes and the needs of the community will almost certainly be much smaller than the mismatch between the goals of company-funded developers and the community.


In this comparison between community-funded and company-funded developers, you leave out those developers that are not funded in either way; they also do play a role, which I think have a large effect in the total sum. The needs of the community are not always easy to determine; if you were to pay someone to work on something, who would it be and why do you think that that something is that what the community wants? Is it really the community?

It could boil down to a group with a specific need perhaps; take for example, some developer with graphical toolkit or automation experience works on a graphical or automated installer for Gentoo. This is like some kind of feature that's often asked for, came out every now and then; could be considered useful by some first time users for closing the inconvenience gap, but perhaps these users that request it work for a company where they would be interested in a more automated or point-and-click approach to installing Gentoo. Now you have a problem ... you thought you paid to support users from the community, but in fact you're paying to help out companies too or even more than helping the community. So, do you even need to make the comparison between the community and companies? Can you make the comparison at all?

ArneBab wrote:
But we do not live in a perfect world, and I perceive community-funded developers as vastly better than having only company-funded developers.


To be able to perceive it, you'll need to have it happened; it would be interesting to look at how this went with other distributions, to get an idea of actual differences between such developers.

ArneBab wrote:
That is a toxic discussion, because it seeds distrust towards the people who actually do the work here.


You don't need to pay someone to seed distrust to that person; it's much easier than that, as has been demonstrated in an earlier response.

ArneBab wrote:
My goal in trying to pay someone for working on free software is not to chain that person to the wishes of the payers, but instead to give that developer the free time and resources needed to realize a shared vision for the project.


This is a tricky one, let's say that people are busy on their work life and take a long transit; if you pay them they could still be busy on their work life and take a long transit, as they could spend the money elsewhere like a vacation with their family. In the end such a payment doesn't yield them more free time to work on Gentoo; in the worst case, it could yield them less time to work on Gentoo. The same goes for resources; that someone earns money, doesn't mean that he'll spend it on resources that benefit Gentoo. If he already spends efforts into Gentoo, why would he spend the money into Gentoo as well; dedicated people could and/or would do that, but not necessarily those that were bought to do some work and start to rely on the money to shape the rest of their life.

Realizing that vision might be possible, as the money might serve as a motivator; but this is only the case if that person is able to finish the particular goal without much interruptions, working on a small set of packages or a Gentoo hosted project might be easy to accomplish but anything bigger than that could involve a lot of communication, discussions, decisions (with other projects, their leads, sometimes QA, even the Council) which can bring that vision to a halt. Again, either a fork or increasing the amount of people could help with that; but the former beats the goal of the community funding Gentoo, whereas the latter might be something that's not easy to achieve unless there are a lot more donations than expected.

ArneBab wrote:
I don’t see it as useful to micromanage people with a vision. The only option I see as useful is a veto, if the direction goes completely counter to the communities wishes.


People have an opinion. While it's all nice that on the one hand we have preserved-rebuild, sub slots, slot operators and/or all that magic which really benefits people as they no longer have to come across revdep-rebuild and/or broken run-time binaries; in the other hand, among other things it slows down Portage a lot and so your payment did something "really good" and something "really bad". There's not really a counter to the communities wishes here, but perhaps only to a part of it or perhaps not at all considering that it could be what was brought forward in the first place; unless there is an actual majority of tenths to hundreds of users that finds such thing to be the case, more than a few loud users. And while I said "users" here; these could very well be "employers" or other people working at or for these companies, hard to tell...

ArneBab wrote:
These have all the complications named for paying people and add to that competition on who gets the bounty which will hit for every single bounty (and not for 2-4 employment contracts given out once every few years) and will likely result in a drop in quality towards the measurable minimum needed to get the bounty.

A bounty does not achieve anything you cannot get with a permanent contract for a skilled developer, but the bounty adds lots of problems.


From having seen bounties that give points in another community; I've learned that bounties are often obtained by people that are experienced and/or even expert in the problem at hand, that might not be case for the average developer which will then feel like not standing a chance to ever win such bounty. It could effectively result in only a group of developers getting paid, unless you manage to work out a system similar to bounties that gives everyone a chance*; with the jealousy consequences as discussed earlier, ...

* Though, it will make it harder to put money on the "harder" tasks that way; on the other hand, fixing 5 moderate bugs instead of 1 hard one helps the community too; furthermore, from a productivity perspective a good way to deal with a "hard" task is to split it up into multiple smaller tasks which might become easier to assign a smaller bounty to.

Nonetheless, gamification can work to a large extent if you would consider to spend it that way; as long as it remains a game that's fun to play and everyone has a chance to win, not a survival of the fittest.

ArneBab wrote:
I prefer permanent positions a lot, because these allow people to make an investment into Gentoo and actually couple their financial future with the health of the Gentoo community. It gives them a massive stake in keeping the community healthy and growing: That’s what ensures their own future.

And this is something which is neither realized by bug-bounties nor by corporate employment.


From a optimist perspective, the idea works out well for those persons; from a doubtful perspective, the idea's ensuring future only lasts as long as the donations; from a pessimist perspective, the idea might make the paid people greedy (Gentoo becomes a bigger part of their life; so, they must accomplish) and make non-paid people jealous (Gentoo now has people that get paid; so, others contributing to Gentoo want to get paid too) which might have a damaging effect to Gentoo. But as said; you'll have to first see it happen, perhaps in another distribution or more generally in another project, before you can be really sure about the short and long term effects of donating and particularly how you donate what to whom to work on what in which conditions...

Walking a step back from this sub discussion; looking at the full picture of this thread, I think that the political and economical background as well as discussions like these could keep people from doing potential donates. For an idea like this to go forward, if possible; I'd think it would need a worked out actual background and solution that are sound, for people to consider to follow and stand behind.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab,

The thing about hiring contractors for fixed well defined tasks for a fixed fee is that you get an expert in the field for every contract.

With full time employees - even one, you get bogged down in employment legislation. Tax, healthcare, pensions ... you need another part time employee to look after that.
Letting individual contracts puts all the compliance with employment legislation with the contractor.

Bug bounties are one easy to implement example.

You can also start small, for much less than the annual salary of a single full time developer.
If the idea grows, so be it.
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab wrote:
Note that donations to Gentoo e.V. are tax-deductible by German law. See https://www.gentoo-ev.org/wiki/Satzung

This is not so, unfortunately. The e.V. may have this in their bylaws, but it hasn't been recognised (yet?) as charitable by the German "Finanzamt".
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I said I'd bow out, but I'd like to make one concession to ArneBab's idea: I'd be in favour of hiring ferringb, who I know works as a consultant, or used to (he's always going on about "gigs" since he changes employer) to work full-time on pkgcore, and nothing else.

That can already be done now, and doesn't require any buy-in from anyone. It doesn't have to be anything to do with Gentoo Foundation per se, and in fact to be done right, would require acceptance that ferringb would work on pkgcore independently of any OS. Sure he'd be starting with Gentoo, but it has applications for eg chromium folks, whom istr he's already worked with. Gentoo-prefix support is also relevant.

Any organisation or person with sufficient funds can already do that, just like they can hire someone to work on any aspect of Gentoo they like now. (Whether it's accepted by Gentoo proper is another matter, but presumably they would already have their systems working how they wanted.) So I don't see the need for anything to change on the wider discussion to enable that (all my objections still apply to the broader-scoped idea), and if Gentoo-e.V were to do something like that, I'd be all in favour, ArneBab.

Similarly if you wanted to hire dol-sen to work on integration of pkgcore, or portage and tools, I'd support it, or zorry on hardened toolchain. Just so long as it weren't an ultimate Gentoo badge. Any attempt to hire ebuild devs I think doomed to fail in the longer-term, since it will kill the overall spirit, and worsen the already fractious atmosphere. So it might get buy-in from people attracted to the idea of being paid, and it might make sense superficially so you might get apparent Consensus on it. It'll still end up killing Gentoo (once you've gone down that road, you cannot go back) and this same discussion will take place on another set of forums 10 years from now.

To proponents of that idea: don't say you weren't warned, when you're lamenting the inevitable brain-drain to another distro.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
I know I said I'd bow out, but I'd like to make one concession to ArneBab's idea: I'd be in favour of hiring ferringb, who I know works as a consultant, or used to (he's always going on about "gigs" since he changes employer) to work full-time on pkgcore, and nothing else.… Similarly if you wanted to hire dol-sen to work on integration of pkgcore, or portage and tools, I'd support it, or zorry on hardened toolchain. Just so long as it weren't an ultimate Gentoo badge.


That’s just what I meant. These are people with a well-known track record of working to improve Gentoo, and hiring them could give them more time to work on Gentoo-related tasks.

And I don’t think that the discussion of paying for ebuild devs will be relevant any time soon: There are lots of tools used by many users while most ebuilds are only used by a few (and this especially goes for new ebuilds). And if the e.V. should get to the point of having more money than can be paid for dedicated devs with long track record of working for Genoo who are willing to work on Gentoo for a living, then this will already have achieved the goal of paying all devs with long track record of working for Gentoo who are willing to work on Gentoo for a living.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab wrote:
That’s just what I meant. These are people with a well-known track record of working to improve Gentoo, and hiring them could give them more time to work on Gentoo-related tasks.

Sure, but then the same can be argued for some ebuild and eclass developers, and has been.
Quote:
And I don’t think that the discussion of paying for ebuild devs will be relevant any time soon: There are lots of tools used by many users while most ebuilds are only used by a few (and this especially goes for new ebuilds). And if the e.V. should get to the point of having more money than can be paid for dedicated devs with long track record of working for Genoo who are willing to work on Gentoo for a living, then this will already have achieved the goal of paying all devs with long track record of working for Gentoo who are willing to work on Gentoo for a living.

Heh that's true. Please do keep the political points in mind, though. I'd hate for those to be the reason I had to find another distro. Rereading my earlier objections, i feel they're even more apposite, since the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

You can already go ahead and hire whomever you like to work on Gentoo. As can anyone, and so yeah I'd support you for background tool work that everyone needs, but few are good at. Especially maintaining them over long periods, and keeping them working as utilities other programs can build on. Similarly for infra, or bug-wrangling; stuff no one wants to do but everyone complains about.

Maybe we could encourage people to sponsor the devs they want to. A micropayment tip jar on bugzilla certainly might make some of them behave a little more graciously towards the raison d'etre for a distro: its users.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not worth reading it even. Not to mention donating it as:

aV which means its Germany based,
Its Gentoo and I have different view on what OS should be.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

developer1,

Gentoo is not an operating system. Its a set of tools you use to build your own operating system.
If you have a private view of what an OS should be, Gentoo can help you achieve it.
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