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ArneBab
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:23 am    Post subject: Gentoo has no paid developers—join Gentoo eV to change this! Reply with quote

In the Debian-discussion about the initsystem, systemd fans kept going on about OpenRC having no paid developers. And while this is not a problem for OpenRC, they actually do have a point: Gentoo could benefit a lot from having some full-time maintainers who work on keeping Gentoo work seamlessly.

If just the 10% of the members of the Gentoo Forums who are real fans would join Gentoo e.V. and support Gentoo with 2€ a month, this would allow hiring 4 full-time developers. There are 140.000 users in here!

And they would not be bound to doing the bidding of a company to make a living, but would be responsible only to the users.

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

Among the distributions Gentoo has one of the lowest maintenance costs per package, so a handful of full-time developers could have a huge impact.

Update:

ulm wrote:
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: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

8O
My first opinion is that, if your opinion is valid then such an initiative should be considered by the Gentoo Council Project and officially undertaken and sponsored by it.
My second opinion is that, if your opinion is valid, then the devs from the Gentoo OpenRC Project have plenty of means to word their claims by themselves.

Don't you think so ?

Oh, by the way, I make no doubt you are aware of a couple of guidelines:
Quote:
Gentoo Foundation Funding - Collecting Donations
Content:

1. Collecting Donations

At times, it may be appropriate to collect cash donations for the Gentoo Foundation, during a conference or convention. Please be aware that the donators expect their donations to arrive safely and should be able to ensure that their contribution has been received by the foundation.

Please follow these guidelines when collecting donations for the Foundation:

Contact the board of trustees prior to the event. The Foundation should be aware of the event, time, location, and the individuals associated with the collection of the funds for both verification before and after the donation. E-mail may be used to contact the trustees. Trustees at gentoo.
When collecting money with a "tip jar", frequently empty the jar to minimize loss in the case of theft. Please make every effort to catalog and safeguard large donations with the name and contact information of the donator. They may remain anonymous in our publications at their option, but we should maintain the contact information of large donations for accountability.
If asked about what the donations are needed and used for, please direct them to the Foundation website, foundation.gentoo.org. There is a page on our funding needs listed under Resources.
Please indicate that donations to the Gentoo Foundation are NOT tax deductable in the U.S. The Foundation currently stands as a 501c6, Trade Association, and with this status we cannot accept charitible donations for tax benefits. We do not however have any limitations of the size of donations.

2. Turning in Donations

After donations are collected and counted, contact the board of trustees to arrange a deposit. This can be done in a number of different ways (wire transfer and personal check to the bank account just to name a couple).

When collecting donations on behalf of the Gentoo Foundation, the donors have put their trust in you. Do not spend the money that has been donated, without prior approval from the Foundation. In such cases, all donations still need to be counted and receipts for any purchases need to be turned in along with all remaining donations signed and dated by the entrusted party.

The Foundation has to remain accountable to the donors as well as to the IRS. DO NOT make an assumption if it is within your power to ask a trustee if a particular donation is acceptable or if you have questions regarding the handling of funds before or after their collection.

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ArneBab
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aCOSwt wrote:
My first opinion is that, if your opinion is valid then such an initiative should be considered by the Gentoo Council Project and officially undertaken and sponsored by it.


While I don’t object to the Gentoo Council supporting this, Gentoo e.V. has been existing for years, so this is hardly a new concept.

Quote:
My second opinion is that, if your opinion is valid, then the devs from the Gentoo OpenRC Project have plenty of means to word their claims by themselves.

Don't you think so ?


I wrote “while this is not a problem for OpenRC”, so I thought it pretty clear that I only name them because OpenRC is where the issue was brought up, but not where the issue is actually valid.

So I see no claim to be made - but I’ll link this discussion in the OpenRC channel anyway.
Update: The folks in #openrc did not object.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aCOSwt wrote:
Quote:
Please indicate that donations to the Gentoo Foundation are NOT tax deductable in the U.S. The Foundation currently stands as a 501c6, Trade Association, and with this status we cannot accept charitible donations for tax benefits.


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

This is a call to become member of a long-term partner of the Gentoo Foundation. What exactly do you find objectionable about this?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:57 am    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 a very valuable information.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genstorm wrote:
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 a very valuable information.


The key information is „gemeinnützig“ ⇒ tax deductible.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aCOSwt,

The council cannot employ anyone. As Gentoo is a two headed monster, the Council and the Foundation, only the Foundation is able to enter into contracts. The council is the Gentoo technical committee.

To make matters worse, the IRS has been sitting on 501 registrations from open source software groups.
The original intent was to get 501c6 but 501c3 seems more appropriate now. The Foundation is still working towards that.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm the trouble with this sort of thing is that it really needs to be done right, to avoid both resentment and de-facto dictatorship by the back door. Both militate toward a fairly drawn-out process before you move ahead, which is typically not what people want to hear, nor wrangle with.

In the first regard, for example, I'd say that there are 5 areas that need staff, come what may: moderation (Gentoo is a community or it's nothing), infra, tree-development (ebuilds and eclasses), tools (like portage or catalyst, also toolchain), and QA (bug-wranglers and ATs). Not to mention ancillary staff like administration, legal and financial; the latter two can be done as and when, though an ongoing retainer/relationship is needed. Typically people only think of tree-development and maybe tools, as what they "want" to fund, but the others are equally critical. Remove one lynchpin and none of the others will suffice, however well-staffed.

The second is harder to counter: it's far too easy for a group (even one or two) of full-timers to end up taking de-facto control, usually because decisions need to be made. Sure you can have the structures in place, and nominally they are employees, but the simple fact then is that if you want to influence the collective, you are much better off aiming your lobbying at those full-timers. It happens all the time in every walk of life.

And that's what it comes down to really: you start to change the nature of the organisation, once you have paid staff, beyond fulfilling statutory requirements like presenting Accounts. ATM people work on Gentoo because it is useful to them, or their employer, and sometimes because they want to make a name: they are already getting something out of the relationship. That voluntary nature, at least wrt the distro, is what keeps it most like the "good old days" of computing when everyone wants everyone else to succeed, since we're all Gentoo users, considered oddball in some quarters, using time for our own reasons to make it work better.

Having said all that, there's nothing to stop anyone paying someone else to work on Gentoo, and some already are, just like people are paid to work on the kernel. So I guess it would be cool to have that funded by the community itself: it makes us less beholden to anyone else, and means we can focus on things that no single sponsor might fund, but that help all of us. I'd just like the caveats to be addressed, beyond mere discussion, especially if it is community-funded (and not an ad-hoc sponsored contract). Yes, that involves Trustees and the dev community. If we're going to do it, do it right.

In the absence of the above being resolved, I'd recommend people also consider donating directly to Gentoo. As is, I think the notion that there's some developer contracts around, could cause not just resentment, but the idea that one should put oneself into position to get one of those, perhaps as the ultimate Gentoo badge. I don't personally like that vision of the developer pool, and think we'd end up attracting people looking for that, rather than looking to make the best software possible as an ends in itself.

But if you want suggestions, no-one's going to resent you funding a developer like vapier, jmbsvicetto or dol-sen.

Tricky though, isn't it? Once you start down this route, you end up with a popularity contest, like it or not. And suddenly the focus isn't on what the tree's doing, but who's the "most useful" which can vary with the phase of the moon, and brings with it all sorts of jockeying for position, much worse than we already have now. At least atm it's just young males being young males; imagine if it had real-world consequence.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

im a pro tax dodger, gifts are tax exempt. so say i may gift gentoo wiki 250 commits, and they may be so pleased they gift me 100 billion dollars. win win... :twisted:
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Gentoo has no paid developers—join Gentoo eV to change t Reply with quote

ArneBab wrote:
If just the 10% of the members of the Gentoo Forums who are real fans would join Gentoo e.V. and support Gentoo with 2€ a month, this would allow hiring 4 full-time developers. There are 140.000 users in here!
== 7000€/month/dev - I'm interested in becoming a paid dev
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think Gentoo would benefit from full time paid developers. The downsides well outweigh the potential advantages.

There is one way that has been shown to work well on occassions. That's bug bounties
This provides a well defined scope of work for a well defined fee.
The scope is fix bug #X and the work is complete and the bounty is paid, when the patch is accepted by upstream.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the failure of that is that people will introduce bugs with the left hand, and squash them with the right. bug bounty = packages intentionally released buggy. $$$ sucks, $$$ = refused services if you dont have it regardless of the social progress you've brought.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

666threesixes666,

That's against the ethos of OSS. Also, only a small number of bugs would get a bug bounty.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about project 1 - re-slot gnome 3 and retain gnome 2 in the portage tree ... collect for specific projects so that managing what to work on is decided directly by the users 8)
You may or may not find users care sufficiently to pay for a particular project/piece of work on a full time basis ... whether it ends up full time or not may be project specific ;)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonathan183,

Gnome2 is dead. $UPSTREAM are not going to develop it. Efforts are all going into Gnome3
Gentoo would need to maintain a fork of Gnome2. Thats a lot more effort than you suggest.

The closest thing to that is MATE and its already being done. Its in an overlay today and will be in the main tree real soon now.
There is some discussion on category names to be worked out. MATE has an active $UPSTREAM too.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonathan183 wrote:
How about project 1 - re-slot gnome 3 and retain gnome 2 in the portage tree

Re-slotting doesn't solve anything. The answers are all above :)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genstorm wrote:
Re-slotting doesn't solve anything.

If it removes the pain of masking and allows continued use of gnome 2 for sufficient users until a suitable alternative is available for them to use it is ... see if gnome 2 users are prepared to pay for it to be done. The answer might be no ... in which case fine - pick a different first user funded project 8)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a waste of dev time when you can just create an unmask file and provide it at a central download location for interested users to obtain it (the best part about that, it doesn't require monetary contributions, only a little bit of motivated users' time). And someone has already put gnome-2 ebuilds into an overlay it seems, which is the natural place to be for unmaintained packages, and that same thread also holds mask/unmask lists: http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-7504246.html#7504246
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, bug bounties can work. It can also work to fund one or two developers to work on a particular project, but typically that's best done in response to specific needs, such as improving binpkg handling. Not saying it can't work, say to fund two portage/pkgcore developers full-time, but again I think that's best done by a specific company actually going through their own internal due process, and taking on the responsibility of the paperwork. After all if they're going to pay out that much, they might as well deal with it all.

And again, it would best be done in direct collaboration with the Trustees, or indeed through them (say just paying the sponsorship fee, assuming Gentoo actually wants to handle all the paperwork: and the liability.) So Gentoo e.V. could do a similar thing, I guess. Either way sponsorship cannot be seen as buying control of the technical direction: but isn't that exactly what you're paying for? Hmm so in that sense it would be better to have a non-profit funding us than corporations, which we're susceptible to now, as it's easy enough for a paid developer to join Gentoo, just like any other, even easier since they have time and presumably some experience.

Just more thoughts, sorry if rambling.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
In the first regard, for example, I'd say that there are 5 areas that need staff, come what may: moderation (Gentoo is a community or it's nothing), infra, tree-development (ebuilds and eclasses), tools (like portage or catalyst, also toolchain), and QA (bug-wranglers and ATs). Not to mention ancillary staff like administration, legal and financial; the latter two can be done as and when, though an ongoing retainer/relationship is needed. Typically people only think of tree-development and maybe tools, as what they "want" to fund, but the others are equally critical. Remove one lynchpin and none of the others will suffice, however well-staffed.

The second is harder to counter: it's far too easy for a group (even one or two) of full-timers to end up taking de-facto control, usually because decisions need to be made. Sure you can have the structures in place, and nominally they are employees, but the simple fact then is that if you want to influence the collective, you are much better off aiming your lobbying at those full-timers. It happens all the time in every walk of life.

So I guess it would be cool to have that funded by the community itself: it makes us less beholden to anyone else, and means we can focus on things that no single sponsor might fund, but that help all of us. I'd just like the caveats to be addressed, beyond mere discussion, especially if it is community-funded (and not an ad-hoc sponsored contract). Yes, that involves Trustees and the dev community. If we're going to do it, do it right.

I agree to both: As soon as the community has the funds to pay full-time developers, it’s important to ask what we really need which we currently do not get.

I have my pet gripes, and others surely have theirs (anyone remember the libpng debacle, or the udev-your-system-no-longer-boots-when-you-missed-this-warning experience?).

Another option would be to go the Linus-route and pay developers on very simple terms: Do what is good for Gentoo. We won’t interfere as long as what you do is useful to Gentoo. This would require the trust that they keep doing the right thing: Essentially it would mean to give them the time they need to realize their ideas on Gentoo.

Though actually the second is much easier to counter than the first: A company can pay someone full-time with all the power they would have when employed by the community - but bound to the will of a company which might have very different needs than the general user-community.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
Hmm so in that sense it would be better to have a non-profit funding us than corporations, which we're susceptible to now, as it's easy enough for a paid developer to join Gentoo, just like any other, even easier since they have time and presumably some experience.


That’s exactly why I started this thread ☺

Even better if the non-profit is funded by the users of Gentoo: Then it has the incentive to act in our interest.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArneBab wrote:
Even better if the non-profit is funded by the users of Gentoo: Then it has the incentive to act in our interest.

OK I'm with you now: if the Foundation doesn't want the legal hassle of employing people, then it's better another non-profit does it, so long as it is a Community-led venture. The social hassle cannot be avoided imo, and is best addressed by making it under the auspices of the Foundation; otherwise Gentoo is open to accusations of being run by an external clique. Either way, we already have some paid developers, just not paid by us.

Both (social and legal hassle) mitigate toward discussion on gentoo-project mailing-list, or at very least first write to the foundation@gentoo.org to see whether they would prefer not to have the legal hassle, or whether they would prefer to be funded directly and handle it, perhaps with consultative help from Gentoo eV (who could then pay one or two people, who they already use to deal with HR and fundraising matters; in any event not developers.)

Is Gentoo eV solely funded by Gentoo users?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
I don't think Gentoo would benefit from full time paid developers. The downsides well outweigh the potential advantages.

Why would you say that? I think it would be a huge benefit for Gentoo. If I would have the money, I would immediately employ knowledgeable developers such as bonsaikitten, pesa, and flameeyes.

That said, I don't think it's a good idea to let the Council or Foundation decide on that. Historically they have been too slow-moving, and reactionary rather than visionary. A separate company or non-profit would be better, I think.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i second what you are saying yngwin.... however we need a means to our ends.....

like a web app to thank / track thanking, track fix usage to thank behind the scenes people. say bonsaikitten fixed something that i use, they get tally marks for patches pulled count. then tally who is ultimately extremely helpful to community to know who needs to be paid and what.

then a system to source funds / funnel them to them is problem number 2.

id probably be $1000 richer with all the wiki contributions to web apps.


i targeted gentoo vps hosting, which is front page advertisements and whittled on web applications to make their deployment a snap to put $$$ in coffers, and give gentoo a greater known web presence.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yngwin,

There are a small number of devs that are directed and paid by their employers to work on Gentoo.
Gentoo does not influence what they work on, nor what their targets are.

Should Gentoo employ full time paid developers there is
a) a whole raft of personnel admin that come with it - thats another employee ...
b) the problem of managing what they work on and their targets.

I see that fixed fees for fixed scopes of work could be made to work well but thats a world away from salaried or hourly paid developers.

Fixed fees for fixed scopes of work has problems too. Software projects tend to expand due to 'emergent work'.
Think employing a builder to replace a flat roof. He removes the old covering, comes down his ladder and tells you hes found a lot of rot. The timber must be replaced before the new roof can be installed.
Who pays for this 'emergent work'?
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