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janneand
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 8:02 pm    Post subject: Gentoo Club Reply with quote

In this thread was discussed different fundraising ideas and we starting talking about starting a "Gentoo Addicts Club" or whatever to call it. Since this is'nt strictly fundraising I start this new thread.

The idea is to make a club where the members pay a monthly fee to be a member, suggested to be $10 per month. This money should go to the Gentoo project and for eventual costs of the club like buying content and bandwidth.

The members of the club get access to a special password protected site, preferably as a underdomain to gentoo.com (like club.gentoo.com or members.gentoo.com). There you get some special content. Some of my ideas of this from the other thread -

  • Possibilty to buy stuff like an "I'm a Gentoo Addict" t-shirt and stuff like that.
  • Access to a cheap print-on-demand service where you can get the documents from the website as a booklet.
  • The development plan - what functionality will come in upcoming versions of Portage.
  • Planned release dates (if such exist) but you have to agree not to complain if they are not met.
  • All the latest ebuilds 24 hours earlier than the rest. Will also work as a last beta test.
  • A feature suggestion service that have higher priority than the others.
  • Some journalistic material like interviews with developers, including drobbins.
  • Artistic material like backgrounds, icons, themes etc.
  • Filesharing for ebuilds without official developers review (with a lot of warnings).
  • Forum, chat, whatver...


Also there was this idea -
psharp wrote:
One more thing - how about some kind of weekly news letter - development news, bugs fixed / new ebuilds, security updates. This isn't actually information which isn't availible in the public domain, just condensed into one place from all the bug reports, security updates and forum posts (I'd be willing to help here). I'm thinking along the lines of Debian Weekly News on steroids, perhaps also "background of the week"?


So, what do you think, is this a good idea? Anybody knows if it could be hosted on the gentoo-server? Would you become a member of that club? What services should it (not) provide? What would be a good name? Well, you get the point... :)

-J
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Pitr
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the idea of members feature requests to be higher valued - this implies that Gentoo development can be bought..

But access to interviews, trivial material is good - but I do not think the members should be offered ebuilds early..

Membership should only not interfer with the open development of Gentoo GNU/Linux. It should be a show of support, and nothing more.

Another thing would be to add the title "Gentoo Support member" in the paiding users forum profile - this would have the effect of showing to others that you support Gentoo and you put your money where your mouth is. And it might encourage others to consider donating spare change to the project, since the need for donation becomes visible
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like the idea of gentoo club. Before mandrakeclub started (and before I found out about gentoo) mandrakeforum had interesting topics with a lot of posts. When mandrakeclub started all colorful persons disappeared and discussions dried out.

Forums are a good way to keep people interested, even if they don't use particular distribution, so that at one point they can buy linux (gentoo) cd or make a donation. But if all discussion happens "behind closed doors" there's no point lurking.

And then there is the money. To a student 10$ is a big money and even if it wasn't not everyone wants to go through the hassle of paying. If one already has visa but if not...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's the idea - we don't want to play favorites with the members - they should have equal rights compared to none members - it's just a way of showing the world that OSS developers have to eat to..... well, at least to show the developers that we enjoy their hardwork and that we want to sjow our support.. and no 10$ ain't alot, me and my fellow students could EASILY, spare 10$ a month, all that beer is bad for us anyways..


Oh and is PayPal really that hard to use... I never noticed it... I have no problem using it. That's just a silly reason to freeload (no offence, but I'm being honest here)
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

# All the latest ebuilds 24 hours earlier than the rest. Will also work as a last beta test.

That would hurt Gentoo development/user comunity. I will, for example, stop using it, even writing any ebuild or aporting anything if that become true.

Go find less intrusive ways to fundraise... that one sounds like commercial distribution way.
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delta407
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitr wrote:
that's the idea - we don't want to play favorites with the members - they should have equal rights compared to none members - it's just a way of showing the world that OSS developers have to eat to..... well, at least to show the developers that we enjoy their hardwork and that we want to sjow our support.. and no 10$ ain't alot, me and my fellow students could EASILY, spare 10$ a month, all that beer is bad for us anyways...

If everyone is equal anyway and you still have $10 to spare, why not simply donate it instead of spending development resources on a -- as you pointed out -- valueless club?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because I choose to believe that organising the donations will be more effective - since the developers can have a pretty good indication of how much money the donations will amount to - say we make the membership mandetory for the first 6 months - kinda like Transgaming's WineX subscription.
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delta407
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You contradict yourself:
Pitr wrote:
Membership should only not interfer with the open development of Gentoo GNU/Linux. It should be a show of support, and nothing more.

Pitr wrote:
say we make the membership mandetory for the first 6 months


...sigh...

I don't like where this is going. It would be a dark day if Gentoo ever switches to a subscription business model -- currently, the business model is free in every sense (work as you want to, donate as you want to, use as you want to), and going to a "Gentoo club" would undermine that.

Am I against donating money? Absolutely not. But, I think if Gentoo would require paid subscription to (as you pointed out) a worthless organization depite the GPL notices on everything Gentoo... frankly, I would not come back. Gentoo is great because it is a community of volunteers all working to make the best possible system, rather than a group of employees working to make a buck. If that changes, Gentoo will go down the tubes.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO, a fee-based Gentoo club is the wrong way to go. It would split the Gentoo community into two categories: those who have money and those who don't have money.

And although 10 US-$ doesn't seem to be much money for some people it may well be for others; this, for instance, depends on the part of the world you are living (developing vs. developed countries), or whether you are a millionaire or a student (well, I know that there are rumours about rich students, however, I assume the average student is not as rich as Gill Bates...:wink:), and many other factors.

I personally like the idea of being able to make donations with funds which are at your disposal: this can either be money (an amount which you can afford), providing new or improved .ebuild scripts, writing documentation, helping people in the forum, etc etc etc. But all these donations should be, by all means, on a voluntary basis.

Because this is what Free Software is all about.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maystorm wrote:
And although 10 US-$ doesn't seem to be much money for some people it may well be for others; this, for instance, depends on the part of the world you are living (developing vs. developed countries), or whether you are a millionaire or a student
I'd like to meet the person that can afford a computer, the electricity to run it, and can't save up $10. If the computer isn't for home use, thats one thing. If the school is providing it, possibly. I'm thinking the number of students that don't throw-up $10 every few weekends is fairly low. There are other activities that students frequently spend money on as well. In any major county (i.e., not 3rd world/developing), I tend to think of the "I'm a student and therefor poor." is an excuse. There may be some rare exceptions.

In any case, the donation should be voluntary.
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rac
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would be great if companies sprang up that offered to provide support, bugfixes, and ebuild submissions to paying customers, that would be responsive first to their customers' requests. They could donate a portion of their proceeds to general Gentoo development, and/or host mirrors.

I don't want this to be part of the Gentoo project proper, however. A subscription business model for Gentoo or a paying club where members get early access to ebuilds would be completely unacceptable to me. I would quit using Gentoo immediately.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
I'd like to meet the person that can afford a computer, the electricity to run it, and can't save up $10.

The point is that nowadays you are confronted with sooo many organizations asking the same question: "Can't you really afford 10 bucks the month?"

These come to my mind immediately:

- Save the rainforests
- Help the starving children
- Donate to the AIDS research
- Help the people who suffered from the floodings in Germany
- Help fugitives/refugees
- Donate to the church
- Join the Gentoo club :wink:
- etc

All of these charities would be worth my money, however, only few people can afford to support all of them, you have to set priorities.

So, any arbitrarily mentioned amount of money has to be seen in this overall context.
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Pitr
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

delta407 wrote:
You contradict yourself:
Pitr wrote:
Membership should only not interfer with the open development of Gentoo GNU/Linux. It should be a show of support, and nothing more.

Pitr wrote:
say we make the membership mandetory for the first 6 months




Maybe you didn't understand me - I meant when you sign up for the club you have to sign up of at least 6 months - not that you have to sign up for at least 6 months to get access to Gentoo, membership is optional, but it would be nice if everyone would at least consider it.
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janneand
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitr wrote:
membership is optional, but it would be nice if everyone would at least consider it.

I agree, it should of course be optional. It could even be just an entry fee of say $10 and then optional fees after that. Then all members have an account set up for paying and it would be easier to make further donations.

Also, after the initial fee, it could work by adding "points" to an account for making contributions to the club, like ebuilds, pictures, reviews etc or by making further donations. And to subtract a small amount of points by using the material. In that way even students could use the services by making contributions, but without paying.

To have say access to ebuilds 24 hours before others would, as earlier mentioned, also work as a last betatest. In that way the newbies (who are generally not yet members) would get higher quality ebuilds. And it would be a good reason to join, but still only a slight advantage (24 hours is not that much after all).

But in general everything that is available for free today should be available for free in the future as well.

Also I don't see it as giving money to the developers but rather to the project, that is for buying hardware, providing more bandwidth, buying content/services if needed etc. And by that making Gentoo a better distribution in the end. Even as it is now, if you donate money to Gentoo you don't put it in drobbins pocket. If you want to do that you explicitly have to tell so.

-J
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

janneand wrote:
To have say access to ebuilds 24 hours before others would, as earlier mentioned, also work as a last betatest. [...] (24 hours is not that much after all)

This issue is a total deal-breaker for me. You're right that often 24 hours is not that much time, but what if it's a security vulnerability in an open network service? What if having a certain feature in time to make a demo for a prospective client means getting or not getting a contract, or finishing or not finishing a school project on time? Not all 24-hour periods are created equal, and if club members have this exclusive perk, then all Gentoo users will not be created equal, either.

Would the Club Cabal seek to punish a club member who redistributed ebuilds to non-members during the embargo period? If so, wouldn't this run afoul of the GPL's provision that you may not make additional restrictions on redistribution of GPLed material?

Also, consider this post my signed resignation letter from moderator duty if these forums become part of this paying-members-only club.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac wrote:
but what if it's a security vulnerability in an open network service?

Of course security updates should be released ASAP as always.
rac wrote:
Not all 24-hour periods are created equal, and if club members have this exclusive perk, then all Gentoo users will not be created equal, either.

If you submit an ebuild today it still takes some time (days?) for it to show up in the official tree as far as I understand so the change would'nt be that big. Also probably the biggest complaint about Gentoo is that ebuilds sometimes wrecks your system so a final betatest (not that many users use unmasked ebuilds) would'nt by that bad IMHO.
rac wrote:
Would the Club Cabal seek to punish a club member who redistributed ebuilds to non-members during the embargo period?

Ebuilds are GPL so they could of course be shared, even during that 24 hour period. They could even be accessed through bugzilla or by unmasking it on your system. It's just a minor service to make it a bit more interesting to "donate" money to the project.
rac wrote:
Also, consider this post my signed resignation letter from moderator duty if these forums become part of this paying-members-only club.

I would certainly suggest forums.gentoo.org not to be included, except one extra "members-only" forum for club- and clubmaterial related discussions.

-J
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

janneand wrote:
If you submit an ebuild today it still takes some time (days?) for it to show up in the official tree [...] They could even be accessed through bugzilla or by unmasking it on your system.

Then perhaps I don't understand technically what you're proposing. During the embargo period, when you do an "emerge sync", do a club member and a non-club member get the same portage tree? If so, then I don't see where the extra 24 hours come in. Is it just a "club packages.mask", that shows which packages will be unmasked publicly 24 hours from now? Do club members have access to a club-only rsync server? Actually, I would support this, if the only difference between the club and public rsync servers was bandwidth, and the club dues subsidized the bandwidth. If the content on the club rsync server is artificially prevented from percolating through the public mirrors for 24 hours, I'm unhappy.

Quote:
rac wrote:
Also, consider this post my signed resignation letter from moderator duty if these forums become part of this paying-members-only club.

I would certainly suggest forums.gentoo.org not to be included, except one extra "members-only" forum for club- and clubmaterial related discussions.

Well, then I guess we would need a new "Global (except for that forum) Moderators" usergroup.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac wrote:
Then perhaps I don't understand technically what you're proposing.


Well, I don't know what is the best technical solution. Maybe to use the Portage tree overlay feature as of Portage 2.0.21 if that supports remote servers.

The idea is to make the club members automagically receive the latest ebuilds a bit earlier, even if non-members can find that information and manually add it, as is the case today.

rac wrote:
Well, then I guess we would need a new "Global (except for that forum) Moderators" usergroup.

Or better yet, give the Global Moderators and official developers membership for free. They are needed there as well.

-J
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree totally with rac, one of the selling points of Gentoo is the community, a large part of which is accessed in these forums. By making an exclusive forum for members you are actively destroying/distributing that community. Also what is the point? Is there anything that a club forum would add to the current arrangement?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

psharp wrote:
I agree totally with rac, one of the selling points of Gentoo is the community, a large part of which is accessed in these forums. By making an exclusive forum for members you are actively destroying/distributing that community. Also what is the point? Is there anything that a club forum would add to the current arrangement?


Well, to quote myself as an answer -
janneand wrote:
I would certainly suggest forums.gentoo.org not to be included, except one extra "members-only" forum for club- and clubmaterial related discussions.


If you have a lot of club only material people might like to discuss that. Or to discuss other club related issues. Support questions belong in the open forums.

Well, a club like that would only work if enough people, perferably a majority of the community, wants to support it. My idea is to strengthen the Gentoo distribution and community, not to make any individuals to earn alot of cash.

-J
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

janneand wrote:
Well, I don't know what is the best technical solution. Maybe to use the Portage tree overlay feature as of Portage 2.0.21 if that supports remote servers. The idea is to make the club members automagically receive the latest ebuilds a bit earlier, even if non-members can find that information and manually add it, as is the case today.

Once something is committed to the CVS tree, it's official and should be propagated to all mirrors as soon as possible. Until something gets committed, it's not official. This is a bright line for me. Saying that somebody could go grab a pending ebuild from bugzilla is not at all the same thing. I've submitted several ebuilds, only to (thankfully) find that kind and vigilant upstream developers have fixed some problems that I was too ignorant to get right myself by the time they made it into the Portage tree.

So are you saying that rsync.club.gentoo.org should have priority access to cvs.gentoo.org 24 hours before rsync5.us.gentoo.org? This issue will become more important when ebuilds and md5sums of source tarballs are digitally signed.

Quote:
rac wrote:
Well, then I guess we would need a new "Global (except for that forum) Moderators" usergroup.

Or better yet, give the Global Moderators and official developers membership for free. They are needed there as well.

My point was that I would decline such membership and not volunteer to read or work those paid forums. I spend time and effort here angering people by locking and moving their threads, and perplexing them by giving confusing and sometimes wrong answers to their questions, largely because I want to give something to all Gentoo users.

When I try to help someone, I realize (and take pride in) the fact that this exchange will be maybe be found by many other visitors. If that is only the case if said visitor has paid money, my desire to participate vanishes.

Please note that this, along with all my other posts in this thread, has not been discussed with any other moderators and does not represent in any way the views of other moderators or any sort of moderator consensus.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
I'd like to meet the person that can afford a computer, the electricity to run it, and can't save up $10.


As an aside, the biggest barrier is sometimes not the $10 itself, but a way to get it overseas. Not everyone has a credit card - and many people don't want them.

ONE of these days I'll manage to talk to the bank into enabling the Cirrus compatibilty on my direct debit card... ONE of these days...

Any Gentoo developers live in Sydney, Australia? I could take you out to the pub or something. :-P
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maystorm wrote:
All of these charities would be worth my money, however, only few people can afford to support all of them, you have to set priorities.
Absolutely correct. A choice is still made. If cause X is more important than Gentoo, fine. Maybe next year the donation can go to Gentoo.
maystorm wrote:
So, any arbitrarily mentioned amount of money has to be seen in this overall context.
Any amounts of money I've used have just been examples. Although, I don't think it is practical to donate $1.

Curious wrote:
As an aside, the biggest barrier is sometimes not the $10 itself, but a way to get it overseas. Not everyone has a credit card - and many people don't want them.
Agreed, but that is a different issue. I personally have no intentions of using a credit card online, so the issue isn't only getting the money across the oceans.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maystorm wrote:


1- Save the rainforests
2- Help the starving children
3- Donate to the AIDS research
4- Help the people who suffered from the floodings in Germany
5- Help fugitives/refugees
6- Donate to the church
7- Join the Gentoo club :wink:


1 - Already supporting that one..

2 + 3 + 5 is covered by my taxes - I don't feel obligated to do anything futher at the moment - I do how ever believe that the western world should relive Africa of it's debts to us. (whole other debate - let's leave it in /dev/null where it belongs right now)

4 - Well, I really think that's an internal problem in Germany - I'm sure that the German government can handle this without my 10$ - I'm also sure that the European Union will help the poor germans out if it comes to that.

6 - I personally don't believe in God + I pay taxes to the church, so I don't feel obligated to donate to them - feel free to do so if you believe. (Religious wars also goes to /dev/null)

That leaves 7... Nobody cares about Open Source but the users - and I'm sure there are many other worthy cases to support - but this one affects ME, and I believe in it.

I guess it all comes down to what you think it worth your money - if you care about open source, you should support it.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO there are two kinds of linux distrobutions:
Commercial (E.G. Redhat, Mandrake) and Community (E.G. Debian).

Commercial distributors exist to make money, and can employ fulltime programming teams to work on their product.

Community distros exist for the public good, and are typically worked on in peoples spare time.

Personally I come from a Debian background, and find the latter superior. And as Gentoo's social contract is growing out of Debian's, I think of Gentoo as a community distro.

I find this "Club" idea pushes Gentoo towards being a Commercial distro, and would much rather Gentoo followed the path laid out by Debian.

Debian is a much larger project and has been going since 1993, so why not work on getting more personal and corporate donations, I dont see why that would work there but not here.
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