[IAEP] sustaining development
simon at schampijer.de
Mon Jan 4 06:49:00 EST 2010
On 12/28/2009 11:49 AM, Martin Langhoff wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 5:26 PM, Tomeu Vizoso<tomeu at sugarlabs.org> wrote:
>> While I think this is a big step forward towards sustainability of
>> Sugar development, I'm still concerned about the not-so-long-term
>> future because there's a good amount of work that needs to be done
> Unfortunately I don't read your blog. Maybe I should. I share your
> concern, and I think everyone here does.
> My personal experience is of 10 years of doing FOSS development almost
> always paid by interested clients / end-users. Before OLPC, my last
> job was at a large company doing exactly that.
> It takes a lot of professionalism*, and a lot of hard work. But it can
> work. I am 200% supportive of Sugaristas being contracted by
> deployments, and where possible, you'll find me encouraging both sides
> to talk and negotiate.
> * - As we are more exposed than the norm with this development model:
> these mailing lists where we sometimes think we can voice our opinions
> (however strong) and discuss key strategy are actually our
> professional working space... within earshot of clients and
> competitors. Clients who might not like strategic decisions, or
> positions aired; competitors who might be hoping for good info on
> where to hit.
> Bear in mind there are many practical hurdles. Many of the potential
> clients are governments, which on top of usual govt contracting
> complexities, have extra fun bits in this case. They may not be able
> to pay a foreigner (or foreign company) easily. Might have tricky
> payment rules for contractors. Might be unable to pay international
> consulting rates, or unable to get tele-commuters.
> I don't mean the above as a discouragement -- in the least! -- but to
> hint that preparation is key. In some places, you might need a local
> company or non-profit to take the local contract. Or to setup a
> short-lived tax registration. In some cases it might be "more
> possible" to hire someone to be present physically, at higher costs,
> than teleworking.
> As others have said, it might be easier to have non-govt players
> (local foundations for example) fund your work.
> It sure is a challenging space. But not impossible, and I think 200% worthwhile.
I think we need two models: The local sustainability, which I am more
and more convinced is a way to go. As you said, there are issues with
payments and of course the government is always interested to fund local
efforts. This is another selling point when watching out for local funding.
Though as said in the thread, for certain tasks you need some
administrative people: API, design, coordinate meetings etc. There could
be a global pool that takes care of this.
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