[sugar-sur] [IAEP] Sugar Labs 2017 Budget

Sebastian Silva sebastian en fuentelibre.org
Dom Feb 26 01:14:19 EST 2017

Hello all,

On 25/02/17 20:33, Tymon Radzik wrote:
> Sugar Labs is by its statement *volunteer*-driven project. We are
> volunteers. We work for the idea of the free and open software and not
> for own financial profit.
It is worth to reflect upon this point. Certainly the design and
engineering teams of Redhat and OLPC that built Sugar in the first place
weren't unpaid volunteers. I like to think that we're all volunteers, in
that, we are not motivated by money, and if we could do more, we would.

(Lack of) Investment in software infrastructure for education is a large
void that ultimately implies a hidden cost of integration, field
support, even the impossibility of deployment. Who is doing this work
required to take Sugar* (a component) and make it into end user solutions?

While it is probably human nature to distrust, I think Laura is
proposing to shift from just hiring strangers that walk away after 3
months with $5000, to sustaining long term active members with a small
stipend for a year, in the hope (and trust) that they will increase
their effort and involvement, as well as attract more active
contributors. Whether this will result in a better Sugar a year from
now, and whether it is sustainable, remains to be seen, as well as the
specific dynamics of such a program.

The following is an excerpt from "Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor
Behind Our Digital Infrastructure" (license: CC-BY, author: Nadia

I recommend reading the whole book and we can think how it applies to a
project like Sugar Labs, that has no money making product, but rather is
a knowledge multiplying community, and how society can nurture it.

    /*Open source’s complicated relationship with money*
    The Linux Foundation was created in 2007 to help protect and
    maintain Linux and its associated projects. Torvalds does not run
    the Linux Foundation himself, preferring instead to receive a steady
    salary as a “Linux Fellow” and work on his projects as an engineer. /

    /While open source software is admirably rooted in a culture of
    volunteerism and collaboration relatively untouched by extrinsic
    motives, the reality is that our economy and society, from
    multimillion dollar companies to government websites, depends on
    open source. //

    /Overall, this is probably a positive development for society. It
    means that software is no longer strictly relegated to private,
    proprietary development, as it ha d been for decades. The fact that
    the United States government, or a social network website with
    billions of users, incorporates community-built software, paints an
    optimistic future for democracy. //

    /In addition, many projects function well on a community basis if
    they are on the extremes of size : that is, either small projects
    that do not require significant maintenance (as in the example of
    Arash Payan and Appirater), or very large projects that have found
    significant corporate support (as in the example of Linux). //

    /However, many projects are trapped somewhere in the middle: large
    enough to require significant maintenance, but not quite so large
    that corporations are clamoring to offer support. These are the
    stories that go unnoticed and untold. From both sides, these
    maintainers are told they are the problem: S mall project
    maintainers think mid-sized maintainers should just learn to cope,
    and large project maintainers think if the project were “good
    enough,” institutional support would have already come to them. //

    /There are also political concerns around financial support that
    make it harder to find a reliable source of funding. A single
    company may not want to sponsor development work that also benefits
    their competitor, who paid nothing. A private benefactor may want
    special privileges that threaten the neutrality of a project. (For
    example, for security-related projects, privileged disclosure of
    vulnerabilities — paying for special knowledge about security
    vulnerabilities instead of exposing those vulnerabilities to the
    public — is a controversial request.) And governments may have
    political reasons to sponsor the development of a particular
    project, or ask for special favors such as “backdoors” (a secret way
    of bypassing security authentication), even if that project is used

> I can't agree with the idea of monthly stipends (salaries) being paid
> to some members.
> Not only breaking something I considered to be a fundamental
> principle, it is also dividing the community. Our funds deserve to be
> spent in more orgnization-beneficial way. 
> Additionally, I don't want to accuse anyone personally, but current
> situation in our discussion could meet the definition of /conflict of
> interest/ for some members involved...
> Best,
> Tymon
> sob., 25 lut 2017 o 23:46 użytkownik Chris Leonard
> <cjlhomeaddress en gmail.com <mailto:cjlhomeaddress en gmail.com>> napisał:
>     On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 2:21 PM, Laura Vargas
>     <laura en somosazucar.org <mailto:laura en somosazucar.org>> wrote:
>     >
>     >
>     > 2017-02-24 13:51 GMT-05:00 Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho en hotmail.com
>     <mailto:cbigenho en hotmail.com>>:
>     >>
>     >> Hello Again....
>     >>
>     >>
>     >
>     > Hola Caryl,
>     >>
>     >> The "Badge" proposal is a totally inappropriate use of SL funds
>     and could
>     >> result in litigation and the possible end of SugarLabs.
>     >>
>     >>
>     > Please do elaborate on this. We have already allocated stipends
>     for active
>     > members in the past. As I recall Chris Leonard had an 8 month
>     stipend of US$
>     > 1,000.
>     >
>     > What would be difference?
>     >
>     To clarify, I had negotiated a contract with Sugar Labs / SFC for a
>     monthly stipend to support the Translation Manager position.  I did
>     NOT submit a single invoice for that work (which I have been doing)
>     and allowed the contract to lapse.  I have not received a dime from
>     Sugar Labs funds in in the 10 years I have been volunteering and I
>     have come to regret that I opened the door to the current effort to
>     drain those funds into members pockets.
>     I believe the funds (the majority of which come from the TripAdvisor
>     grant obtained by Walter) should go to their intended purpose,
>     supporting TurtleArt promotion and internationalization and
>     localization efforts.  I understand that for legal reasons the funds
>     are officially considered fungible and in a general pool, but I
>     believe we should honor the original intent of the donor.
>     cjl
>     I now regret having opened the door to paid efforts
>     _______________________________________________
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