Prospective board members: travel sponsoring.

Peter Hutterer peter.hutterer at
Mon Mar 18 01:04:17 UTC 2019

On Mon, Mar 18, 2019 at 01:39:13AM +0100, Luc Verhaegen wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 18, 2019 at 10:16:31AM +1000, Peter Hutterer wrote:
> > On Mon, Mar 18, 2019 at 12:25:10AM +0100, Luc Verhaegen wrote:
> > > The board meeting log of august 16th says the following:
> > > (
> > > 
> > > "Since the paper committee had to reject lots of talks this year (35 
> > > submissions for 18 slots) board discussed how to still make it possible 
> > > for anyone to attend with modest means - travel sponsoring is coupled to 
> > > accepted talks. Board decides to extend offering travel sponsoring to 
> > > anyone who submits a talk proposal."
> > > 
> > > This seemed to have happened well _after_ the deadline for talk 
> > > submission occured, precluding a lot of people from applying for such a 
> > > generous offer.
> > > 
> > > And it is generous; i will now definitely submit a talk for 2019, as i 
> > > am bound to find something tiny to code that i can give a talk on.
> > 
> > so basically you're implying that you intend to hack the system. 
> > as opposed to simply applying for travel sponsorship, an option that has
> > been open to all members for what, a decade?
> > 
> > It's hard to mis-read the barely veiled accusations in the rest of the
> > email.
> > 
> > My advice is that you spend less of your energy treating everyone as your
> > opponent and start contributing in a positive manner. The whole foundation
> > will be better off that way.
> There used to be a time when board meetings were closed, and when board 
> members were using sponsor money to give eachother bottles of whisky. 

You have more data for this? I'm vaguely remember one (two?) such occasions more
than a decade ago. This was a thank you gift after a board member stopped
being one, after several cycles on the board.

Being a board member is a thankless job. It takes time and effort and you
get virtually no positive feedback. it's stuff most developers do not want
to do, hence the difficulty in finding nominees every year.

I do not consider a small thank you-gift outlandish. YMMV.

I'm not immediately aware what the 503c6 limitations were on gifts like
this, so for all I know that practise could've been stopped for that reason

FTR I have never been involved in giving or receiving any such gifts.

> Those times are now luckily far behind us, exactly thanks to emails like 
> the one you just replied to.

re: closed board meetings: the wiki lists minutes back to 2006 (the irc logs
to 2010). You'll notice that from 2013 onwards, the minutes are effectively
complete, public and accompained by full IRC logs. If you're claiming credit
for that - no. that was *definitely* not your contribution. 

> Also, i have never asked for travelsponsorship from the board, ever. And 
> i hope that i do not have to go and do so to prove a very obvious avenue 
> for abuse.

You could see travel sponsorship as an option of supporting developers to
atttend a conference. There are multiple reasons why someone may not be able
to come otherwise. Being a student is only the most common and obvious one.
That you can only see this as an avenue for abuse is ... sad.

> Luc Verhaegen.
> -- the organizer of an event that is listed on the sponsorship page, 
> which, afaik, has not cost the foundation anything for several years 
> now.
"Conferences officially approved for sponsorship are the XDC, FOSDEM and the
Linux Plumbers Meeting."

Are you really critising that the board has a policy to provide sponsorship
to the event you're organising?


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