Dunc-Tank To Help Meet Debian Etch Deadline

The Dunc-Tank is an experiment to see how targeted fund raising can improve Debian. From the article:
The brainchild of Debian project leader, Brisbane, Australia-based Anthony Towns, Dunc-Tank is an experimental project that seeks to find ways of funding Debian development. That money will then go into paying people to sit down and do “useful” Debian work rather than relying on a core of dedicated volunteers to contribute code outside of their regular day jobs.
“Most developers work on Debian in their spare time, and the developers who do the most work on Debian devote most of their spare time to it. When that spare time disappears, due to work commitments, family commitments, holidays or sickness, so does the work on Debian,” Towns said.
To achieve its goal, Dunc-Tank is funding release managers Steve Langasek and Andi Barth to work full time on etch's release over the months of October and November respectively. All things going smoothly, etch will be released on December 4, 2006.

It should be noted that there is no formal association between Dunc-Tank and Debian, and in fact the project was meet with some resistance on debian-private. One of the main objections seemed to be the potential that it could ruin the volunteer nature of the Debian project. Done properly I don't think that has to be the case, but it is something they need to be cognizant of. Overall I think the idea has merit and this could set a precedent that results in greater improvements in Open Source projects, especially in areas that aren't “interesting” to the average OSS developer. To be honest, I'm always surprised how little bounty and payment type systems are used in Open Source. I suspect we just haven't found the right model yet. Dunc-Tank isn't quite ready to accept donations yet (they hope to be ready within a week), but when they are LQ will be chipping into the pot.
–jeremy
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