Donations for the foundation

Continuing the discussion from Crowd-funding campaign:

Indeed they are enought to maintan the project as currently the fundation has not so much costs (IIRC only accounting and hosting the servers). So with small amount we can continue the project.

Funding developer time for Tryton is not so important because there are several companies on the ecosystem which can be hired to develop features. So the funds normally go to this companies and the companies contribute back to the project.

Having said that I think there is also room to improve and I like the proposal of having some goals to incentivate the amounts raised. IIRC we’ve done in the past and the amount of donations increased.

Main problem is the lack of time of the foundation board. For example we currently have received some success stories which are not part of the website because nobody sumbited a patch for the website. So I’m wondering if it will be good to professionalize this tasks (by hiring someone to do them) and requests donations to pay them.

On the other hand we have the services providers page which is currently free and we may request a yearly donation to the foundation to be listed there. We currently have 15 service providers, so for example at 300€/year it will be 4500€ for the foundation.

This are my personal toughts but before going further I think the tryton comunity should raise their voice to give their opinion on the topic. If there is a general agreement we can move forward.

I do not see why is it related to the lack of time of the foundation board.
Normally it should be to the author to submit the patch and the community to review it.

If the board has no free time, I do not see how they could supervise hiring a someone to do that.
But we could suggest to the submitter a list of people that they can hire to help them submitting a review.

I do not like the idea to trade the merit for money. For me the rule for inclusion of the page creates virtuous circle because it push companies to contribute and report success stories while the project advertise for them which should create new success stories and contribution etc.

If the Foundation raises more money, there is a big issue about how it will spend it. How will the contractor be chosen? Most of the companies that have probably the knowledge to provide the service have a someone or a concurrent in the board. So there will be many conflict. And even if we base the choice only the money, there is no guarantee to choose a good one.

For me there is one thing that we are really missing and that companies/contributors contributing do not provide enough is the maintenance and extensions of the tools (ex: bug tracker, forum, codreview etc.).
The infrastructure receives almost no contribution because it is mainly invisible and can not be directly funding by a customer of the contributors.
I think this is were the money of the Foundation could be spend without creating any conflict of interest.

Supervising requires less time than doing the actual work.
Also the community can help reviewing the work done.

Ok, this sounds good to me. We can redirect them to the service providers so they are free to choose whoever they prefer.

Currently this is not the case:

  • Most of the companies just have one success story (even there are some with success story not fully written)
  • There is no clear rule about what contribution is requiered.
  • There is no checking that the service provider meets the requirements. So one may stop contributing and they still be there.

I do not think we are trading merit for money. The idea is to get money that can be then spent on things that improve the project.

There is no issue until the foundation has more money. But of course this should be discussed.

I do not see any issue by having a member on the foundation and being a contractor of it. Indeed with the size of our community this will normally be the case. For me the best is that the board takes a vote for deciding the best contractor and to prevent having more than one member for company (IIRC this is currently the case)

Sounds like a good idea. I can propose to the board members to take a vote on it and if aproved we can include it on the next foundation budget. It will be great to have an estimated amount about how much money will be required

If you are not trading merit for money then you are pushing more pressure on the existing contributors. This can lead to some resigning and other contributing less because they already have spent money.

So companies with a board member will be disadvantaged because per statutes the member can not take par of the decision so such company will always have 1 vote less than others.

Why you talk about contributors? I was talking about service providers (that can be seen as promoted contributors). But as far as the price is the same for all the preassure will be the same.

Of course something will change :man_shrugging:t2:
As we may have more fund we may also loose some service providers. But if we keep as is for sure we won’t improve.

Because you have to be a contributor to be listed.

It is not the same as those who are not listed have no pressure.

That’s why for me adding a fees there is replacing merit by money.

But what do you want to improve? Is removing service providers an improvement?

The amount of money aviable for the foundation to invest on the project.
The idea is to have more money to invest on attracting new users for the project.

Only if they are no longer active.

And why should this be funded by those who already contributes the most?

By adding a fees you will remove more than the inactive.

For me you are targeting the wrong people to fund your plan. It is those who does not contribute but benefit from Tryton that should be targeted.

I do not see the relation with contribution. For me we should target service providers because there are the one’s who benefit from the project because they sell their Tryton based services. Indeed it is possible to provide tryton services without being listed on the service providers. If some company is on the service providers list is because they are “promoted” (or recommended) by Tryton. So for me it makes sense to ask for some money in exchange of this promotion.

Indeed we agreed to fund the tryton spanish days with a fee to sponsor the event and it worked quite well.

We will not know untill we try.

For me there are two diferents ways of get visibility inside the tryton community:

  1. Contributing
  2. Being recomended as service providers

So the idea is just to ask funds for the service providers because we can add and remove items from the list.

We can not control who contributes as anyone is free to contribute or not.

But we already ask them for contribution.

B2CK will consider this if such fees are added because we consider to contribute already enough.

So Tryton will promote base on money instead of merit. For me it is just unfair because we know that promotion by contribution does not really work.

But we can control to whom requesting funds.

Yes but we can not control if they continue contributing on the long term or not.
That’s something we can do with money as we ask for funds on a recurring pattern.

Not it will promote based on both: Merit from contributions and money from service providers.

Then we may add some contributor of the month/year to give more visibility to merit based promotions.

I feel that I should comment because it was my post that started this discussion, however I am a newcomer to the community and also I do not fully understand how foundation+service providers coexist, so please put a very light weight on my opinion.

Before buying a support time-pack from B2CK I considered donating to the foundation, but I had no idea if the foundation needed more money in order to pay the bills, or if the donations were enough and an additional donation would be a burden because there is no plan for the additional funds.

@pokoli: I think the service providers already donate their time to the project, I think they should be appreciated for doing so and for me it makes sense to try to remove any burden of paying bills.
For me it makes more sense to encourage users/people who implement for their own company to donate.

@ced: I agree, too much money is almost as bad as too little. It will put pressure on the board to find ways to spend this money responsibly for improving the Tryton community/project. I think a foundation that is as lean as possible is a good thing.

This was exactly the point of my original post: to offer information like:

There is an ongong fundraiser for year 2021, proposed budget x €
Paying the bills is x €
We propose to develop new tools (codereview, issue tracker): x €
If every unique IP that has downloaded tryton from master donated
x € we would reach our goal.

or

Goal for 2021 has been reached. Please donate again for the next year.

I asked around and almost everyone I know donated to various causes because of a fundraiser, me included.
Perhaps administering a fundraiser would consume a too big percentage of the funds considering the small scale.

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Of course but one may be interested in just implementing the current setup and do not adding new features to Tryton. So this is some target user that can not be listed on the service page because they are not contributing to the project.

So I’m wondering if we should give the option for the ones that do not contribute to donate an amount in exchange of beeing part of the foundation.

This can be used to check if the service provider is still active. We can ask all service providers asking for their contributions on the past year and if they do not have a minimun activity on the project we can give the option to donate some money to the foundation.

If we get a negative reply on both we can remove them from the service providers as they are no longer doing tryton services.

Of course we may have a clear asset of what is the minimum required contribution.

Thinks that will make sense to be a contribution for me:

  • Reporting bugs
  • Translating
  • Contributing code/documentation
  • Providing a success story
  • Writing a howto/news post on the forum

The important fact is that we accept both technical and non technical contributions.

There are other ways to contribute than adding new feature.

So we will have no more any quality check. It is just plain advertising. We know how such rule leads.

Sorry but I did not understand your last comments.

Which quality check?

Yes, having a page listing service providers is advertising.

I do not know what do you want to say with this sentence. Could you please elaborate? I imagine you mean advertising leads to something but is not clear to what it leads.

The quality that the provider has shown some knowledge of Tryton.

I said “plain advertising”.
For now the provider page is just a way the project gives back gratitude to contributors.
Your proposal is just about selling Tryton’s website space for advertising to anyone.

I leads to attract a bunch of companies interested only by monetizing for themself the project without contributing anything (or only a small fees).
We should not care about such bad players because they will never make Tryton sustainable but just gnaw it to the bone.

I think part of the problem is even asking for contribution in order to get the company listed in the services section.

Sharoon Thomas mentioned a long time ago that the only requirement for a company to be listed should be that they asked for it. And I tend to agree with that. I would only add that we should require the company should link to the Tryton website.

Any trial of going further than that will easily be unfair or go towards a conflict of interest situation.

I think it is easier to just add a text at the beginning of the service providers page saying that the companies listed are there just because they claim they offer Tryton services and that the tryton project or the foundation does not endorse them. They’re available for customers to freely choose among them and that we encourage potential customers to investigate in the forums, bugtracker and the rest of the tools of the project those who are more active.

That would:

  • Make it much easier to decide who can be listed there
  • Make it clearer than it is now who is listed and why
  • Benefit those who contribute the most
  • Encourage service providers to contribute

Those that desire it, could add the name of their company in their name in Discuss, bugtracker and the rest of the tools to have better visibility.

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And how will you treat companies that we really do not want for many reasons like they are scamming or they redirect contact to concurrent solutions etc.

It really depends on the goal. I’m pretty sure the goal here is to have as much as possible to show a big number. But I tent to think that Tryton community is not about numbers but quality. And this should reflect in every aspect.

There are ways to deal with conflict of interest. And the by-laws of the Foundation has rules for that.

For sure it will be good to have a text that says that it is not an endorsement.

But this is a service that we currently offer. I think it is complicated for newcomers to correctly evaluate the expertise of other on something new to them.

I would say that it is really not difficult.

The rules are clear: Tryton - Become a Service Provider

Being active does not always mean having expertise. Also this could push to wrong behavior to increase the “activity”.

The current rules already do that prior to become a provider.
And if we did not put recently a new constraint on providing success stories, we will still have half of them.

I think it will damage the community if the tools become propaganda or advertising for companies.

To anyone how wants to sell tryton services (otherwise they won’t be interested) and give something in exchange (money or contribution).

For me having more engaged services providers will ensure having more contributions.

I do not think anyone not interested in giving back to the project will be interested on beeing a service provider because there are other projects that ease the benefit for the service provider. For example selling user licenses and getting a commission of it.

I do not agree rhis is checked with requiring a success story and conttibution. The only way to have a check on the service provider quality is to have certification exams that ensure they knowledge about Tryton.