donation to flavours in 2012

David Planella david.planella at
Fri May 22 13:13:23 UTC 2015

On Fri, May 22, 2015 at 12:40 AM, Jonathan Riddell <jr at> wrote:

> On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 02:02:22PM +0100, Paul Sladen wrote:
> > PS. Don't expect a windfall though, for perspective: on my own
> > guessimate, the six-month amounts likely wouldn't run the flavour
> > build infrastructure and community team for more than perhaps a mere
> > fortnight!
> The build infrastructure and other infrastructure was already
> committed to by Canonical in early 2012
> Donations for "better
> support of flavours" would need to be used for additions to that not
> servicing existing commitments.  Michael has said they were used for
> these existing commitments
> (
> ).
> It's a shame it took such a vast amount of everybody's time and energy
> to get this confirmed and it's a shame that I should be threatened and
> made to feel bad for enquiring, this is a very worrying characteristic
> of the Ubuntu community leadership.  The Canonical Community Team is
> unrelated to flavours.

Hi Jonathan,

Just to restate what others have already said on the thread, there is no
reason at all to feel bad about questioning or challenging decisions as
long as it's done in a respectful and constructive way. I personally admire
the work that you do, the dedication and the commitment you put in the
projects you are involved. You raise valid and important questions, but
sometimes I feel your approach alienates the very folks who are trying to
help, resulting in a circle of frustration at both ends, as they try to
their best to help regardless.

It did indeed take a lot of time and energy to review the donations program
in the past few months, both from the Canonical Community team and from the
Community Council, who have often patiently waited to get the information
from our end. It is complex to manage finances while trying to keep the
balance between the for-profit part of the company and financial support
for community initiatives, in as much a transparent way as possible given
the constraints. But I think it was a necessary process and everyone has
come up with a better understanding of the program. We identified the
positive outcomes, and also some mistakes along the way, which we publicly
acknowledged and reported [1] [2]. Most importantly, everyone agreed that
the donations program has been a success and continues fulfilling its
original goals.

I acknowledge the fact that the level of transparency we have nowadays
didn't exist for the initial donations period you are asking, but that is
the very reason why two years ago the donations program was created to
correct that situation (that and to provide a channel for community members
to request funds). Back then we did not have the mechanisms in place to
manage and track allocations to the same level of detail as we do today. As
the donations program developed and the current Community Team at Canonical
collectively took over it, we've concentrated in managing the process as it
is now, rather than retroactively reporting on the pre-donations-program
period, which was a promise that was never made.

I feel I'm repeating what has been mentioned in the past and again on this
thread: rather than lump sum allocations, the program has always been
structured on individual requests to fund a concrete initiative, project,
travel, etc. that benefits the wider Ubuntu community, including flavours.
In the particular case of Kubuntu, if I recall it correctly, we have never
declined a request, and donations have served Kubuntu in the same way as
any other community project.


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