Re: OPW; Where does the 500$ for each GSoC goes?

On 16/09/2014, Sébastien Wilmet <swilmet gnome org> wrote:
Thank you very much for your answer, Kat.

On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 06:12:15PM +0100, Ekaterina Gerasimova wrote:
interns attending events in 2014 were sponsored within allocated
travel budgets out of general funds or by sponsors for that event.

For the budget allocated for travel, would it be a lower bugdet if
interns are less sponsorized? or sponsorized to go to a nearer

The travel budgets for conferences are set before any applications are
received. The way that travel budgets are set for hackfests has
changed considerably in the last few years and you can find further
information about how the budget is currently set at

If an individual does not ask for sponsorship, then of course they
will not be sponsored and the whole budget may not be used up. On the
other hand, if an individual does ask for sponsorship, they may
receive anywhere from 0-100% of their request depending on their
specific situation.

To answer your question: yes, if fewer people ask for sponsorship,
less will be spent on sponsorship. If people only request sponsorship
to attend events which are closer to them, then also yes, less will be
spent on sponsorship assuming the total number of requests remains the

Now, speaking as someone who mentors people (interns and non-interns),
the documentation team holds extremely productive hackfests, which
normally take place in Europe or North America because those two
locations provide the best value for sponsorship to the Foundation.
Sending a newcomer who is joining the team to an event which does not
have a docs hackfest attached to it would not help them become part of
the team and spend a productive week hacking. The Foundation is very
likely to get better value for the money spent if that person received
more sponsorship to attend a docs event.

GNOME put $10000 towards interns in the 2013 financial year and $5000
in the 2014 financial year. That is one intern per OPW round except
summer 2014 which was completely covered by external sponsors. There
is currently a vote happening on the board mailing list with regards
to sponsoring an intern for winter 2014/2015, which will come to USD
6000.00 if it passes. It is hoped that external sponsors can be found
to cover all GNOME interns again.

Was it decided into closed doors?

I'm not really sure what you mean here. If you are asking whether
board-list and the board meetings are kept private, then yes they are,
but summaries of both are published in the meeting minutes with the
exception of some sensitive topics which are kept private. In recent
times, the board has chosen to list the title of the private items in
the minutes so that the membership is aware that discussion is
happening. Groupon is one example of an item where the actual
discussion is recorded privately at the moment.

It seems that many Gnomers find OPW worthwhile, I don't question that
(or many don't want to speak up because it's a touchy subject, or many
don't have a strong opinion). Google is one of the biggest companies,
and doesn't care about spending a few millions for the GSoC for having a
good image wrt open source community (yes I know, [citation needed]).
But for the Gnome Foundation, is it the same? By spending $15k, do the
Foundation sacrify on other areas?

The approach to budgeting is similar in that the Foundation and Google
both have a budget, but our budgets are quite different. Any spending
in any area means that that money cannot be spent in another area.

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