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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
Moving the goalposts
Posted Mar 5, 2013 8:56 UTC (Tue) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Mar 5, 2013 18:58 UTC (Tue) by misc (subscriber, #73730)
RH had 343 millions $ of earning in Q3 of 2012. The company had around 5300 people on payroll at this time. According to SEC fillings, the expenses for Q3 is around 240 millions $.
Mozilla foundation, in 2010, spent 145 millions $ in expenses, for a payroll of around 250 people ( according to Quora and their own website ).
Canonical has around 500 people on payroll if i am not wrong. If I just divide by 10 to match the numbers of RH, that would mean operating expenses of at least 100 millions per year ( 4 * 24 millions ) for Canonical.
If I take the one of Mozilla, that mean around 300 millions of $ in expenses per year for Canonical.
So please now explain how 10 millions of $ put in 2005 on a bank account does address the sustainability in any way.
Either someone put something like 290 millions of $ to pay everybody for 3 years ( without any investment ), or there will be massive layoffs ( like 97% of the current work force ), along massive cost cutting changes ( like, not using one of the most expensive part of one one of the most expensive town of Europa as HQ, or not doing bi yearly events that cost around 500 000 euros to organize ).
Posted Mar 5, 2013 19:17 UTC (Tue) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Let us reverse your computations: $10M allow you to pay 33 developers for 3 years if you give them $100K each, or $50K including benefits. That should give Ubuntu developers some air should Canonical stop employing them, even if there were zero income -- and in fairness we have to suppose that Ubuntu would get some money from other interested organizations and some volunteer efforts.
It always amazes me how people can use numbers in ingenious ways to prove their point when Canonical is involved.
Posted Mar 5, 2013 20:54 UTC (Tue) by mmarq (guest, #2332)
I can think a lot of things, i can be wrong about many things, but i think a re-invention of the model for most of those will be in the order of the day... as example Mandriva is still alive and has a different model... only the forking spree seems more an act of desperation or a "forcing push trough the crowd" than a careful wise move.
Posted Mar 6, 2013 9:07 UTC (Wed) by misc (subscriber, #73730)
I based my computation on real life and verifiable numbers on the web ( and I would say, even stuff that are kinda legally required to reflect the truth ). You just take yours out of nowhere, forgetting lots of stuff that need to be paid. Just look at any foundation accounting to see how much this cost.
And both Mozilla and RH have highly decentralized workforce, both are in the same market segment as Canonical, so I am pretty sure that if Canonical started to publish now enough information to compare, the numbers would be the same. But feel free to find me a real life example of a organisation that match your numbers.
Also, 33 developpers are just 10% of the current canonical workforce. That's enough to make a small distribution, but in no way enough to sustain several complex project like Unity, Upstart, Bzr, Launchpad, Mir, Gwibber, Lightdm, Juju, Maas, AppArmor, software center, UbuntuOne, and all the distribution ( and port on others platforms like TV, phone, etc ).
You need people for QA, documentation, translation, system administration, etc.
Before people were fired from Mandriva to create Mageia, the company was around 50 person, split between Brasil and France. And this was barely enough to produce a OS and maintain in house code ( installer, drakxtools, etc ). There was less projects than Canonical, and they had income.
Not to mention that if 90% of your workforce leave, there is a high chance that all of them will not work for free for the project anymore ( see Stormy Peters talk about it, something around "would you do it again for free" ). There is also a high probability that you have to remove people who act as bridges with community, thus making the community angry ( again, look at Mandriva and the way people reacted when Adam Williamson or Gael Duval were asked to leave ).
And while you think people will pay to sustain Ubuntu, you are also not taking in account the fact that Canonical will not disappear in 1 day if the worst happen. If something happen that result into using the fund to create a fundation as a measure against Canonical financial problem, the whole project slowly start to go down, and then community will slowly leave ( again, Mandriva ), and so there is likely no others interested organisations to give any money.
A saner model would be to do it right now, when everything go well and to drop the whole CLA idea with copyright assignment to Canonical, cause this prevent others interested companies from investing time ( at least, not without lots of paperwork ). AFAIK, Suse, Google, RH and likely others have such policy, and while they can do it, they would not do for smaller projects.
This would also restore the confidence of community, after the various issues like "amazon integration dropped after the freeze", or "UDS announced 2 weeks before, thus causing issues to people who booked their holidays for it".
Posted Mar 6, 2013 9:40 UTC (Wed) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Mar 6, 2013 20:37 UTC (Wed) by misc (subscriber, #73730)
Posted Mar 6, 2013 20:22 UTC (Wed) by mmarq (guest, #2332)
>**there is a high chance that all of them will not work for free for the project anymore**
Oh! there is a good chance they will... and they could even end up paying for it to! lol... specially if they could derive a business out of it.
Maybe that is what makes me arrogant, but i never understood the lack of vision -> What is it that most ppl more connected to the F/OSS side really want ?
ummm... they want their own distro... no ?
So instead of a Mandriva 20388 or a Ubuntu Jolly Something... Why not a Mandriva or a Ubuntu "Stormy Peters" as example ?
In the same sense, since we are talking about "client side", but also perfectly appliable to any server version... why not a Ubuntu or Mandriva "MacDonal's" or "Ford" or "Boeing"... or more up to point a Mandriva or Ubuntu "local smaller company", with all the "local" customization, LOffice with the pertinent forms, the pertinent apps in place some that can be even CS commercial Linux versions.. etc ..etc ?
see the point ?
That seems a real good "re-invention" of the model... it is "service oriented" model, the main distro is only a big repository, app store kind of thing, and it can even adapt to the "masses" being all online compile-install with several degrees of customization...
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