[Qgis-psc] [QGIS-Developer] QGIS budget 2023 RFC

Vincent Picavet (ml) vincent.ml at oslandia.com
Mon Dec 5 02:27:39 PST 2022

Hi Andreas, all,

On 24/11/2022 16:09, Andreas Neumann wrote:
> We did not really discuss the hourly rates at the budget meeting.
> From 2021 to 2022 we raised the hourly dev rates from 100 to 110 -
> and the hourly documentation rates from 40 to 44. I know that both
> rates are low. We can discuss raising them again.

My question was general, and actually includes all prices. I have no definite opinion on this topic, as it can be complicated given the disparity of inflation according to what price we are talking about, and also geographically speaking.

> The plan for the two positions was not to have direct employees of
> QGIS.ORG <http://QGIS.ORG>, but to use a proxy company, in our case
> Kartoza, to act as the employer. Also - our budget does not allow
> regular European or North-American salaries. With these limitations
> at hand, we can use Kartoza as a proxy to hire employees in certain
> parts of the world where the salaries we can offer can be attractive
> - and where they have talented people to work on some of our issues
> (sysadmin, documentation, etc.)

I have very mixed feelings about this, and it raises lots of questions we definitely have to clear out before establishing any process.

- Using a proxy company is very similar to me than having direct employees, if these positions have no clear limits of time and perimeter
- Using a proxy company instead of direct employees can be considered illegal according to local legislation. I do not know for Swiss law.
- How was Kartoza selected ? Was there an open process for other companies to apply ? Who decided and on what criteria ? The fact that the company owned by a member of QGIS PSC is selected is a big red flag for me, if the process is not fully transparent and fair for others.
- "our budget does not allow European or North-American salaries" : see below for the budget volume comments. But I have very mixed feelings about this statement : it sounds exactly like social dumping. I do not know what would be fair to select employees, and I recognize it to be a complex issue, but in some ways it does not feel right.
> For the documentation part: Tim and Harrissou are involved in the
> selection process of the candidates.

Is the process and selection committee documented somewhere ?

> I agree that the grant budget with 10k is not very attractive. We
> also discussed skipping it for one year. Not sure what is better ...
> BTW: you can all help to find new sustaining members ... that would
> increase our budget and would allow us to pay better hourly rates
> ...
> I wish we had a larger budget at hand than the +/- 200k € we seem to
> be able to attract each year. From certain countries where we know we
> have a lot of QGIS users (France, Italy - just to name two of them)
> there are not a lot of sustaining members or donations other than
> from a few private persons and very small companies. Maybe companies
> like yours could help us to get in touch with the larger companies
> with a lot of QGIS users that could become new sustaining members ...
> Do you think that would be possible?

First of all, complaining that our budget is too low is definitely not the way to consider the problem : QGIS.org budget will, by definition, **always** be too low compared to what we could need. Developing a software and managing a community is a boundless task and you can always find tasks and work packages to spend all the money you can imagine of.

I agree that QGIS.org could attract more sustaining members. I just hope you are not accusing Oslandia of not doing our job of proselitysm, QGIS community support, communication and globally QGIS.org and QGIS software contributions. We do our part for sure.

... And this is not the point, as I said the question I raise is not how to increase our budget, since the exact same issues will araise with a larger budget.

The questions are :
- A/ how do we use our existing budget for most important things to support
- B/ what our decisions processes are, where are they documented, and are they clear, transparent and fair

As for A, one of my take is that seeing the grant budget disappear this year is a pity, especially seeing other amounts dedicated to documentation for example.

As for B, I consider that there is a lot of progress to do to make recent decisions and actions clean and trustworthy.

Should we want to attract new sustaining members giving money to QGIS.org, we must have an exemplary behaviour in how we decide how to use this money.


> Andreas
> On Thu, 24 Nov 2022 at 15:05, Vincent Picavet (ml) via QGIS-Developer
> <qgis-developer at lists.osgeo.org
> <mailto:qgis-developer at lists.osgeo.org>> wrote:
> Hello,
> Thanks for sharing the budget with the community.
> A few questions / remarks : - in most countries, we can see a general
> inflation, having consequences on every kind of costs ( hosting,
> salaries…). Did you take this context into account when preparing the
> budget, especially when basing planned 2023 costs on actual 2022
> costs ? - the cut on Grant budget is really hard. With a "reasonable"
> mean budget of 5K per grant, this would mean 2 grants only this year.
> It sounds more or less like the end of the grant program. Who would
> candidate if chances to be selected are really low ? Wouldn't there
> be a way to mitigate it a bit, through various smaller budget
> reductions to other budget lines ? The increase in documentation
> contribution is huge compared to the grant decrease. I fear that we
> loose grants as a mean to attract new core developers.
> My most important remark is about "allow for a regular small salary
> .. for one person on each item". Disclaimer : I am quite strongly
> against QGIS.org having employees. If we are in the process of having
> "regular workers" for qgis.org <http://qgis.org>, then we really have
> to work hard on : - having a clear, written and transparent process
> for how to select these people - .. process including a fair way for
> anyone to candidate I may have missed some communications, but I have
> not seen this in place up to now. This is definitely something we
> have to put in place before having some internal troubles.
> Best regards, Vincent
> On 24/11/2022 12:07, Marco Bernasocchi wrote:
>> Hi all, we prepared the QGIS budget for 2023 and would like to
>> have feedback before submitting it to the voting members for
>> approval. You can directly leave comments in the file [1].
>> Please let us have any Feedback until December 4th. On december
>> 7th we'll send the budget for vote.
>> Cheers Marco
>> [1] 
>> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WyoZCKOehNhU5YB4pFPOuiJbie1mUmMPiq8YW7qyez0/edit?usp=sharing
>> <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WyoZCKOehNhU5YB4pFPOuiJbie1mUmMPiq8YW7qyez0/edit?usp=sharing>
> <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WyoZCKOehNhU5YB4pFPOuiJbie1mUmMPiq8YW7qyez0/edit?usp=sharing
> <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WyoZCKOehNhU5YB4pFPOuiJbie1mUmMPiq8YW7qyez0/edit?usp=sharing>>
>> -- Marco Bernasocchi
>> QGIS.org Chair OPENGIS.ch CEO http://berna.io <http://berna.io>
>> <http://berna.io <http://berna.io>>
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> --
> -- Andreas Neumann QGIS.ORG <http://QGIS.ORG> board member
> (treasurer)

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