Ubuntu community donation plans detailed
Ubuntu Community Council member Elizabeth Krumbach and Community Manager Jono Bacon have detailed Canonical's plans to distribute community-oriented donations from the donations page on the Ubuntu web site. After Canonical implemented a page asking for donations from users who download the Linux distribution, the company faced criticism for not making it sufficiently clear exactly how the money collected under the "community participation", "better coordination with Debian and upstreams" and "better support for flavours" sliders would be used. Bacon promised to deliver a plan to make the process more transparent and accountability more clear and this plan has now been delivered and has been approved by the Community Council.
Donations collected under the three community-oriented categories will be collected for a six-month period, in the time between two Ubuntu releases, and will be applied during the following development cycle. Any left over funds will be held over into the next cycle. The money in the three categories will be held separately and will benefit the Ubuntu community itself, upstreams and flavours respectively. Ubuntu Members can apply for funding by filling out a request detailing the purpose for which they want to receive funding. Ubuntu's Community Team, which is headed by Bacon, will then review the requests and decide on the amount of funding to be granted. According to the announcement, requests should "pay for things" like travel and equipment, rather than solicit arbitrary amounts of money.
Bacon says Canonical will publish "a summary of the available budget", "a list of items where money was spent with the dollar amounts" and "any remaining budget that will be carried over" at the end of each funding cycle. The first such report should emerge around April 2014 for the money collected in the 12.10 to 13.04 funding cycle which will be spent during the currently ongoing 13.10 development cycle.
Canonical has published details of how Ubuntu Members can apply for funding under the Ubuntu community and derivatives categories. Which category the money for this funding is taken from will depend on whether it is being used to benefit Ubuntu itself or one of its derivatives. So far, Canonical has not detailed how the money from the upstream-related category will be used. The funding from the two other categories is only available to Ubuntu Members.