Mon 16 Dec 2019 1:38PM

CoTech Fund spending proposal #1

AC Animorph Co-op Public Seen by 84

It was agreed on the second day of Newcastle 2019 gathering that CoTech Fund could reimburse Webarchitects for running (a part of) our infrastructure. The breakdown of the running services indicates the following WebArchitects contributions we are using on daily basis:

  • coops.tech domains name, £62.82 per year

  • Discourse server, 4GB RAM, £1,450 per year

  • 2 x static hosting accounts for coops.tech and dev.coops.tech, £60 per year

  • wiki.coops.tech hosting, £115 per year

This amounts to £1687.82 per year and this is the amount proposed to be initially one-off payment to Webarchitects. It would enable us to consider what services we are using and need in the future.

For more info, go to Newcastle 2019 fund wiki page.

According to the rules for approving spending we agreed on in Sheffield earlier this year, a group thread is formed for everyone to view but only the co-ops who pay into the fund can object to the spending. List of the co-ops is in Sheffield 2019 CoTech fund minutes file. More info on approving spending on respective fund wiki page.


Poll Created Mon 16 Dec 2019 1:41PM

To pay for some of the costs incurred on WebArchitects to run CoTech infrastructure - £1687.82 Closed Mon 23 Dec 2019 1:03PM

More details in the thread as well as on Newcastle 2019 Fund wiki.


Results Option % of points Voters
Consent 100.0% 1 AH
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Objection 0.0% 0  

1 of 122 people have voted (0%)


Aaron Hirtenstein
Mon 16 Dec 2019 2:50PM

Totally agree that this should be covered, and in future by the network as a whole. We may also want to review the tech stack moving forward to ensure we are using what we pay for. Thanks to Webarchitects for getting us this far!


Chris Croome (Webarchitects Co-operative) Mon 16 Dec 2019 2:20PM

Note that the prices above are the prices we would charge an external client and the less used infrastructure (for example the 6 CPU / 8GB RAM / 173G disk Nextcloud server) hasn't been included. If this proposal passes I'm going to propose that Webarchitects start paying into the CoTech fund — we haven't done so in the past as we felt that our infrastructure contribution was as much as we could afford.


Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Mon 16 Dec 2019 3:26PM

This sounds like a good idea, and I'm glad we're starting to recognise the cost of this.

Are we saying that this would be the cost of the infrastructure for the calendar year 2020? I think that would make sense and like Aaron says it might prompt us to reconsider some costs (discourse offer official hosting for $100/month for example)

Would it be possible to tack on something here Chris? I love the git.coop instance you host, and it's really useful. Can the cost for that somehow be included? And in addition if we're paying for that for all of CoTech could we whitelist all CoTech member domain names so that they can have git.coop accounts? At the moment, at hack days for example, a new contributer has to come and find you and join WebArchitects before they can push code - which is a bit more friction than I'd like.


Chris Croome (Webarchitects Co-operative) Mon 16 Dec 2019 4:03PM

I understand that the proposal above is for 2019 not 2020.

I don't know how much RAM the official hosting plan servers have, however if we wanted to be hosted by Discourse on corporate servers (all their services run behind Amazon Cloudfront) and still wanted to keep the plugins we have, then I'm not sure if any option would be suitable, as the Events and Map plugins are developed by an independent co-op, Pavillion and are not offered by the official hosting. In terms of disk space we are using 2.1G for root, 2.5G for /var/discourse and 5G for /var/lib/docker (60G of disk space is allocated to the server in total). For the last 30 days there were 2.1k page views and there are 8 staff accounts, overall I'd suggest that it isn't really possible to make a direct comparison.

The GitLab git.coop server has 20G of RAM (it did have a lot less and was incrementally increased until it was high enough to ensure that the nightly backup jobs didn't fail) and 420G of disk space and 8 CPUs and the GitLab runner server (this is used to update the CoTech web site for example) has 10G of RAM, 90G of disk space and 6 CPUs, our public VPS prices don't go up this high, but in any case I don't think it would be appropriate for CoTech to fund the cost of this, other CoTech co-ops like Outlandish and Agile have their own GitLab servers to pay for.

CoTech buying shares in Webarchitects and having all the member domains whitelisted does sound like a good idea but I think we would need to have a membership fee to join CoTech first?


Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Mon 16 Dec 2019 4:25PM

Thanks Chris!

In general I think I'd feel slightly more comfortable paying for the infrastructure upfront so that we have an idea of the costs, but I think it makes sense to try and get you something for the hosting you've done so far.

It's a bit less interesting for me personally what the specifications of the machines etc. are - I think I'd rather pay WA / you for a combination of your time and the resources (I understand that things will be hosted on shared servers etc, but am happy to take your word for the costs), so perhaps a strategy for git.coop would for you to set a "per-repo" price or something?

Perhaps I should start another proposal for CoTech to buy membership in WA? I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean about membership fees.


Chris Croome (Webarchitects Co-operative) Mon 16 Dec 2019 4:51PM

The background to whitelisting of domains for account creation on git.coop being linked to membership shares of Webarchitects can be found on this Loomio thread, the suggested number of shares doesn't cover the cost of providing the service but we make a lot of use of it internally (it is used a lot by the Webarchitects workers, me especially) and allowing more people to have use of it helps share costs.

The server resources used is a bit of a side issue, but it is partly what we use to work our costs (in addition to time spent maintaining things) but note that GitLab, Discourse and Nextcloud (with all the add-ons) are very heavy on computing resources, the static CoTech site however is at the other end of the spectrum and uses hardly any 🙂.


Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Mon 16 Dec 2019 6:13PM

That's great background Chris thank you! The problem I'm interested in solving is removing the friction for folks to contribute to shared code, so I'll have a think. Let's park this for now to keep this proposal on topic (sorry for dragging it off-topic everyone!). I'll have a chat with you in the new year and we can start a separate proposal if we can come up with a good solution.


Animorph Co-op Wed 18 Dec 2019 11:10AM

Thank you for this discussion it provides a helpful background to the topic.

Perhaps at the coming gathering we can go over all the services that WA has been providing (and what they could provide) and how CoTech should address this in a forward-looking way.

Regarding git.coop I think it might make sense to set up another vote for CoTech becoming member of WA. One of the questions would be how many shares should we buy to whitelist all the coops in the network?


Autonomic Co-operative Tue 24 Dec 2019 1:06PM

Could you reopen voting? Only one person voted maybe because its xmas 🙂


Animorph Co-op Mon 30 Dec 2019 11:57AM

hi, there was no need to vote. The procedure was approved earlier this year in Sheffield and is linked above - if there is no objections the proposal passes. Only the co-ops who have paid so far could object, the current list is on the discourse.


Poll Created Tue 24 Mar 2020 12:18PM

Cover costs of CoTech Loomio subscription - Volunteer & Community Orgs - $125 Closed Tue 31 Mar 2020 11:03AM

by Animorph Co-op Tue 14 Apr 2020 4:46PM


Thank you for supporting the proposal, the community subscription plan has now been purchased and we can use Loomio in current capacity until the 4th of April 2021.

They payment has been set up as recurring but we will check-in with everyone next March before renewing.

Animorph will shortly invoice CoTech to get reimbursed by the fund for £106.08.

Loomio introduced subscription plans that make our CoTech account inactive. As a result we cannot do many things, e.g. start a new thread.

Researching ways to upgrade our Loomio revealed we are eligible for Volunteer & Community Org plan (as opposed to regular pricing).

After filling out the application, the cost turns out to be $125 per year.

Could we spend this money from the fund? If no one objects to this proposal, Animorph will purchase the plan and get reimbursed.
Only members of the fund can vote.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 88.9% 8 JD AH AM SF CLF AC NGW C
Abstain 11.1% 1 AC
Disagree 0.0% 0  

9 of 127 people have voted (7%)


Josef Davies-Coates
Tue 24 Mar 2020 11:05PM

Not a member of the fund yet, but want to be :P


Autonomic Co-operative
Wed 25 Mar 2020 5:11PM

In favour!


Aaron Hirtenstein
Thu 26 Mar 2020 11:04AM

Absolutely! I would also like to encourage those coops that aren't currently contributing to the fund to consider if they can help, in order to support the basic infrastructure we all use as part of the network


Chris Lowis (Go Free Range)
Fri 27 Mar 2020 6:44PM

Sounds good to us! Happy to support Loomio and I think we'll get more use out of it in the future.


Shaun Fensom
Mon 30 Mar 2020 9:22AM



Nick Greenhill (Co-op Web) Wed 25 Mar 2020 5:06PM