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The Almighty Buck Operating Systems BSD

Funding An Individual BSD Developer 141

PuceBaboon writes "Poul-Henning Kamp,a committed FreeBSD developer (the main contributor to "jails", one of my favourite features) has lost his main contract and is appealing for funding to enable him to work on FreeBSD exclusively for the rest of the year."
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Funding An Individual BSD Developer

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  • by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @10:45AM (#8837438) Homepage
    RedHat charged people $60/year for access to binary updates (the company which has taken over supplying updates to old RedHat releases also charges the same rate). MandrakeClub costs at least $60/year, with a "Recommended level" of $120/year.

    As phk wrote, "Imagine if some of our users sent $1/month for each FreeBSD machine they were running." There are a lot of people and companies running FreeBSD, and it wouldn't take much from each of them to pay for several people to work full-time on FreeBSD.
    • by dotz ( 683519 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @11:25AM (#8837797)
      • And, as phk says, you'll get much more, than just some binary updates.

        A good thing, too, considering how much I've gathered in donations from FreeBSD Update: $10 plus a new computer which is dedicated to the task of building those updates. (That's with over 3000 users.)
      • Wait a second, we have to pay for this shit? Come guys be serious, tell this guy to get a real job and leave the open source stuff to volunteers. Money grubbing programmers always gotta ruin a good thing...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2004 @12:53PM (#8838759)
      There are a lot of people and companies running FreeBSD, and it wouldn't take much from each of them to pay for several people to work full-time on FreeBSD.


      I work for a firm with at least 50 FreeBSD boxes. After the recent tcp advisory the boss cant stop with semi-serious offensive comments about the BSD community. I'm now trying to get him to realise that the weight of his complaints are directly proportional to what he's contributed to FreeBSD... i.e. nothing.

      Now if there was some way to allow him to pay money into FreeBSD... and have a say... I'm sure he'd go for it. I mean he pays for an MS TechNet subscription and all that seems to get him is a few CDs every month. Hell, this would be in addition to the ongoing FreeBSD development, so there would be a net gain.
      • Does your boss make the same "semi-serious offensive comments" about the Linux community, Sun, Microsoft, IBM, HP and Compaq every time a security advisory is issued for one of their operating systems? Sounds more like your boss wants to move away from FreeBSD for some other reason (ignorance is a pretty common one) and is using the advisory as ammunition. You should ask him to compare FreeBSD's overall security record with the other OS's your company uses and maybe he'll learn to appreciate it enough to th
        http: //

        Have you mentioned how frequently Microsoft Windows security advisories come out vs. FreeBSD advisories?
      • Sorry, this too:
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The funding should go to the main project and not an individual developer. Nomatter how much work he can get done this way, it illustrates a problem with essentially free distributions. SOME funding is always going to be needed and I think most commercial entities would pay a small licence if so was required. Essentially there should be a payment system much like SUN uses for downloading evaluation versions of Solaris.
      • In an ideal world, I'd say you are spot on here, but unfortunately, this is not an ideal world.

        Any amount of administration needs somebody to do that, if you administer money, some tax-entity will want to know about it and will want you to do it according to a set of rules, and quite likely, want you to pay tax on it too.

        As I wrote in my solicitation, I wish the foundation could have handled this, but they did not have the resources to deal with it, mostly, and that is the interesting bit: lack of time.

  • Honorably Done (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by judmarc ( 649183 )
    Hope you make your goal, Poul-Henning, or rather that the community makes it possible. I'm shoveling all my money into a new-house-sized hole as fast as I can or you'd have my donation already.
  • donate a bit! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by medelliadegray ( 705137 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @03:38PM (#8840474)
    seriously,i can understand students with no jobs shying away from donating to fbsd. For everyone else out there, if peeps donated just a bit (either to this guy or the FBSD foundation) then perhaps projects like this could be funded more frequently. just a couple bucks from most people is all it takes.
  • Beer-ware (Score:5, Informative)

    by Piquan ( 49943 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @06:23PM (#8842165)

    A fair bit of phk's code is under the Beer-ware license:

    * "THE BEER-WARE LICENSE" (Revision 42):
    * <phk@FreeBSD.ORG> wrote this file. As long as you retain this notice you
    * can do whatever you want with this stuff. If we meet some day, and you think
    * this stuff is worth it, you can buy me a beer in return Poul-Henning Kamp

    (Some formatting changed for the lameness filter)

    In all likelyhood, I'll never meet phk, so I reckon I can donate instead of buying him a beer directly.

  • Such a Deal! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stox ( 131684 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @12:45AM (#8844758) Homepage
    I have been in the unique position of working in close proximity with some incredible programmers over the course of my career. Although I have never worked with PHK, I have been the happy user of some of his work. $66K/year for PHK's time has got to be the deal of the century! Even in our post bubble burst economy.

  • Interview (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CaptainPinko ( 753849 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @06:03PM (#8853665)
    Maybe in a few weeks someone should have an interview with this guy and maybe it could even make it to the front page? That should get more exposure and if includes a line like we are already 75% of the way there then I'm sure that will help the donatations role in. I suspect that some people are worried about not making the minimum and just having their donation get lost there as opposed to some real important work getting done.

    My bet: if the minimum gets met than at least two of the months will go too since it will prove that this works.

  • by weekendwarrior1980 ( 768311 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @07:36PM (#8854810) Homepage
    From dragonfly.kernel:

    :By the way i suppose everyone is aware of the fundraising campaign by
    :phk to be able to precisely work on vfs for> FreeBSD-5 (please, i don't know
    :if mentioning this name here is kosher, don't flame me ...). By reading his :memo :
    :i cannot refrain remarking some similarities between the work he wants to
    :engage into, and your own agenda on vfs. Isn't it appearing as some sort of
    :duplication of work in a domain where very unfortunately resources are
    :scarce? :
    :Michel Talon

    I came across that but I really doubt that our visions are even remotely similar. Our work is going to be based on our well tested LWKT stuff. FreeBSD-5 does not have any LWKT stuff, or anything remotely similar to it. It also strikes me odd that it should require money for work to progress. I realize that there are potentially many people who would like to work on open source to the exclusion of their normal jobs, but the meager amounts of money that can be raised by our projects does not come close to replacement income for even a single person. Money also severely skews the governance structure, creating pressures and consequences that can result in a failure of the normal open source peer review process. In fact, I believe this is precisely what has occured in the FreeBSD project, on multiple occassions, in the last few years. -Matt Matthew Dillon
  • by itsmarcos ( 527063 ) <> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:25AM (#8867054) Homepage
    Quoting his FAQ: "So this email is an appeal to the FreeBSD user community, to try to raise money for three to six months of my time to make our filesystem and disk-I/O subsystem work properly on both single-user and multi-processor systems."

    I believe that if he puts up a small work plan with the following items he will convince more funding from corporations such as Yahoo!, Apple, etc.

    More details on the work he wants to do.

    A description of the benefits from the output and who will benefit most.

    Milestones and a rough timeline.

    A priorities list on the work.
    Just my opinion...

  • Congratulations! (Score:2, Informative)

    by kace ( 557434 )
    According to the fundraising page (see cheesy HTML bar graphs here []) 98.7% of the goal for 6 months funding has already been reached.
    • And by the CVS timestamp on the page it seems the goal was reached the day after the parent was posted. This is great.

      I just out of idle curiosity looked up the slashdot story again curious to see how things were going. I had been babbling to my wife in the grocery story about this appeal for full time funding, and how I hoped it was going to work out... for the good of ALL... yes, i was babbling, but she pretended to by sympathetic at least.

      This is really, really great.

      It would be even greater if th

  • by erik_norgaard ( 692400 ) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:14AM (#8903403) Homepage
    According to the donation page, the funding goals has been reached. This took about ... uhm, two weeks? It is interesting to see that posting an appeal for funding can raise so much money so quick. Was it /.? Or was it because the project had well defined goals? (Resolving certain buffer related issues). Was it the phk karma? I have no idea of the funding the freebsd foundation gets, but maybe they would be able to raise more money quickly if they announced specific projects with specific funding needs, project description, expected timelines and milestones. Personally, I am more likely to sponsor a concrete project with clear goals. It gives a sence of knowing what you get for the money and that this money is not swallowed by administration or other borring tasks. I think this should raise a discussion in the community as to how funding is raised and used.

(null cookie; hope that's ok)