Perl 6
Perl 6 Donations and Fundraising: Revision 13

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Introduction

NOTE: This page is still under initial construction (i.e. more stuff from this fundraising thread is still being incorporated).

The purpose of this page is to consolidate information and discussions on Perl 6 and Parrot fundraising, with the aim of greatly increasing financial support for Perl 6 development.

This page is intended to become more general in scope:

  • The initial focus on financial fundraising doesn't preclude soliciting other types of useful resources (such as test hardware).
  • The initial focus on Perl 6 and Parrot doesn't preclude supporting other Perl 6 development efforts (such as Pugs or SMOP).
  • The initial focus on the Perl Foundation doesn't preclude soliciting support for other institutions that could get involved with Perl 6 development (such as for Universities).
  • The initial focus on donations doesn't preclude considering other activities that could support Perl 6 development (such as business-related activities).

Donations and fundraising tend to be an unnecessarily contentious issues. Please keep the concurrent version of TIMTOWTDI in mind.

Also of interest: Perl 6 Sponsors and Supporters (Thanks!!).

How to Help Now

The Perl Foundation is the focus of Perl support.

Where to Donate Now

To be determined (see "Pending Fundraising Questions" below).

How to Fundraise Now

To be determined (see "Pending Fundraising Questions" below).

General Fundraising Discussions

Background

This wiki page had its genesis in the following Perl 6 fundraising thead on Perl 6 Users:

http://www.nntp.perl.org/group/perl.perl6.users/2008/02/msg685.html

That thread had some independent continuations on the language and compiler groups. There were additional off-list discussions, some of which are also reflected here.

Current Status of Perl 6 Fundraising

Pending Fundraising Questions

These questions are presently under consideration by the Perl Foundation (as of 2008-02-24), and this section will be updated in a week or two, when key people are available to respond:

  • What changes are needed for the Perl Foundation to accept earmarked donations for specific Perl 6 projects, tasks, or developers?
  • What will be the process for making such donations?

Additional Fundraising Questions and Suggestions

These questions and suggestions are next in line:

  • Can TPF handle the fundraising pool for funding chromatic for 1 month? (3 people have already offered $500 each, contingent on getting a total of $5,000.)
  • Could TPF set up a Perl 6 sabbatical fund to match donations from businesses or individuals with people able to work for one to six weeks on a specific project?
  • Could TPF provide a means for people (or institutions) to sign up for monthly donations for a specific objective?

Fundraising Suggestions

Suggested Task Areas

Specific Proposals

Want to do additional Perl 6 related work, but need financial support? Put your name, proposed task, proposed duration, and proposed amount here.

  • chromatic, critical path Parrot hacking, 1 month, $5,000.
    • Remove need to export all PMC vtable symbols
    • Reduce PCCINVOKE boilerplate in METHODs/PCCMETHODs
    • Refactor C source code, especially src/inter_call.c
    • Create callgrind-compatible profiler for PIR/PASM ops, functions, and files
    • ...
  • ...

Fundraising 101

Temporary copy of Richard Hainsworth post ((CWSto split into suggestions, etc.))

In my $life, I raise money from sponsors.

It is not difficult to spend money, once you have it.
It is not difficult to raise money, once you know how to spend it wisely.

What's difficult is putting the two together.

Some donors know what to contribute to - they choose specific projects and people.
Some donors want to help achieve a general aim - they give to a foundation that will wisely spend the money for them (eg. Warren Buffet giving gazillions to Bill Gate's foundation).
Any sponsorship program should enable both ear-marked and general contributions (and I am certain if the paper-work's done right, this can be achieved within TPF).

To be frank, the ONLY reasonable systematic way of managing a sponsorship process is to have a Foundation, and the foundation should have people who are trusted, who already have contributed to the process, and who are prepared to report back on how the money has been spent. The Perl Foundation meets these criteria.

If you spend time on administration, you are using resources, in just the same way as programmers hacking on the code. So if the officers of the Foundation are paid for their efforts, that is acceptible so long as the payments are commensurate with resources spent in other directions.
It is not a mathematical formula, its a question of balance and fairness and transparency.

No one likes bureacracy. But I feel much happier about handing over money, or persuading someone else to hand over money, to a group of people with established procedures and collective responsibility, than to some enthusiatic individual who promises the earth and whose the world-number-one genius at code writing, but might also go and blow the whole lot on girls and booze cos his cat died.

Whilst debating issues like parrot vs pugs, or single-track vs parellel track development, can be quite interesting, especially if it induces Larry to compare straight lines to mountains and railroads, it is likely to be more useful to have suggestions like chromatic's - 1month of dedicated work for $5000.

How about adding a page to one of the web sites where offers of help, time and expense, can be made?

The micro-grants idea is great. What I have seen of the results and reporting is fine. More grants, more people, and more results are needed. How about everyone reading this thread thinking about a micro-project they can do.

Finally, there needs to be recognition for the sponsors, both those that donate their talent resources such as volunteer designer, implementors, & hackers, and those that donate just cash.

How about a mandatory section of text at the top of each core and sponsored module that lists the sponsors? Just like license text. That way all contributors are recognised when/if perl6 becomes the predominant programming environment, those names become distributed around the world.

Fundraising Cases for Supporting Perl 6 Development

Generically Oriented

Independent Software Vender (ISV) Oriented

Hardware Oriented

The advantages of Perl 6's adaptibility for more effectively exploiting the changing hardware landscape.

Open Source Oriented

Academically Oriented

The role of Perl 6, Parrot, and CPAN6 for developing extended multi-language infrastructure, leading to "programming's new Library of Alexandria" and "WikiCPAN6pedia".

Governmental

Much academic work in the USA is funded by federal grants. There is usually some sort of case involved for advancing the technological state of the art, for increasing economic competitiveness, and so on.

Futurist Oriented

For extreme-meme futurists:

"Perl 6, the programming language of the technological Singularity."

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