Good article about financing open source projects

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Good article about financing open source projects

Post by Kenden » Tue Jun 14, 2005 2:50 pm

I found a pretty good article about volunteering and financing free software projects I thought I would share with you:

I think it goes further than the analysis of the results of the questionnaire made at the Blender conf 2004: ... ummary.pdf

Comparing the Blender development and the recommendations of this article, it seems the Blender fundation is doing pretty good, funding conferences, part time technical support and other things. Maybe a bit more transparency might be good, though (IMHO).

There is a suggestion of the article on how to spend an open source project's money that I think is interesting: "funding code sprints".
A code sprint is like a conference, but with only experienced coders developing together for about a week, and it seems to be quite a booster for development.

Here is the conclusion of the article, for those with no time. But the rest is still worth a read!

"Funding voluntary free software projects is not easy if one wants to maintain the project's voluntary nature. The least risky solutions may lead many people in leadership positions to feel like they are acting with their hands tied. That said, the drawbacks can be necessary evils of a volunteer-based model that leads to better code and to the superior development practices at the center of open source and free software's success.

For those who go ahead and introduce paid labor into a primarily voluntary free software project, it's important that they keep in mind the difference between free and proprietary development models. Especially for those with experience in proprietary software development, the most natural way of spending money sacrifices many of the benefits of open source and free software development that are tied intrinsically to volunteer labor.

Those spending money should consider pursuing funding models that avoid paying individuals and should strongly consider the benefits and drawbacks described here when doing so. They should only do so strategically and while maintaining a high degree of transparency. Above all, both funders and members of projects should strive to stay critical, stay creative, and stay transparent throughout the entire funding process. Done critically, creatively, and transparently, voluntary free software projects can use money and paid labor to a tremendous benefit that only magnifies their accomplishments."


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