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Perl Foundation Funding Goals: 2005-2006

posted by KM on 2005.02.14 11:43   Printer-friendly
Allison writes "Thanks to amazingly generous members of the Perl community The Perl Foundation was able to fund Damian Conway, Larry Wall, and Dan Sugalski in 2002-2003. In 2005-2006 we hope to repeat this pattern and fund Larry Wall, Patrick Michaud, Leopold Tötsch, and a second Parrot developer. Why now? For one thing, Parrot and Perl 6 are both close enough to completion that a few full-time developers could polish them off in a very small number of "Christmases". Another (more urgent) reason is that we've just learned that we have about 6 weeks left of Leo's time before he's forced to take a sabbatical from Parrot to pursue the noble task of "putting food on the table". This would set the project back by six months or more. So here we stand, on the edge of acceleration or a severe setback. US $200 funds a day of developer time; you can read more about it in the Perl 6 & Parrot Proposal.

Our sincere thanks go to the German Perl Workshop organizers and participants, who got things started by donating funds for just over 20 days of developer time."

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • Is it just me, or does this sound like a professional swindle?

    "We're almost done with a project that needs just a small cash infusion and mankind everywhere will reap the benefits. We have little (or nothing) to show for 5 years of work but if you trust us -- and send us cash -- we'll come up with something quickly. Please make your checks payable in Nigerian funds..."

    Autrijus seems to have cobbled together much of Perl 6 in a couple of weeks. Shouldn't we rather send money to an inspired hacker like this than disconnected academics working at goverment-project pace?

    There's no indication of how much they're trying to raise, or how they're going to raise it. What if they don't hit their target of $35k for each module? Spread the money around evenly and poorly? Fund one programmer to do it all? With all of the ROI and accounting that came from TPI, throwing *this* much money at anything Perl related merits serious consideration. This isn't 1999, there's no company with oodles of cash to waste on something like this and programmers aren't swimming in cash these days either.

    Leo's leaving and *this* is why there's a 6-week push on? To try and get a project funded and "complete" and a critical programmer might walk away from it is *insane*. Yes, Leo's made some wonderful contributions to P6I/P6L but to hang an entire 5 year project on any one programmer is nuts -- for Open Source or proprietary software development.

    What makes these guys more likely to produce in 6 weeks what they have failed to produce in 5 years? After 5 years, the writer indicates that Perl 6 could be polished off in a "very small number of Christmases".

    Two? Five? How much longer? How much more investment?

    If this were an itch that really needed to be scratched, it would be done already.
  • by knobunc (4532) on 2005.02.15 15:48 (#38267)
    Unlike some on the other side of this thread, I respect the people involved and the time and effort they have contributed to the project.

    I enjoy reading the apocalypses, synopses and exegeses. I enjoy reading the mailing list summaries. I have been too lame to actually contribute any of my time to the project, but if I can do a little to help and we all do a little to help then we can hopefully push this thing closer to completion.

    -ben
  • by Alkon (5674) on 2005.02.15 20:16 (#38275)
    Slow movement of Perl6/Parrot is not a problem. First of all it is not actually very slow, it develops about the same rate Perl5 was developing at its time back, but Parrot and Perl6 are much more sophisticated and advanced technologies than even Perl5, so developers progress very well given larger scope of Perl6/Parrot project. Then, we do not have an urgent need for new language because Perl5 is so damn good, that I personally, the developer of quite a sophisticated Perl application, never felt restricted by Perl5 workspace and never felt the need for other language as well. Moreover, Perl5 outpaces any existing production grade languages in many respects - that is why I love it so very much and want to say big THANKS to all off you Perl5 team (I know names of each and every one of you). So, for the time being Perl5 is more than enough. What worries me more is that The Perl Foundation is apparently weak in fund raising. What TPF is all about, if Leo (or other key developers), who made such an enormous contribution, have to even think about "putting food on a table"? Parrot needs at least (!) 3 full-time developers paid up to the highest industry standards that commercial developers enjoy for much less demanding jobs they have. The same is true for Perl6 and Perl5 as well, and this minimum (!) funding level should be kept by TPF regardless of projects' state-of-completion - development is an ongoing core process that TPF is all about. And even this is ridiculously small funding level that is in striking disproportion with Perl's role in the industry. Why TPF's is so shy in fund raising? Given such obviously poor state of development funding, the fund raising campaign should be the major thing that TPF management should be constantly obsessed with. You have entire Perl community at your disposal to develop high profile sustainable fund raising campaign. To raise funds we need to make a lot of industry-wide noise about Perl6 and Parrot, and Perl community can help a lot if mobilized properly by TPF. We can learn making noise from commercial companies, and we can afford it, cause Perl community is far larger than even largest commercial company and many members of Perl community that are unable to support TPF financially can easily contribute a lot of noise. We also have a number of other open source projects that we can learn from. I think we badly lack momentum in what is beyond development itself, and development suffers as a result, cause everything is interrelated in this world.
  • Why I give

    (Score:2)
    by mir (51) <upo@xmltwig.com> on 2005.02.17 5:05 (#38299)
    ( http://www.xmltwig.com/ )

    I have given in the past, and I will give again this time. And I demand no extra (and costly) accountability.

    I give first because for the last 9 years perl has made me happy to be a programer. So I have already gotten a lot for what little money I have given to TPF. I have gotten Perl 5. And I make a living thanks to it. So if Larry wants to take my money and use it to buy pink paint because he believes that the sky should indeed be pink, then so be it. I don't go asking the stockholders at Adobe or Microsoft what they do with the money I gave them.

    But in any case I think that the people involved in Perl 6 actually enjoy designing a language, so that's probably what they will do with our money. Otherwise they would be doing something else, and getting paid a lot more money I'm sure.

    Then as far as "The Perl 6 project is not transparent enough" and "we need specs". Well, what on Earth are the Apocalypes/Synopsys/Exegesis? They sure read like specs to me. And slightly better than any language specs that I have ever written for sure. Not to mention that the whole project happens before our eyes in the various Perl 6 mailing lists. So really I see the project producing material and I feel that I can follow it if I want. Maybe it doesn't go as fast as we would like, but then giving money or time is likely to be more productive that bitching about it.

    So thanks to Larry, Damian, Leo, Allison, Dan and the rest of the community, please accept my donation, I know you will use it wisely.

    --
    Michel
  • I think there's nothing wrong with TPF's call for donations. There's nothing wrong with taking as much time as needed to develop Perl6. Heck, the current Perl wasn't built in one year! Rethinking everything from scratch just takes a long time, and I think that if you want a good Perl 6, you should give everyone involved the time they need.

    What I do think is the main problem is that TPF doesn't communicate well enough to the community about what's going on. For example: I received a grant last year for pVoice. I had to promise to report back what I accomplished with the grant, which I did.
    Until I had spent every dollar of the grant, there wasn't even an announcement on the TPF site that I had received the grant, nor has my report ever been made available for others to see where their money had gone.

    The same has been going on with other grants, most notably the larger grants for Perl6.

    The bottom line is, if you want people to understand why they should give more money, let them know what you have done with it in the past, and keep them updated. Hardly any effort has been made to accomplish this at TPF.

    Just my $0.02
    --
    Jouke Visser
    Using Perl to Enable the Disabled pVoice Sof [pvoice.org]
  • D-O-N-A-T-I-O-N

    (Score:1)
    by zatoichi (4897) on 2005.02.17 8:58 (#38302)
    ( Last Journal: 2005.03.23 11:27 )
    Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) Donation \Do*na"tion\, n. [L. donatio; cf. F. donation.] 1. The act of giving or bestowing; a grant. After donation there an absolute change and alienation of the property of the thing given. --South. 2. That which is given as a present; that which is transferred to another gratuitously; a gift. And some donation freely to estate On the bless'd lovers. --Shak. 3. (Law) The act or contract by which a person voluntarily transfers the title to a thing of which be is the owner, from himself to another, without any consideration, as a free gift. --Bouvier

    Either you believe in the cause and donate or you don't.

  • TPF rewrite

    (Score:1)
    by Alkon (5674) on 2005.02.22 8:03 (#38411)
    ... The community rewrite has been proceeding along with the rest...

    Can someone direct me to mailing list where TPF rewrite (by Perl comunity at large) takes place? It is apperent that we need TPF rewrite now. Does such list exist?