|| ||Han Boetes <han-AT-mijncomputer.nl>|
|| ||misc Misc <misc-AT-openbsd.org>|
|| ||Re: OpenBSD finances|
|| ||Tue, 21 Mar 2006 05:07:59 +0059|
I just wanted to remind the community that OpenBSD 3.9
pre-orders are up.
I know you saw a blurb from Bob a few days ago and many of you
purchased and/or donated some cash, thank you very much for that!
The bad news is that OpenBSD for the past 2 years has turned a
loss of approximately $20K USD ($40K total). I don't think I need
to explain in many words what that is doing to our beloved OS, and
worse, our main systems architect. This is starting to seriously
impede the development of OpenBSD and OpenSSH. A lot of serious
architecture and development is done at hackathons around the
world. The week- long one in Calgary being the big one where
everyone tries to get together to discuss and plot a course for
the future. To put this in perspective, due to financial
restraints the 2007 hackathon is not going to happen unless
someone is willing to pick up that tab. The scheduled hackathon
of 2006 will happen in about 2 months. Large hackathons like that
cost up $30K USD. The smaller hackathons that are concentrated on
a single area of development are less expensive and come in at
around $10K USD. These figures do not include flights and stay
for the poorer and student developers we have. Unfortunately not
everyone in OpenBSD is able to afford these trips but we do love
to fly them out to pick their brains.
What is happening is that the CD purchase FTP ratio is out of
control. People pretty much stopped purchasing CDs in quantities
they used to and use the FTP mirrors instead. This lack of sales
is what is causing the project to turn a small loss for the 2nd
year in a row.
To fulfill most development goals OpenBSD should be generating
about $100K USD. With that amount of money the project can
finance 1 large and 4 small hackathons per year. Pay the bills
and a part-time developer to mind the shop when Theo isn't around.
In an ideal world we would have a sponsor per hackathon and the CD
sales would be paying for other expenses.
Inquiries about sponsoring hackathons and other fund raising
questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Serious/interesting
offers will be evaluated by me and discussed with Theo. The idea
is to keep him busy with technical stuff and as little as possible
with fund-raising activities. Unfortunately sending email to the
lists is counter-productive and worse will generate flames.
Please restrain yourself and simply contact me off list.
What I want to point out what a lot of people don't seem to
realize is that OpenSSH development is paid from the same pool of
money as OpenBSD. OpenSSH is in use by millions around the world
however the revenue stream just simply isn't there. This is where
other projects could help. Without naming entities or projects by
name there are others out there that are sitting on some cash. It
would be wonderful if these entities could share some of the
wealth to keep us going.
All this said, a few words of caution. First and foremost
OpenBSD/ OpenSSH will not compromise its goals. The reason why
the project has been able to maintain integrity is by simply
saying "no" to outside preassure. Doing the right thing can and
sometimes is painful, but it is what makes the project into what
it is today. All donations will therefore have to be without any
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