Jon's aware, as he wrote me a nice note after I inquired as to the state
of the code release as my subscription was about to expire. He had in
fact made some progress toward that end not long before, I forget the
details, but he explained (and I hope I'm not taking liberties with the
paraphrase) that security audits and the like cost money, and the code had
been back-burnered as LWN had had to worry about just staying alive,
implementing the subscription thing, etc. He also wanted to be able to
support it and the like, which is nice, but as with you, my feeling is get
the code out there and if there's interest, support from somewhere will
come. If not, well, at least the code is out there for anyone interested,
something that can't be said about it now. It's also worth noting that
should LWN go under ($DEITY forbid!), if the code's already out there, it
then has a chance to live on. If it's not out there, well, it never had
the chance. Think about all those failed companies over the years and
what might be if they'd all made their source public, so at least others
could build on it, or learn about the failed efforts before duplicating
them. That's one of the bonuses of FLOSS that LWN would currently be on
the wrong side of, if it did go under.
I've absolutely no doubt that Jon/LWN does intend to release it, but like
all those things we all have stacked up waiting on "round tuits", many
wait years, and others never happen. That's certainly understandable on a
human level, but understanding it doesn't get people closer to having the
actual code available to work with, and well... when ATI and all the
others have been condemned all these years, and some of them have turned
over a new leaf and are cooperating with their respective area FLOSS
developers now, but LWN, part of the FLOSS community, continues to
promise... it's just embarrassing!
Anyway, I had asked if there was somewhere I could send donations
earmarked specifically for audit or whatever else it took to open the
code, but that really didn't get anywhere, and with LWN having the CC
processing trouble with donations history it does, and what might be only
a single person's small donation, I understand the reluctance.
Realistically, my donation alone would be hardly more than symbolic in any
case. If people knew my budget... but I still like to do what I can.
Even if it took writing an old fashioned check instead of a CC
transaction, I'd do it if there was a place to send it, symbolic tho the
act in itself might be.
I should also mention that I'm NOT a web developer or anything, either, so
don't anticipate ever having a personal use for the code, except perhaps
as a user of any sites other than LWN that adopt it. No, for me, it's the
principle of the thing. I can't do a check or CC transaction with LWN
under the current circumstances any more than I could to MS, for what
amounts to the same reasons.
Anyway, if you do a deadline thing, be prepared to live without a
subscription for awhile, as I have had to do. The feeling is a bit weird,
as besides reading late, while one can still post on the weekly edition
and special features, it's a week late, and most of the action has already
happened. One ends up feeling much like those "observers without a vote"
in various forums must feel much of the time, especially if they are
additionally restricted to not seeing the work in progress, only the done
deal. Yes, the subscription puts one much more in the "know" AND "do", as
one can watch (and affect) events as the actually unfold instead of after
the fact (and an LWN subscription affords that opportunity, even for those
who don't happen to have coding skills and would otherwise be just another
in the thousands or millions of users). I'd absolutely have a
subscription if I could, and I really do miss it, but there comes a point
when one simply cannot act out of line with one's own principles, no
matter how convenient it might be, and how much one otherwise wishes to
contribute to and participate in the (nominal) message, and I simply
reached that point.
Anyway, it might be worth writing a simple note to Jon mentioning your
intent, before both you and he are up against a deadline that there's
simply no way to meet. Maybe the two of us will get lucky and
something /will/ happen. =8^)