Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ColdFusion Weekly - Advice from the Past

Matt and I decied to move the ColdFusion Weekly to an archive on Posterous this week.  So I decided to listen to our last show while we ere chatting on IM and this little gem came across my ears.  I decided to transcribe it because it's worth it's weight in gold.  Bear in mind that this show is from June 2008 which is nearly three years ago.  I guess things haven't changed at all.

Matt: This timing is kinda interesting with the growing pains that are going on right now. It is obviously with all the open source going on, very - as people know from stuff I said -- it's a great time to be a CFML developer. We all need to figure this stuff out together. Some of the final things I'd like to say is that I hope that after people calm down a bit and that everybody can just be nice to each other. I'll just say that...

Peter: You know there is plenty of space out there.  We're not fighting for same square foot of land...

Matt: Yea, and the CFML community has always been a great community and we will continue to do that...  The other thing I'm starting to realize is and that is probably why you'll see me participating in blog comments less... I'm getting to the point with that a lot of people are say things that they might not otherwise say to you if you were in person...

Peter: Yea, whether your name is attached to your comment or not, there is a little additional bit of anonymity when it comes to commenting -- even if your name is there... just because you don't have to deal with somebody getting up in your face.

Matt: Right, so I guess I would say -- try to think about as if you were talking with people in person.  There is a lot of misunderstanding because of text communication -- everybody knows this -- there is no nuance to it and you don't know how people are delivering that message.  This is just one of the things that causes things to spin out of control like they have a bit recently.  Like I said, it's a fantastic time to be in this [CFML] world.  It's only going to get better for everybody involved.

ColdFusion Weekly - Version 3.09 - CFExit - 9:20-11:07

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dear Open Source Developers - Don't Ask for Personal Donations

Dear Open Source Developers,

Do it because you love it...

I believe that open source is a wonderful thing. I've spent countless hours working open source since I started my journey in 2005. I like to solve problems and architect solutions all while sharing this with the world.  I've learned more as a developer working on open source projects than on my day job.

However, greed is a bottomless pit. If you love something, just give it away. Don't ask for personal donations to fund your open source development.  If your heart isn't in it, then you shouldn't be working on it.  It's very easy to loose perspective on why you are involved in a project.  If wishlist items or donations are the only thing that keeps you going, then just stop.  You're efforts aren't helping anybody.

What to do about personal donations...

A couple years back, I was asked about a personal donation for my efforts on the Mach-II Project.  I decided that all donations should be make to a charity or non-profit on a per contributor basis.  Here's an example from the Mach-II Contributor's page:


For gifts of thanks to Peter, please consider donating to Second Harvest Heartland - the Upper Midwest's largest hunger-relief and food bank organization or Hands Together - helps the children of Haiti and runs a K-12 school in Cite Soleil slum for 7,400 students. They provide uniforms, books and daily meal to all students. Donations for Hands Together can be made at JustGive.

Most of the contributors for Mach-II have listed one or two places where donations can be made in their name for causes they care about.  I consider myself lucky because I live a life that is more comfortable, safer and fun than the majority of my fellow human beings around the world.  Just look at the disasters in Japan, New Zealand, Libya and other shaken places around the world. I don't need donations to be happy and I don't need them to stay involved in open source. My heart is in it and that is all that is required.

The challenge...

I hope this letter to open source developers makes you reconsider asking for personal donations.  There is nothing wrong asking a business for free hosting or other infrastructure so your project can do what it needs to.  We all know that most open source projects do not generate enough (or any) revenue from training and support to pay for the services needed to run their project.

So please take my challenge and ask for any personal donations to go to a charity or non-profit of your choice in your name. Help the world; you help yourself.  Plus, it's great karmic energy.