Kommandeering Developers Everywhere

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Fundraiser Halo Effect

Now, based on most internet news stories, you shouldn't use the term "halo effect" without referring to an iPod. And according to most teenagers, I should instead use the word "affect" instead. And acording to Alanis Morissette, I should misuse the term completely. Great news Alanis, this isn't really a halo effect by definition, but it's also not like a traffic jam when you're already late.

Why am I using the term "halo effect" in reference to the hardware fundraiser 5 weeks ago? Because the initial fundraiser was originally intended for a week, but we're still seeing the effects of heightened donations for August. Further, anyone who gives to a non-profit or charity (whether KDE or otherwise) is at least temporarily angelic in my book. Maybe for a next fundraiser we can give out halos shaped like gears?

Twenty days into August, and we've received nearly 1,500 euros (that in part to a very large singular donation) already. Well above the monthly averages before the hardware fundraiser.

Thanks to individuals and organizations alike for their rcent donations. Within the next day or two, you'll get an update on the Dot about how our new bugs.kde.org server is progressing.

UPDATE: Stupid blogging software! Blogspot decided to move my acount to some new beta version. Which of course means "ruin everything." I apologize for the flood of unformatted entries. I'll work with clee to clean this mess up.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Two Step OS install (tm)

I took Stephan Binner up on his offer to download the Suse 10.1 VMWare image. Downloading a single file (instead of multiple installation disks of the same size) and bypassing an installation. In less than two hours I was staring at a new Suse desktop. 1) Download image. 2) Launch VMWare with the image. Even Wade with the help of only 32 trained support specialists can accomplish this (I always work with teams in binary-friendly amounts).

Virtualization is like watching a magician while drunk (don't ask). I'm endlessly baffled and impressed. How can you ever get tired of the benefits and convenience? I haven't spent too much time on this image yet, but it looks like it has some security niceties as well (cautious javascript/cookie settings).

Now, if this were the RIAA/MPAA, we'd be busting people for downloading such binary files. Music files are set in value by iTunes at a buck. And they're suing dead people and their families.

Here, people are offering pre-configured and packaged operating systems. Good times. As people continue to migrate to linux/bsd on the server and desktop, don't think such "try before you buy" strategies won't become more common place. Even when the eventual "buy" is $0. (for currency conversions, that's also 0 euro and 0 yen. It's 3 pesos though....weird.)

On a related front, such a rapid image release (KDE 3.5.4 and KOffice 1.5.2) makes me smile for eventual KDE 4 testing. Live CDs, Klik packages, free NX remote logins, and VMWare images will all hopefully make our next major release with associated applications the best tested yet.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

aKademy/Akademy/aKaDeMy 2007

Regardless of your spelling, Tink is right and it's definitely time to think about next year's event. Who knows, maybe every aKademy should have a BoF to take about the n+1 aKademy.

As Tink mentioned, and as you can well imagine, plenty of businesses run a calendar-based financial year (meaning Jan-Dec as opposed to Apr-Apr), and so they would budget and esimate through Q3 and finalize in Q4, which is the very time we're entering right now. Our aKademy team has been very diligent and tenacious for this year, but we didn't exactly set them up for success (buzzphrase++). It's more being tardy this year than being too eager for next year.

So, I'd like to reaffirm her request to start thinking about next year. Especially those that proposed 2006 hosting options and feel that next year will also be viable and an attractive option. Will it get scandalous like the Olympic IOC, with potential host cities bribing our aKademy committee for the potential prestige of hosting the KDE community? Who knows. We can only hope.

Please note that on the gnome side of things, several recent blogs discuss a chosen time and location for GUADEC 2007.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Successful Fundraising Redux

Oh how I love blog aggregation. Within 90 minutes (literally) of writing about KDE's recent hardware fundraiser, my post was buried under a double post and 9-month blog flood. 13 pages down on my browser. And I don't blame the authors. Syndication is supposed to be damn-near fool-proof (for fools like me), and never is. Publishing bugs combined with active sites = posts going unseen far too quickly. Hopefully, more information about the new bugs.kde.org changes will be posted soon on a more appropriate and static medium like the Dot. Once again, thank you to all those involved with this initiative.

Successful Fundraising

On July 19th, Dirk posted an article to the Dot entitled "KDE e.V. Hardware Fundraiser Week". KDE was looking to improve its situation with the bugs.kde.org (BKO) server. And the community certainly answered the call.

There are some fairly obvious points to note here:
* Being a non-profit and open source community, there aren't many days where we conclude, "Wow, we have way too much money right now, how can we stop people from giving?" In fact, there's never such a day.
* That being said, we don't actively push many fundraisers at all. We haven't shown an interest in frequently nagging for donations or fluttering our eyelashes seductively to procure funds from the general public. Although as we speak, Martijn Klingens may or may not be assembling an army of college students with blue polo shirts to go door-to-door with clipboards in hand extolling the virtues and benefits of KDE. I can neither confirm nor deny this rumor I just started.
* It's a fine line between letting our donations page go unnoticed and stale and pushing it too often. Specific requests for tangible and concrete ideas seem more appropriate for us. If anyone doesn't feel like contributing to a general fund, targetted initiatives (such as Dirk's request) are a sensible way to give people more control over their donations.

So, some prelimiary results? Using the ratio of 1 US Dollar = .78 Euro, and for those who want precise conversions historically, I welcome you to modify these numbers based on this page; you're on your own.

Including the previous three months (April through June) for comparison:

April (30 days)16 people gave 357 euro; 22 euro per person, 12 euro per day
May (31 days) 14 people gave 502 euro; 36 euro per person, 16 euro per day
June (30 days) 10 people gave 203 euro; 20 euro per person, 7 euro per day

July 19-31 215 people gave 5249 euro; 25 euro per person, 404 euro per day

Assuming of course that everyone during July 19-31 donated for the fundraiser; probably not the case, but you get the point.

As you can see from the "euro per person" and if someone with more energy than me cranked out standard deviations and variance, I think you'd see that this wasn't a case of a few people inflating the numbers. This was a case of people giving what they felt comfortable, some naturally more and some less. That's reassuring to me. (Although eccentric benefactors and tycoons still welcome).

So, thank you to those that gave to help our bugs.kde.org site, and thank you to those that give donations day after day without a specific initiative. More info should be coming out shortly to update everyone on the results of the server/site upgrade. Great for our developers and end users, bad news for bugs. Who will think of the bugs???