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Sponsor An Open Source Driver Dev For a $1 a Day???

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  • Sponsor An Open Source Driver Dev For a $1 a Day???

    Hi All,
    I wanted to get some feedback on something Iíve been contemplating recently. With places like Kickstarter showing the power of crowdsourcing for funding I canít stop thinking about the possibility of getting the masses behind the accelerated development of the open source Linux graphics drivers. I understand that this is a little different from funding a game where the users are willing to pay for something they might purchase anyway, but I think this is something the linux community would be willing to get behind, the fact that linux users pay more for Humble bundles is proof they are willing to do just a little bit more if they think it will help support their beloved OS.

    The idea:
    My idea is fairly simple at its core, to take a sponsorship approach to hire (a) programmer(s) to work on the open source graphics effort. A sponsor (you or me) would first pledge an amount starting from a minimum of $10 to get the project rolling and then pledge to continually sponsor the project with (automated) weekly donations minimum of $1 (that could be unsubscribed to at any time). The project would kick off once there is 10,000 sponsors (or a monetary target has been met) as this should be enough to employ one developer for a year. If 10,000 people support the project for 1 year at the minimum of $1 a week (or 5,000 at $2) we will have acquired $520,000 enough to possibly hire as many as 5 developers.
    Developers could be hired over or via a company such as or through applications (open to ideas)
    To make the project applicable to as many peopleís needs as possible the development work would start with the implementation of more OpenGL functionality in Mesa as this would benefit all the open source drivers. Afterwards development could be based on sponsors preferences.

    Iím hoping most Phoronix readers wonít need much of an explanation of why open source drivers are a good thing but this is something that will need to be expanded on if the idea is to grow, so welcome feedback here.
    One interesting read on the Linux Foundations website:

    For this to be successful there needs to be a good hype around it e.g a good website explaining the details of the plan why itís considered necessary etc.
    Also it would need to be broadcast on all major Linux news websites:,, just to get the list started.

    Anyway thatís the gist of my idea. Iím looking for feedback so that I can document more ideas around the subject and possibly put together a more complete proposal.

  • #2
    This sounds like very good plan to me! You can count me in as a supporter.
    Probably, an article on Phoronix would be a very nice boost in order to get it started faster. But this will also mean Michael needs absolutely to be sure it has potential (I guess).

    You have posted this two days ago, were there any changes since then?!


    • #3
      If you get this idea off the ground, I'd be interested in supporting it.

      Especially if there are clearly stated details about who donation money is going to, and what they are currently working on.


      • #4
        I'm glad you like the idea. No changes since the first post, except that I have realised that my maths will be a bit off as I have not considered the fee's that places like paypal take from transitions, but should not affect things to much.
        This is the first place I have posted the idea so Iím just after some feedback on the idea before getting it posted on any web sites. I would like to put together a comprehensive plan on how all aspects of the project would work, and Iím open to suggestions and ideas on everything from how to collect donations, hiring managing/developers, to how to provide sponsors with progress updates on what their sponsorship has helped achieve.
        Also Iím open to offers of support on getting this idea off the ground as it is a fairly big undertaking that would require more than just my efforts.

        Unfortunately yours is the only feedback I have received thus far, however I think that could be due to the relatively small amount of traffic to this part of the forum.


        • #5
          I'm all for it!


          • #6
            Count me in.


            • #7
              Do we know how much an OpenGL 4.x State tracker for G3D might cost???


              • #8
                The hard part is to get developers to work on the projects, the money I think it would be easy.
                Maybe if "we" can get a decent amount, we could get the attention of some company to do the job.
                Another option would be sponsoring education about drivers development...


                • #9
                  I've always wondered about a best place to donate extra hardware that could help developers. I generally have a graphics card or two laying around that could be useful for somebody's development/testing box.


                  • #10

                    I welcome this idea and if boundary conditions are well chosen - count me in.
                    But that is exactly where I see potential issues.

                    How should the developer be paid? On a "milestone basis"?
                    How to avoid cases where someone is just taking the money,
                    let's say on a monthly basis, without intentionally doing much?
                    Don't get me wrong; it's not about total control, but how to make
                    this an efficient approach without being easily exploited.