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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 odesk.com or via a company such as www.intelligraphics.com or through applications (open to ideas)
    Development:
    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.

    Justification:
    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: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publi...graphics-essay

    Hype:
    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:
    www.phoronix.com, www.omgubuntu.co.uk, www.ubuntuvibes.com just to get the list started.

    Feedback:
    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?!

    Comment


    • #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.

      Comment


      • #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.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm all for it!

          Comment


          • #6
            Count me in.

            Comment


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

              Comment


              • #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...

                Comment


                • #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.

                  Comment


                  • #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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I talked about a similar matter with Martin Peres of Nouveau recently with there being a certain company that's looking to help drive Linux and was wondering if hiring open-source GPU driver developers would help improve the situation, etc. According to Martin, however, it really wouldn't immediately improve Nouveau. Most of the Nouveau driver developers are European university students who aren't financially-strained and/or they're already employed elsewhere. It's not that there's currently a line of qualified developers waiting to contribute to Nouveau but can't afford to do so.
                      The solution is to hire new people, let them train themselves and then have them get started. People do not become qualified unless they learn. That is how the Nouveau developers got started.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OMG First I thought great idea, after reading this that it would mainly come to the nouvou driver guys, I hate that idea, why would we sponsor guys to make a good driver for a company that blocks such stuff so good it can and not release any specs or something, then we help that company to get deals like that in china posted here somewhere, so we work very hard or pay money so that the company that sucks dont get punished for sucking on this area?

                        Thats retarded, than I would advise to amd, stopp making your driver, you will get that for free if you just do nothing. We live in the capialism, if a company makes wrong desitions get not punished for that the last thing thats kind of works goes away too. Becuase normaly it should give a law that drivers (maybe even all stuff but shure drivers) should be made for free only, if you buy a hardware you pay for that... but thats not working in our finance-market-dictatorship so at least the market-mechanism should not be reverted by such fundings...

                        I am not really happen that the nouvou driver even exists but maybe its ok that you get a picture and some 2d accel if you use that, but more than that... you should not make more effort to bring it near the radeon driver quality... than it would be absurd to release any specs in the future for any company if it makes no difference...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
                          OMG First I thought great idea, after reading this that it would mainly come to the nouvou driver guys, I hate that idea, why would we sponsor guys to make a good driver for a company that blocks such stuff so good it can and not release any specs or something, then we help that company to get deals like that in china posted here somewhere, so we work very hard or pay money so that the company that sucks dont get punished for sucking on this area?

                          Thats retarded, than I would advise to amd, stopp making your driver, you will get that for free if you just do nothing. We live in the capialism, if a company makes wrong desitions get not punished for that the last thing thats kind of works goes away too. Becuase normaly it should give a law that drivers (maybe even all stuff but shure drivers) should be made for free only, if you buy a hardware you pay for that... but thats not working in our finance-market-dictatorship so at least the market-mechanism should not be reverted by such fundings...

                          I am not really happen that the nouvou driver even exists but maybe its ok that you get a picture and some 2d accel if you use that, but more than that... you should not make more effort to bring it near the radeon driver quality... than it would be absurd to release any specs in the future for any company if it makes no difference...
                          As I see it, this sponsoring is project related instead dumping money into a single pool.
                          At least I hope so. That way anyone who likes to see Nouveau improvements is free to sponsor it.
                          The same goes for AMD related projects. Where's the problem?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Targeting

                            The key would be targeting a small set of cards, possibly just a single series from one or two vendors. Maybe a system similar to the Humble Indie Bundle could work:
                            1. Select your own payment, §0.01 upwards.
                            2. Choose which vendors/series/cards the developers should focus on, with an additional option of "Any" to let the rest of the community choose.
                            3. Choose which stats the developers should focus on, for example color fidelity, fast antialiasing, or simply FPS.
                            4. Give extra incentives to those who pay more, either with stages (like Kickstarter) or using the average (like HIB).

                            If the developers were able to boast something like 60 FPS in all the initial Steam for Linux releases on default settings on even a single card, that would be an enormous achievement, and it could be the wedge to finally level with Windows as a gaming platform.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If AMD wanted to profit off of NVIDIA's recent PR issue, a kickstarter project where they match funds to hire programers to work on the open stack for 2 years could be started. The kickstarter side of the programmers time would be community focused by vote, AMD's paid side business as usual. Gifts would be easy from AMD/ATI stickers, videocards, to full systems on reward tiers.

                              The matching funds would be so people wouldn't complain as much that they were getting developers for free and not doing their part. Keep it in house so developers have the best access to hardware and intellectual resources. This would also take care of people worrying their money would go to hardware or features they don't want to support.

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