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PM Development Fund

by vroom (His Eminence)
on Mar 26, 2003 at 02:39 UTC ( #245846=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Lately there has been some talk about some new possible uses for donations to PerlMonks. Most notably taking donations which would allow tye to work on improving upon the site's node cache.

Some threads related to this idea:

  • Recent slowness and outage
  • Throw your money at tye!

    Currently YAS has a PerlMonks Fund set up. In the past the main intent was as a rainy-day fund for hardware/bandwidth/hosting. That's the impression for the intent of the fund I think I've given to people in the past. With Pair generously taking care of our hardware and bandwidth needs, the need for the money going towards that purpose has now become unlikely.

    Giving grants for major development features which greatly enhance the site might be a better use. However I don't want people who have already donated having their money go to purposes they may not agree with. From an administrative standpoint it doesn't really make sense for YAS to set up two different funds or accounts.

    Basically I'd like to test the waters and see whether anyone who has donated previously has a problem with past moneys being put towards development. If anyone has a problem with that we will stick with one fund, but only use future donations for development purposes.

    Feel free to (and please do) comment below.

    Update: Note added below with some of my additional thoughts.

  • Replies are listed 'Best First'.
    Re: PM Development Fund
    by VSarkiss (Monsignor) on Mar 26, 2003 at 04:45 UTC

      Personally, when I earmarked the funds for "PerlMonks development", I figured it would go where the need is greatest, or where it would do the most good. I didn't have an expectation that it would go strictly to hardware or bandwidth.

      With my performance improvement analysis hat on, I do think that some of the changes tye has suggested are very promising, and may even pay off more than switching to faster hardware (within reason ;-). So no, I don't have a problem with it. I think the money's being used as I intended it.

    Re: PM Development Fund
    by mirod (Canon) on Mar 26, 2003 at 08:21 UTC

      Go for it!

      You have given more than anybody here, if only through the time you spent creating the site, so you can choose what you want to do with the fund content. tye has also spent countless hours, either answering questions or working on the site engine.

      So as long as the result is open-source, of course, it will be money well spent.

      I just hope that tye works for cheap, because at the time I am writing this the fund is worth all of $707 (unless money from the previous donation system is included but does not show there). Maybe it is time to donate this year.

        So as long as the result is open-source...

        It won't be.

        Although, as I see it money donated to the site was done to further improve the website, through whatever means the owners deem appropriate (props to vroom for consulting first though). Does it really make a difference if it's bandwidth or engine improvements? I Just hope Pair's generosity doesn't suddenly run out...

          It will be. (yep, same node you linked to)

          The only thing I'm currently considering being worth paying for is refactoring the node cache, which will certainly be made available to other Everything versions.

                          - tye
    Re: PM Development Fund
    by valdez (Monsignor) on Mar 26, 2003 at 08:38 UTC

      It's ok for me, my previous donation can be used for development.
      I'd like to see a 'to do' list from our developers, am I asking too much?

      Ciao, Valerio

      update:Thank you vroom!

        No, I don't think so. In talking to tye about this, what I basically imagined occurring is him submitting some sort of proposal about what he intends to do, how it will impact the site, and how long he anticipates it taking. That way the scope of the work will be defined, as well as the amount of the grant.
    Re: PM Development Fund
    by perrin (Chancellor) on Mar 26, 2003 at 16:48 UTC
      I considered my donation a payment for the use of this enjoyable site. Blow it on margaritas if you like.
    Re: PM Development Fund
    by Limbic~Region (Chancellor) on Mar 26, 2003 at 14:51 UTC
      I have just made my first donation. As I said in the Throw your money at tye! node, I will continue to contribute once a month for a year. If anyone notices that I have forgotten to do so, please reply to this node as a friendly reminder.

      Cheers - L~R

    Re: PM Development Fund
    by hossman (Prior) on Mar 26, 2003 at 07:28 UTC
      improvements are improvements ... go for it.
    Re: PM Development Fund (Still trying to decide)
    by vroom (His Eminence) on Mar 27, 2003 at 01:40 UTC
      I think at the moment I want to hold a bit on this decision . I need to decide what effect if any this would have on development for the site by pmdev or others. I would like to see the work on the node cache completed and think tye is in a unique position to complete it. However I also like PerlMonks as a grass roots kind of operation. I don't want people to feel like their work isn't important or valued if they haven't been paid for their efforts. I also don't want "who's on the payroll" to define who has power within the community. I like PerlMonks to be a place where everyone has a voice, and everyone has a chance to rise to the top. I don't want to see adding money to the equation, divide people within the community.

      If you have thoughts or feelings about this feel free to post below, or privately /msg me or e-mail me.

        As far as the entire 'not paying everyone who has put forth effort into the perlmonks engine', I don't believe that such a thing is really necessary. I think the real reason that tye was put forth as the one who should be given a little $$$ is because he is willing to focus entirely on perlmonks, letting even his job fall by the wayside for a short period of time. Sure, others have contributed to the perlmonks codebase, but we are talking about a major project here that only one person appears brave enough to devour :)

        Don't take this the wrong way. I'm not saying that tye is the only contributor around here: he just happens to be one of the most productive and the guy that wants to put the time in to do some really wonderful things. To members of the pmdev group: there is no way in the Monastery Hell that this site would be as great as it is without your efforts. Don't even start to believe that your work goes unnoticed. I'm sure we'd be short a few features and we'd be a little slower without the lot of you. If you want to be paid as well, think of some huge project that would greatly benefit the site and you too may be on the funding-for-<insert name here> list.

        What I am saying is that I support the idea of donations being contributed for a let-tye-take-some-time-off-work-fund. Give me two months and I may have a credit card of my own to throw in a few bucks :). In regards to the whole fund setup, would it be possible to simply allow us to enter a little comment with our donations? That way, little comments such as 'for tye', 'for development', 'for hardware', 'for anything' could be tagged on, so it would be clear as to where each donation should be directed?

        If the above content is missing any vital points or you feel that any of the information is misleading, incorrect or irrelevant, please feel free to downvote the post. At the same time, please reply to this node or /msg me to inform me as to what is wrong with the post, so that I may update the node to the best of my ability.

        Thanks for the prompt... I added a little to the pool for the Perl Development fund. But I may be a bit confused - the Perl Development fund seems quite flush with funds and the Perl Monks fund is only in the hundreds of dollars.

        Should I have contributed to the Perl Monks, rather than the Perl Development?

        's OK, I'd just like to know for next time. 8-)

        Cheers and thanks for the great community.


          Sorry for the confusion. The Perl Monks fund is the one place to fund Perl Monks. The Perl fund I believe is for funding general Perl Development grants to Damien, Larry, and company.

        I am in pmdev myself. I am also the author of Throw your money at tye!.

        I don't think there's any conflict here - heck, personally I wouldn't want any money for my efforts. Compared to what tye has contributed, they're nothing. I can't speak for every other pmdev here, some of whom have actually contributed a significant amount of work, but I'm fairly certain the others will all say the same - there's no issue of competition here.

        I don't see this as a matter of power either. I'm not proposing tye because he is The Boss, nor am I expecting it to have no impact on his past or future say in monasterial matters.

        I voted for this this on the grounds that he is the one person in a position to take this project on which will benefit the site and its community, and on the grounds that his time is as valuable as anyone else's.

        Much as I'd like to, I don't personally have the ability to offer to the site and community what tye can. The alternative I can take is to support others with the required capabilities in any manner necessary for them to do what I would like to be able to. Whether they accept the offer is at their own discretion.

        In summary, I believe this has no effect on the grassroots nature of the community.

        Makeshifts last the longest.

    Re: PM Development Fund
    by glwtta (Hermit) on Mar 26, 2003 at 23:06 UTC
      I'll do you one better - if the decision is made to put the fund towards development, I will donate a couple hundred.

      Not to say that I would object to the money being used for anything else at all - not in the least - but the donation idea is a lot more appealing if I can directly see the benefit in the form of site improvements.

      If you think about it, making PM faster makes me more productive, allowing me to earn more money - so it's a good investment :)

    Re: PM Development Fund
    by Beatnik (Parson) on Mar 26, 2003 at 17:19 UTC
      The little money I did donate, you're free to do with what you please. With the recent YAS funding in mind, I'd encourage any personal funding to help improve the perl community. You have a YES from me.

      ... I'm belgian but I don't play one on TV.
    Re: PM Development Fund
    by AssFace (Pilgrim) on Mar 28, 2003 at 19:20 UTC
      I think I only donated $15 or so - but feel free to use it however you want.

      You could use it to buy beer and hookers for all I care - it is just my way of saying thanks for this site.
      (if you do go the beer/hookers route, please post pics)

      There are some odd things afoot now, in the Villa Straylight.
    Re: PM Development Fund
    by BrowserUk (Patriarch) on Mar 30, 2003 at 23:44 UTC

      As tye is in a unique position to perform some of the desired work on the PM codebase, perhaps, instead o paying tye to make these desired changes, we should consider paying him to take whatever steps would be required to work himself out of that unique position and open up the codebase to a wider audience of contributors?

      I don't know anything about the reality of the situation behind the scenes, nor what mechanisms are in place for the pmdevils to access the codebase and make and test changes to it, but there are a couple of things that I have picked up in the various discussions that could be addressed.

      The first is that by any development methodology I have encountered over the last 25 years, the idea that you test fixes and updates by incorporating them into the live system is an anathema. Regardless of how much peer review, static and unit testing you do, you alwaysrisk unforeseen intereactions that will at best cause disruptions and anomolies, at worst could disrupt the systems operation for prolonged periods, and (possibly permenently) damage the systems database. This is especially worrying in the case of E2 where the database is the system, and seems (from my distant, occasional viewing perspective, to be the biggest barrier to allowing changes to PM to happen more quickly.

      This could be addressed by making a copy of the existing codebase onto a test system. This could be hosted off-site, there are several monks who seem willing and able to carry the burden of a small load, perhaps one of them would offer. The test system could be restricted by

      • Disabling Annoymonk posts
      • Disabling the ability to create new accounts.

      In this way, only invited monks, pmdevils and similar would be able to post to the test system. It might be used to discuss pmdev work, throw open individual pieces of code for group consideration etc. Changes made could be tested here with a reasonable degree of thoroughness without risking the main system until a god has satisfied themselves that the change is good.

      Once the risk to the live system is diminished, and the codebase is opened up to a wider audience, via controlled access if security-through-obscurity is either needed or desired to be maintained, then it might be possible to address the developmental desires of PM by offering bits of work to some of the many well-skilled-but-currently-between-jobs monks whom I am sure would be grateful for the chance to contribute.

      If a peice of work was particularly urgent, or difficult it might also be possible to offer these same people the chance to earn a small reward for their efforts.

      Examine what is said, not who speaks.
      1) When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
      2) The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible
      3) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
      Arthur C. Clarke.

        You hear that?

        It's the sound of Perlmonks sliding down a very slippery slope that leads to vulnerabilities, obscurity, and unachieved potential.

        Keep it open, keep it free, it's the only way to be.

        If you're thinking of responding saying this is just for a test system, you have completely missed the point.

        Have a nice day :)

          Sorry? Is there a point in there somewhere?

          Examine what is said, not who speaks.
          1) When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
          2) The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible
          3) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
          Arthur C. Clarke.
    Re: PM Development Fund
    by blakem (Monsignor) on Mar 28, 2003 at 00:56 UTC
      I hate to add a "Me Too" reply, but as one of the first to donate to the PM fund I would be pleased to see my donation go towards development.


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