[CentOS] centos friends?

Thu May 5 20:55:39 UTC 2011
Dave Stevens <geek at uniserve.com>

Hello All,

I want to ask about CentOS and money. Please do not start some kind of 
shitstorm over this, it isn't productive.

I have just been looking at archive.org to see when the paypal option went 
missing from the donate menu at centos.org. I can't pin it down, but it was 
there on October 16, 2010 and isn't now, so that's the information I have on 
that point.

There was a great deal of argy-bargy on this list when the 5.6 update was slow 
arriving. I don't want to go there, I was happy to see it when it arrived, as 
I always am when there's an update.

The impression I got was that the maintainers and packagers were working as 
hard as they could and were tetchy about being nagged, being unable to do 
more. Fair enough, but we need not adopt the status quo entirely.

The donate menu on the web site has this to say, (and more) ...

"The CentOS team would like to remind you that the primary means of 
substaining the development of CentOS is via contributions by CentOS users.

CentOS is now, and will continue to be totally free; however, it takes money 
and resources to make CentOS available.

If you are able, please consider donating to the CentOS Project. Donations of 
promo material, public mirrors and dedicated servers are all vital to our 
contined operations.


CentOS is currently reviewing our cash donation program. In the mean time we 
are not accepting any financial donations. We do appreciate though, if you 
want to - for example - help out with promo material. See our Wiki page on 
donations for more up to date information."

So referring as directed to the wiki page shows:

"Resource and financial needs

The CentOS Project is entirely based on the efforts of volunteers. We rely on 
contributions and donations from CentOS users as well, for:

    * Logistics related to promotion and infrastructure
    * Specific hardware needs
    * Bandwidth and connectivity
    * Promotion material at conferences and exhibitions
    * Organizing CentOS-related events "

I don't see anything there about money except in the first line and I'm really 
curious why. Internally it is clear that if the team hasn't put in place some 
cash donation basis probably the capacity isn't there. But the current team 
need not go into areas where they have no time or (perhaps) expertise. There 
are lots of capable money folks in the free software world who can and do 
accept donations and deal with administrative infrastructure and channel 
support to projects. So the name apache-friends is suggestive. Without 
necessarily using that model I wonder why there isn't a CentOS Friends group 
or fund to which I and others can donate. I can't help but believe that if 
there were, say, a couple of paid staff with CentOS as the day job, things 
would not be so burdensome to the devs we have now and maybe we could build on 

For my part, I installed CentOS on some machines I administer for non-profit 
groups in Canada. The lack of licencing fees makes a big difference to them, 
non-profits groups are perpetuually long on brains and short on cash. But even 
so I think we could cough up, say, ten bucks a year per machine to put some 
payback into CentOS. Given general widespread goodwill this might be 
multiplied significantly.

I have not seen this discussed on the list and would be happy to know if there 
is some reason it hasn't been attempted.

Please let me repeat, this is meant as a constructive suggestion, there is no 
problem with the product, quite the reverse.



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grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

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