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To Whom Should I Donate?

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the think-of-the-devs dept.

Operating Systems 299

jasonmanley writes "I currently use DesktopBSD. The other day I gave some thought to donating money to the project, but then I got to thinking — to whom would I donate the money? DesktopBSD benefits from FreeBSD and KDE among other projects. What about software with a smaller focus, such as OpenSSH? In fact, there are heaps of other projects' software embedded in FOSS packages, and I would like to know who the community thinks should get the donations."

cancel ×

299 comments

Cowboyneal (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515116)

n/t

Making things complicated. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515130)

Yet another instance where going with Microsoft makes things easier!

Re:Making things complicated. (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515284)

Actually, giving the money to Microsoft would almost be like a lottery.

There is a 1 in 20 jillion chance of them making significant improvements to their operating system, software, and business practices resulting in a decent, problem free [or much reduced] computing system.

The odds of this happening are excruciatingly small, just like a lottery. The different thing about it is, if you 'hit', it greatly improves the computing experience of most of the computing world [so it's like everyone wins].

This post can be modded: flamebait, insightful, dopey, idiotic, and/or funny. Any other modding is expressly forbidden.

Re:Making things complicated. (1)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515502)

Shame that nobody won in the last 10 years

Re:Making things complicated. (4, Funny)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515582)

Microsoft did.

Easy answer! (4, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515142)

Me.

I'll make that complicated decision for you...honest!

Re:Easy answer! (1)

abolitiontheory (1138999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515196)

Yes, I'm the best Free Open Source Software project than I know of.

Of course, the all female dev team I wrote into the design doc hasn't quite been assembled yet, but the robots we've are doing a pretty good job in the meantime.

Please, donate for a good cause.

Re:Easy answer! (0, Redundant)

phagstrom (451510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515238)

How long have you been working at MS? ;-)

Re:Easy answer! (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515342)

Me.

That's what Bill Gates was thinking when he came out with Windows Me.

Re:Easy answer! (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515440)

Windows Me? 'Windows' is now a verb?

Re:Easy answer! (3, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515506)

Windows Me? 'Windows' is now a verb?

Actually... yeah.

  • "I think my computer is Windowsed."
  • "That is sooooo Windowsed!"
  • "Go and get W*ndowsed!"

Yep. Works for me.

Re:Easy answer! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515532)

W*ndows me harder!

Re:Easy answer! (1)

Keeper Of Keys (928206) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515624)

It's not just a verb, it's an imperative.

Me! (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515144)

... just wait whilst open source I my hello world program

Re:Me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515424)

Way ahead of you!

def hello():
    hello="hello"
    world="world"
    print hello world
def y_halo_thar():
    hello()
y_halo_thar()

Re:Me! (2, Insightful)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515486)

def hello():
    hello="Hello"
    comma=","
    space=" "
    world="world"
    exclamation_point="!"
    print hello+comma+space+world
def y_halo_thar():
    hello()
y_halo_thar()
The beauty of Open Source!

Re:Me! (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515504)

Mixing Python and PHP ... that's beauty

Re:Me! (1)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515526)

wow... need c[_]... I read that as "Monty Python and PHP"

Re:Me! (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515660)

That would make programs more enjoyable to read. If I knew PHP, I'd whip something up about Lumberjacks.....

Layne

Re:Me! (2, Funny)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515538)

I don't know what this is up to, but ...

> print hello+comma+space+world

This is performance killer. You should instead write:
        print "%s%s%s%s" % (hello, comma, space, world)

deception key weapon in US vs. world debacle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515146)

& just who is being deceived the most? let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

just choose your favorite project (4, Interesting)

crazybit (918023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515148)

and give them some of your time and effort by reporting bugs, making some code (if you can), helping with documentation, helping newbies on their support lists, etc.

sometimes our time is as good as some cash.

Re:just choose your favorite project (4, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515482)

and give them some of your time and effort by reporting bugs, making some code (if you can), helping with documentation, helping newbies on their support lists, etc.

sometimes our time is as good as some cash.
And sometimes cash is better than time, so now we're back at square one having wasted 20 seconds. What was the point of that? If the guy had asked how should I donate then yes, your comment would be applicable but clearly the guy has some money to spend and is asking where to put it. Maybe he doesn't have free time, maybe he just doesn't want to spend it on open source. Even if by some freak occurrence all links in the BSD chain find themselves fully funded there's always more that money can do. Money can buy other people's time if that's really the only thing needed. In any case, I don't see how suggesting that this guy's offered money is less valuable than his time is really useful to anyone. I'm sure there are plenty of cash-starved projects that would much prefer the money to help allow the core developers to focus on the project than have one extra guy adding a line of code here or there.

this may come as a suprise ... (2, Insightful)

pbhj (607776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515638)

this may come as a suprise ... but sometimes other people besides the questioner read the answers.

Shocking I know.

And he _did_ say "donate" and not "donate money".

Re:this may come as a suprise ... (0, Troll)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515688)

this may come as a suprise ... but sometimes other people besides the questioner read the answers.

Shocking I know.

And he _did_ say "donate" and not "donate money".
Right. So this answer was just in case there were Slashdot readers currently unaware of the concept of Open Source and how it works? I dunno, maybe I'm just cranky from a poor night of sleep but to not answer the question even a little (still didn't give any help as to where the donation should go), instead opting to spout some tired FOSS cliché strikes me as particularly useless.

And the quesioner said "donating money".

Some options (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515150)

If you are dead set on donating to *one* of the projects, donate to the one who you consider most useful to you.

If you have some rad coding skillz and some time, i'm sure the projects would also love to see bug reports with patches.

Do you use any of the software to work/as part of your job? if so, the software that you use for that is a great candidate for a project to donate to.

Re:Some options (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515162)

I donate regularly to vim and groklaw.

The short answer is, donate to whoever you like.

Re:Some options (3, Insightful)

shird (566377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515296)

Taking this approach, you would almost always donate to a GUI based project. The 'most useful' is going to be something you interact with, and not something behind the scenes like the kernel - regardless of how much extra effort may be required for one over the other.

Re:Some options (4, Interesting)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515512)

Well, that depends on your own vision of things. One of the most useful software packages I found in the last 8 years (is it really already that long) was OpenBSD. At first I bought their CDs and T-Shirts occasionally. Then I started buying their CD on the 6 month release shedule and I just rounded it up to the next 100€ (back then CDs were 30€ or so) donating the difference. Now I even stopped doing that: I just have a monthly standing order to their account. I still buy the CDs occasionally, but it's not the rule anymore.

Why OpenBSD? Because I like the system (not on the desktop, but as a server it's nice). They created OpenSSH which benefits pretty much every Unix out there. Their security fixes propagate to other platforms and software.

So, no, "useful" is what you define it to be. I find OpenBSD useful because it's there, in the background, routing my packets, protecting my computers. I find that insanely more useful and important that anything else. (Note, that this has never stopped me from donating to other projects, including OpenOffice.org, Mozilla, OpenWebmail, and many others...)

Re:Some options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515596)

The vast majority of Linux and BSD systems out there are used GUI-less. Often they're running as headless servers, where the only way to access them is via ssh. Even then, most admins don't install X, let alone any other X apps or desktops, for security purposes and to avoid wasting server resources.

And for those of us who manage thousands of such servers on a daily basis, we do spend a lot of our time interacting with core operating system features, including the shell, vi and system utilities.

Re:Some options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515604)

Speak for yourself. I work with all sorts of userland tools like perl, tcpdump, strace, etc...

That said, I wouldn't donate to any of them because honestly there ISN'T one person to donate to. Look at the number of hands in any sufficiently large project.

At most, if anything, I'd donate to a distro to pay for their hosting costs.

Re:Some options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515644)

Except without the "boring" basics the fancy GUI won't have anything to run on.

I'd say 'donate to the grunts'. If you save your work on the hard drive, donate to the fs creator or disk driver ones. If you work exclusively on the web, donate to the ip stack ot network driver people.

Seriously, try donating to the ones you think are in most need of some extra cash. If the kernel team can't afford developing the kernel you're dead. OTOH if they're wading in cash and the DesktopBSD people are starving while adopting FreeBSD to the desktop that's not fair either.

- Peder

To the Digital Standards Organization (5, Interesting)

pieterh (196118) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515164)

OK, since I'm one of the founders, I'm biased. But free and open source software needs free and open standards and the Digital Standards Organization [digistan.org] is the only international network set-up specifically to defend and promote free and open digital standards [digistan.org] .

Coincidentally, on the day we signed the Hague Declaration [digistan.org] , Microsoft announced they would support ODF in Office.

Luckily, Digistan does not want your money, just your support. Sign the Hague Declaration online, and help us by getting involved.

Re:To the Digital Standards Organization (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515432)

Support the Hague Foundation! Or we'll send you to the Hague! (I kid. I kid.)

Re:To the Digital Standards Organization (0, Troll)

knutkracker (1089397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515454)

Digistan??

Inspiring ideas, but the name is unfortunate.

I keep thinking of a backward country run by the Ayatollah Stallman that represses women (by refusing to talk to them about anything other than code and sci-fi) and persecutes those unbelievers who fail to support the FOSS revolution.

I would donate to the Perl Foundation (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515168)

Perl6 (Rakudo && Parrot) is making big steps forward in the last months. The Perl Foundation is using the money to support some of the developers which are working part-time on the projects.

Re:I would donate to the Perl Foundation (2, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515264)

How is that offtopic? It's a suggestion for a donation. "I would" is short for "If I were you, I would", which is a valid suggestion rather than just a piece of random information.

People saying "donate your time rather than your money" are very slightly offtopic, because the guy doesn't sound like he would rather support other projects financially than become a developer himself.

Re:I would donate to the Perl Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515392)

How is that offtopic? It's a suggestion for a donation.
He's donate to thank people for DesktopBSD. Perl is hardly the cornerstone of DesktopBSD.

Re:I would donate to the Perl Foundation (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515426)

True, though I thought he had widened out the scope to just all FOSS by the end of the question.

Take a Look Around (-1, Offtopic)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515170)

Given the current state of the world, you might want to consider donating to disaster relief [google.com] . I promise, Microsoft won't get any of it.

Re:Take a Look Around (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515274)

I had considered that too. But there will always be disasters in the world. Maybe this guy already donates to such projects. I would think that's quite likely if he's even considering donating to software projects (something I've never really considered before). Anyway, this guy is asking about donating to software projects, so less patronising suggestions please!

Re:Take a Look Around (0, Offtopic)

Eth1csGrad1ent (1175557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515494)


Wish I had some mod points... This is not offtopic !

Its a fair point... we've just had two major natural disasters in the world with many, hundreds of thousands of people suffering, and its a fair argument that the original poster may not even have considered.

The OP has some money to donate, and some concerns about where itd be best put to good use. Pointing out that a software project, no matter how worthy, might not be the only consideration at this point in time is hardly hijacking the debate.

Re:Take a Look Around (2, Funny)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515528)

But it is offtopic. "Should I name my baby Ken or Ralph?" "You should adopt. There are so many orphans out there."

Re:Take a Look Around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515648)

A bad analogy is like a leaky screwdriver. He has money to give, thinks he's going to give it to an open source project but isn't sure which.

As it is he's rewarding a singular project for the experience he had with DesktopBSD and as such has already looked at alternatives. It doesn't hurt to make alternative suggestions as long as it's not to change the subject of the discussion.

Only to projects that already accept donations (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515176)

Money can be a strong incentive, but it can also cause trouble in open source project, as Debians "Dunc Tank" [dunc-tank.org] project showed.

Therefore I'd advise only to donate to projects that already accept donations, and clearly show that on their homepage. Otherwise your well-meant action might actually stir greed and envy, and thus could be counter-productive.

Let the flamewars begin... (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515182)

...since everyone will cheer for their pet project. Personally I'm inclined to go with KDE - they and QT are working to create a real development platform (phonon, solid, all the non-UI classes already in QT etc.) on Linux, not just a UI toolkit. Yes, I know GTK+ and family also have various non-UI things but none as polished that I've seen.

Relevancy ? (4, Interesting)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515184)

I would personally probably donate to the most relevant project, which since DesktopBSD is more or less a FreeBSD distro, and since KDE gets help from SuSE/Novell, the KUbuntu people, etc. it would end up being FreeBSD

Re:Relevancy ? (0, Troll)

Esteanil (710082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515514)

FreeBSD has more money than they know what to do with, IIRC.

The little guys (5, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515188)

Rather than donating to a project with corporate backing, why not split your donation up and give it to a few smaller projects instead? You're more likely to make a difference there. Even the tiniest donation could give a lone developer the extra enthusiasm needed to fix that one last bug before calling it a night.

Re:The little guys (5, Funny)

wfWebber (715881) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515272)

Yeah. Nothing sets the spirits like receiving $0.05 from an enthousiastic user.

Re:The little guys (5, Funny)

nfk (570056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515402)

Even better would be just $0.02, accompanied by a big rant about future direction of the project.

MODS ON CRACK AGAIN - that was funny (1)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515646)

or maybe they have no sense of humour whatsoever.

Re:The little guys (2, Interesting)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515328)

Spot on!
That's so damn right!

While my project wasn't FOSS, it was a browser strat game, keeping it running beyond personal interest for over a year longer was made to happen by the community support, we even almost finished up the next generation version of it (everything polished and updated, lots and lots of new content)

In the end in my case "life came", and i just didn't have the time nor motivation to keep maintaining it. But it did give the community almost a year more time to enjoy the game :)

As for donation suggestions, my 2cents:
  something which increases productivity: User friendly application, something you use constantly and it saves you time.

  Personally i'd look into putting cash on some of the "life saving" tools: Backup, Data Forensics/Recovery, Security apps, or maybe something which increases server performance or reliability

Won't someone think of the children? (0, Offtopic)

paylett (553168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515190)

If you're looking for a worthy cause to donate to, don't forget all the other possibilities.

World Vision [worldvision.org]

Amnesty International [amnesty.org]

Etcetera [google.com.au]

Which ever (2, Insightful)

heikkile (111814) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515194)

Just pick one at random, if you can't make up your mind. Or split your money to a few of the projects you find most useful, valuable, or which you like best. Next time you get the urge, donate to someone else. Don't worry so much about it, things will even out in the long run.

How many people benefit? (5, Insightful)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515200)

A question you should be thinking about is, "how many people will benefit from this donation?".

Let's have a look at the projects mentioned.
DesktopBSD, never heard of them, probably have quite a small user-base compared to FreeBSD.
FreeBSD, benefits more then just your personal desktop OS. Lots of people use it, code flows sideways to other BSD's.

KDE, benefits heaps of people, not just those using BSD based OSs, but also Linux based OSs.

OpenSSH, you would actually be donating to OpenBSD who run the OpenSSH project, but whatever. Again, code will flow sideways to other BSD's, and OpenSSH is used by sooo many people.

Next question, how popular is the project? How many donations do they get?

DesktopBSD, probably doesn't get too many donations, small user base and all that.

FreeBSD would get a bit, KDE would get a lot more (much larger userbase), and OpenBSD would get a bit as well.

So, my suggestion, don't donate to KDE if you only have minimal funds, they probably get lots of cash from other sources.

DesktopBSD might be worth chucking some money at if you like them.

But consider donating to FreeBSD or OpenBSD, even if you don't use them directly. Their code will help you (via DesktopBSD), and will also help other people. They also probably don't get so many donations because of the smaller userbase compared to KDE.

Re:How many people benefit? (4, Informative)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515682)

Agree with parent. You could also set aside the money for a few months and see which project actually has issues with funding. If I remember correctly from about 2 years ago, OpenBSD (and OpenSSH) had serious issues with funding at that time: http://bsd.slashdot.org/bsd/06/03/21/1555243.shtml [slashdot.org] .

Occasionally, a part-time dev may step forward and announce he/she is willing to work full time on the project for a period time, provided people are willing to financially support him/her. Those may be good times to sponsor as well.

A bit of perspective (2, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515208)

Software you are talking about is business, or should be business. Donate money to the poor instead.

Re:A bit of perspective (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515294)

I'm sure a lot of open source developers are poor. And as I pointed out in other places, how do you even know that this guy doesn't donate to the poor or other causes? If he's at the level of thinking about donating to software projects, he probably already donates to other more 'worthy' causes as well?

Re:A bit of perspective (4, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515314)

Software you are talking about is business, or should be business.
I fundamentally disagree with this statement. Business is part of the software ecosystem. But software, including operating systems, can and should be written, distributed and used outside of a business context.

Re:A bit of perspective (1)

grm_wnr (781219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515692)

Software you are talking about is business, or should be business.
I fundamentally disagree with this statement. Business is part of the software ecosystem. But software, including operating systems, can and should be written, distributed and used outside of a business context.
Well, I'd have to disagree with this. Even if something is free (in any meaning), that does not means it's not in a business context. Linux and any BSD, which are the only OSs mentioned in here so far, are very much Business (Serious Business, even *rimshot*). At most, they are anti-business, but just negating everything does not actually make all that different (the ol' flip side of the same coin thing). There are some non-business OSs out there, but those are the really obscure hobbyist ones like Menuet.

Re:A bit of perspective (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515470)

The poor don't offer much ROI. Donating to a software project can be in your own enlightened self-interest. Don't tell me you've never spent any money on your own interests in your life.

Re:A bit of perspective (1)

zoefff (61970) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515584)

Still you can donate to business in a useful way:
I find Kiva [kiva.org] a good way of microcredit the poor.

GNAA Penis Rocket To The Moon Project (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515230)

"I would like to know who the community thinks should get the donations."

Donate to GNAA's Penis Rocket To The Moon (PR2TM) Project!

GNAA Gay Niggers Association of America - http://www.gnaa.us/ [www.gnaa.us]

GNAA is collecting donations to raise money to build a hand crafted penis rocket to launch gay niggers and one token gay cracker (from our newly merged Cocksuckers For Christ Ministries gay white cracker organization) to the moon and plant a Goatse flag! Your donation will include your name engraved in bronze, with a collection of your semen or vaginal secreations if you so offer them, inside the tip of the gay nigger penis rocket penis head's hole. The resulting broadcast will be WORLD WIDE and LIVE! You don't have to join GNAA if you're not a gay nigger or cracker, but you can participate in launching a gay nigger penis to the moon for the first time in history!

https://www.gnaa.us/penis-rocket-to-the-moon-project/donate.html [www.gnaa.us]

Donate between now and June 1st, and receive a free Penis Rocket To The Moon bumper sticker, or your choice of Goatse hats which spring open when you pull a string (hidden in your pocket).

to all the people talking about other causes (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515244)

here we are not talking about charity, we are talking about returning some value (that we are taking advantage from) to the people that make it possible, to continue having it. It is some kind of purchase but not in a regular way.
So don't be so demagogic

Spread the money out. (4, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515286)

Its the guesture i think is important, not the money. The more people that see that someone thinks their work is worthwhile the better. As for what projects to donate to i cant say anything, follow your heart but dont forget those that you never think about but greatly benefits you. Im thinking of those that always just works and so good that you very rarely touch them or see them.

There Can Only Be One (4, Insightful)

bball99 (232214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515306)

GNU

donate (time || money || expertise) here:

http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html [gnu.org]

Re:There Can Only Be One (-1, Troll)

grm_wnr (781219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515338)

Donating to Stallman's fan club hardly makes the world a better place, I'd rather donate to the Catholic Church. If you must, donate to the SI (which is a lot more pragmatic).

Re:There Can Only Be One (1)

grm_wnr (781219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515348)

Oops, that was supposed to mean OSI (http://opensource.org/)

Re:There Can Only Be One (3, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515366)

I don't really follow what GNU do with donations, but I donate to the FSF Europe [fsfeurope.org] -- and they're campaigning against DRM, standing up against Microsoft in court etc.

Re:There Can Only Be One (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515684)

The BSD family he's using software from don't use much GNU software (other than GCC [which they're trying to move away from] and perhaps some small utilities).
You never hear RMS proclaming it should be called GNU/BSD.

Don't mix up GNU with GPL.

- Peder

Donations - Not what you think!!! (5, Informative)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515322)

The common thinking would be, why should I donate to a big project, they must have been getting billions already
The truth is different guys, just from looking at the donations page at KDE.org I would have thought that that they get at-least 30K$ p/m, but the truth is different (300$, in a good month)
We, the USERS, should donate more [kde.org]

Re:Donations - Not what you think!!! (1)

soilheart (1081051) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515430)

The following contributions have been generously made through PayPal to KDE using the KDE Contribution form. We thank the donors listed below for their support!
(Emphasis mine).
I don't know if KDE gets money from other sources but that is only the paypal donations through a special form.
I may be wrong though but I don't think this is all the money they get...

Re:Donations - Not what you think!!! (2, Interesting)

sproot (1029676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515554)

The rest of their donations seem to be listed here [kde.org] .
Mostly Hosting / hardware and employing devs, some cash though.

Re:Donations - Not what you think!!! (1)

kmarshallbanana (1192023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515588)

Unless I'm doing the sums wrong they get 60,000 euros per annum from their patrons & supporters alone:
http://ev.kde.org/supporting-members.php [kde.org]
(not that this is a reason not to donate more).

EFF? FSF? ORG? (3, Insightful)

bbtom (581232) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515332)

How about your local Internet cyberfreedom group? That means EFF [eff.org] (US), Open Rights Group [openrightsgroup.org] (UK), European Digital Rights Initiative [edri.org] , Digital Rights Ireland [digitalrights.ie] , Free Software Foundation [fsf.org] or other civil liberties/human rights groups. Just an idea.

I'd say give out lots of small donations. One group worth targeting in your donation are college students - often they are short on cash, and if they are trying to make the decision about whether to spend an hour hunting a bug in some open source code or get a crappy McJob flipping hamburgers, your donation may flip the balance for them. Having good experiences contributing to the free software world in one's formative years may also help a person avoid the temptation of crappy development jobs in the future.

Re:EFF? FSF? ORG? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515400)

I second the idea of donating to the FSF or EFF, great organizations helping keep free software free.

Re:EFF? FSF? ORG? (1)

hey (83763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515518)

Which group in Canada?

Re:EFF? FSF? ORG? (1)

bbtom (581232) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515562)

Online Rights Canada [onlinerights.ca] .

Me. (5, Funny)

Zoolander (590897) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515334)

In this day and age, there are still software developers who - through no fault of their own - do not own a 50 inch Pioneer plasma.
I happen to be one of those unfortunate souls.
Please, give generously.

Me Too! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515548)

I too am one of those unfortunates.

I sit and watch my 42" LCD with a tear in my left eye. With a 50" plasma, both my eyes would be on fire!

Donate much and regularly. Please.

On a serious note: In ten years of OSS programming I've only once received a user donation. It was $25 deposited into my paypal account and it meant a lot to me. Unsolicited donations are a pick-me-up that lasts for days.

I would donate to... (2, Informative)

geekymachoman (1261484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515336)

Debian. See: http://www.debian.org/social_contract [debian.org] And, if you'r interested after reading above, see: http://www.debian.org/donations [debian.org] Im not in anyway affiliated with Debian project, except I use it for every day work. You asked to whom you might donate, so this is my opinion.. they contributed "much" to the Open Source community. I know you'r not using Debian, but thats not the point. The point (imho) is in helping the Open Source and OS projects.

OpenSSL (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515344)

Like it or not, your security depends on it, and it's chronically underfunded last I checked.

Debian, every time. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515350)

It's the backbone of the Free Software.

Penguin Purchasing Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515384)

you could apply for a US Bank Linux Fund Visa; USB kicks back something like 1-3% of purchase prices to the Fund. Use it for purchase orders/client hardware and soon the FOSS community will be rolling in dough! and the interest is in the middle range so it's not a bad card.

btw, it has a great picture of Tux on it and is fun to whip out on your local Circuit City/Best Buy salesclerk as you sneer at the Windows Vista displays and the cursing Firedog boys.

It won't work if we tell you (5, Interesting)

explodingspleen (1267860) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515404)

There are clearly a multitude of metrics by which you can assess the answer to your question.

Humanitarian: language translation / disability assistance software / tor.
Wanting to overthrow the evil empire: wine, firefox.
Wanting better hardware support: kernel developers.
Wanting to thank people: any projects you use/couldn't do without.

Really, it works best to just donate according to your own special favoritism. This way the projects get money in proportion to how much people/need want them. If you just wanted to pick the one project that will contribute the most to humanity, well, I can tell you already it's going to involve feeding hungry children and not improving your boot time.

If you like, you can imagine you are purchasing the software, and donate whatever is the highest price you would have been willing to pay for it (or at least use that to figure out the proportions in which you should divide your money).

What size donation are we talking about here? (1)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515414)

20$ I say split it 10 FreeBSD and 10 KDE. If more then you can add evenly to each project and then start deferring to each project that you find useful. I would recommend nothing under 5$ to keep things simpler.

That just my $0.05, consider it a donation ;)

donate to the Lazarus Project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515416)

Lazarus [freepascal.org] is the best desktop application builder out there for *NIX. It brought the right way of developing visually from Windows without forcing the developer to suffer the braindead design of GTK or Qt Designer.
We already have servers, daemons, databases, security, libraries, etc. Heck! Even on 3D first person shooters we're more advanced than in desktop programming, so we seriously need something better than Glade or Qt Designer to become the standard for desktop development, and albeit not perfect Lazarus is much better than the other two.
Offering bounties for the inclusion of a C++ compiler/object library would also be killer.

We need a remuneration model. ParEcon inspired? (1)

SD-Arcadia (1146999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515444)

We need some sort of model that would allow us to remunerate programmers. I will attempt a VERY ROUGH sketch for it. Try to get the basic idea and I would love responses. It's based on ParEcon which I believe shoots for the best values an economic system can produce: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parecon [wikipedia.org] The ideal would be to remunerate according to "effort & sacrifice". Trouble is how can we figure out who is expending the most effort and doing the hardest work? We've got to turn to evaluation of coworkers or project collaborators to find out. Letting aside corporate backed or other projects which income other than "donations" for the sake of argument, we could then try to balance remuneration across different FOSS projects. If one project is more tedious, difficult and unrewarding they should be better remunerated for their sacrifice. Projects that are empowering, rewarding in of themselves will have lesser priority. To organize the whole thing, we would also need to find out which projects are actually useful. Since users can't really see beyond GUI's, asking users won't be ideal. We could base it on an objective statistic of how many users use which products, let's say Ubuntu phones home to report the stats (if the user wishes to participate in this and privacy stuff is figured out etc.). The whole thing of course must come together in an organization of FOSS programmers to manage the information about who's doing how much of the most useful work. Funds from donations could be pooled and distributed accordingly instead of direct patronage. Perhaps SourceForge can be a starting point. What do you think?

Worthy causes (-1, Redundant)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515484)

Why not donate to a truly worthy cause - disaster relief, famine relief, campaigns against child abuse, cures for cancer/AIDS etc.? The list goes on.

Donate to FSFE - fighting swpat, DRM, etc. (3, Informative)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515500)

Don't forget the organisations that defend your right to write software, like FSFE [fsfeurope.org] .

And you don't have to be European to like FSFE's work. As well as fighting against software patents at the European level, we have people working at the UN/WIPO/WSIS global level to prevent harm in future treaty (such as TRIPS, which was the basis for the EU proposal to allow software patents).

And we do licence enforcement, campaigning for open standards, campaigning against the criminalisation of the grey areas of copyright law, and we supported SAMBA in their push to make the documentation published by Microsoft usable by free software developers. And more, but if I stop to think, then this post won't appear high enough to be seen :-)

You can donate [fsfeurope.org] , or join the Fellowship [fsfe.org] .

IEEE Computing (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515510)

The work of their various Councils and Societies [ieee.org] encompasses a large number of projects, to include Open Source projects.

I donate to the projects I use (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515570)

I typically support the software titles I use regularly. OpenOffice, FireFTP, TrueCrypt...several others. Google and Canonical don't really need the charity but I'd support both organizations in my consulting business...if either of them would return a phone call.

Some ideas (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515578)

To Whom Should You Donate ?
Let me give you some ideas :
http://www.greenpeace.org
http://www.msf.org
http://www.redcross.org

Want more ?

out of the chorus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515586)

Everybody wants you to pay his (preferred) project.

Completely out of the chorus: what do you think is the best "application" in your system?
What's invaluable? Donate for that one.

Micropatronage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515600)

is the economic model of the information age.
    Take the amount of money you plan on donating, and split it across the various projects that are meaningful to you. You can even "weight" the split, biasing the projects which have more meaning to you. $1.33 to the KDE project, $2.00 to the group putting the distro together, $4.67 to OpenSSH, etc.
    Alternately, if you are conscientious and consistent with your patronage, keep track of whom you donate the full amount to, this time, and ensure you support a different project on your list next time you have a few simoleons to throw around.

To Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515636)

Dear My Manley,
I am the Chief Financial Advisor of His Royal Highness of Nigeria, send your money to me at...

XBMC - it's being ported to Linux! (2, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515664)

XBMC for Linux is where I think money ought to go - that or the EFF to whom I donate to every DEFCON. Many of us have used XBMC on the old XBOX but it's now been ported to Linux using SDL so in addition it is also being ported to OSX and even Windows. The code can now handle HD video and while still "Alpha" I find that it works well enough that I'm using it on my main HTPC to watch movies often. EFF needs no introduction.

http://xbmc.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=52 [xbmc.org] for more information on Linux XBMC or check out the Wiki -> http://www.xboxmediacenter.net/wiki/?title=HOW-TO_compile_XBMC_for_Linux_from_source_code [xboxmediacenter.net]

P.S. ffmpeg is a project that MANY others benefit from including XBMC, if they need money they are also a worthy cause.

Billy Gator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23515670)

You insensitive clod! I code closed source!

Donate when you solve a problem (3, Insightful)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515676)

I always donate when I just solved a problem with some piece of software, or found a particular functionality I appreciate:
  • When I merged two pieces of source code using Meld [sourceforge.net] , I donated $10
  • Upon finding out I could resize windows in Vim [vim.org] in an xterm, I donated $10, and another $5 when I found out how nicely it works together with X11 clipboards
  • When my business started earning money, I donated to CentOS [centos.org] because that's what's installed on my servers
  • When the Dag Wieers RPM repository [wieers.com] had packaged a piece of software for me, he saved me an hour of work -- so I donated $10
And lots more. Outside of that, I donated to OpenSSH by buying a T-shirt for a colleague his birthday.
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