Monday, January 25, 2010

Accepting Project Proposals

The FreeBSD Foundation is soliciting the submission of proposals for work relating to any of the major subsystems or infrastructure within the FreeBSD operating system. Proposals will be evaluated based on desirability, technical merit, and cost-effectiveness. Download the PDF of the complete Guidelines if you are interested in a submission.

Proposals must include the following: 

  1. A detailed description of what is being proposed, how it will benefit the FreeBSD project, and why the work is needed. Also include your name, email address, mailing address, phone number, and involvement in the FreeBSD Project.

  2. You need to include a timeline and costing for the project. This includes your fees, compensation for reviewer, and taxes. We would also like you to include a rough estimated breakdown of how the money will be spent. Also include the estimated man hours.

  3. Technical reviewers are very important to the project. It lends to accountability on the project. The Foundation does not have the staffing resources to provide detailed source code review, but feels that detailed technical review of funded projects as they proceed is extremely important. The reviewer may request to be compensated for their time they spend on the project. It is important that the reviewer is familiar with what you plan to accomplish. The person should be a recognized FreeBSD contributor. Include in your proposal the name of the reviewer and what criteria you used to select this person. Please include this cost in your final project cost.

  4. Proposals must include milestones for which partial payments can be made. In addition to the milestones, a completion target date must be proposed with the completed project placed into the FreeBSD source repository. A proposal will be rejected if a target completion date is not submitted. Payments will only be made when milestones are reached and the project has been completed.

All proposals must be in US dollars.

Proposals are open to all developers, including non-FreeBSD committers, but developers without access to commit to the source tree must provide details about how the completion guidelines will achieved.

Please email your proposal to the FreeBSD Foundation Board.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Accepting Travel Grant Applications for AsiaBSDCon 2010

Calling all FreeBSD developers needing assistance with travel expenses to AsiaBSDCon 2010.

The FreeBSD Foundation will be providing a limited number of travel grants to individuals requesting assistance. Please fill out and submit the Travel Grant Request Application by January 29, 2010 to apply for this grant.

This program is open to FreeBSD developers of all sorts (kernel hackers, documentation authors, bugbusters, system administrators, etc). In some cases we are also able to fund non-developers, such as active community members and FreeBSD advocates.

(1) You request funding based on a realistic and economical estimate of travel costs (economy airfare, trainfare, ...), accommodations (conference hotel and sharing a room), and registration or tutorial fees. If there are other sponsors willing to cover costs, such as your employer or the conference, we prefer you talk to them first, as our budget is limited. We are happy to split costs with you or another sponsor, such as just covering airfare or board.

If you are a speaker at the conference, we expect the conference to cover your travel costs, and will most likely not approve your direct request to us.

(2) We review your application and if approved, authorize you to seek reimbursement up to a limit. We consider several factors, including our overall and per-event budgets, and (quite importantly) the benefit to the community by funding your travel.

Most rejected applications are rejected because of an over-all limit on travel budget for the event or year, due to unrealistic or uneconomical costing, or because there is an unclear or unconvincing argument that funding the applicant will directly benefit the FreeBSD Project. Please take these points into consideration when writing your application.

(3) We reimburse costs based on actuals (receipts), and by check or bank transfer. And, we do not cover your costs if you end up having to cancel your trip. We require you to submit a report on your trip, which we may show to current or potential sponsors, and may include in our semi-annual newsletter.

There's some flexibility in the mechanism, so talk to us if something about the model doesn't quite work for you or if you have any questions. The travel grant program is one of the most effective ways we can spend money to help support the FreeBSD Project, as it helps developers get together in the same place at the same time, and helps advertise and advocate FreeBSD in the larger community.

Friday, January 1, 2010

How the FreeBSD Project's Processes Help Companies Build Products

George Neville-Neil has written the lead article for the January issue of the Open Source Business Resource (OSBR) and the FreeBSD Foundation is the sponsor for this month's issue. The entire issue is available as a PDF and George's article is also available in HTML. You are welcome to host/translate a copy of the PDF or article elsewhere as long as you attribute George as the author and the OSBR as the original publication source.

From the article's abstract:

The processes that open source projects use to produce new work and maintain the quality of their code base is a subject that comes up infrequently in discussions of open source. One reason for this is that engineers and programmers are usually loathe to deal with issues that are not directly related to the piece of code or technology that they are working on.

Successful businesses know that good processes lead to continued success. The attributes that attract a business to an open source project are stability, reliability, and longevity. Stability gives a business the confidence to invest time into developing products on the project's platform, safe in the knowledge that the next incremental step in development won't be torpedoed by some unforeseen change. Reliability is often not associated with open source and many projects are perceived as being too cutting edge for a business to build upon. Longevity is of value as many businesses are inherently conservative in their approaches, attempting to reduce the risks of adopting any technique or technology. One way to reduce risk is to work with an open source project that has a proven track record of delivering quality products, on schedule.

This article attempts to dispel the myth of the perceived tension between a formally run business and the apparently less formally run open source projects with which a business interacts. We describe how one particular open source project has developed processes which provide its users, customers, and partners with a product that is stable, reliable, and long lived.