Or maybe, how do you build a technology fortress when the foundations are a bunch of pebbles?
The Gnome Foundation is out of cash, though they view it as a temporary thing:
The Foundation has articulated a plan to get things back on track, including “Following up on unpaid invoices more actively”.
No such worries over at the OpenBSD Foundation which, as of late last week, says it has secured the $US150,000 it needs to keep going for another year.
There’s a couple things to take away from this. First, there are a boatload (dozens? hundreds?) of foundations managing interfaces and source trees for technology. A lot of these things are one to two people, some storage, and a lot of travel. I’ve worked with a bunch of these in the past, and they do good work. But they’re almost all hanging on because someone wants to support the technology, but not own it. This makes building on technology interesting at times.
Or, perhaps more appropriately, foundations and alliances like this are a good barometer of the industry. When a technology is cool, it’s a funded foundation. As the technology wanes, it eventually falls to a couple volunteers to manage it as the foundation falls apart.
I can’t tell you what’s happening with Gnome. It’s likely just a bit of mismanagement due to some distraction. But what’s interesting to me is the fact that technology depends so much on stuff like this.