Friday, October 03, 2003


Because It's Good For You  

I know that phrase has hit your ears a few times over the years. It usually accompanies something that's painful or tastes bad. I'm including this open letter because, while it may be painful in a minor way, it is certainly NOT in bad taste.

I think that anyone who has gotten as far as reading my blog will be familiar with the concept of the open source software world. Any number of common and useful programs are freeware of this sort. Even Linux, itself, is part of the open source list of champions. In this world, there are a few web sites that have made the hosting and support of open source software their life's work. SourceForge is one of these. I won't be repetitive, as the letter expains what they do better than I could, so I'll simply copy it below. The bottom line is that, while not desparate for money, they could use new funds to expand their offerings and provide new tools for authors and the users who depend on them.

Trust me- it really is good for you!

Dear SourceForge.net User

SourceForge.net is approaching its 4-year birthday. Forty-six months
ago the site started off with only a handful of second-hand computers,
two megabits of bandwidth, a few hundred projects, and a goal. The
goal was, and continues to be, to create a place for Open Source
projects and the Open Source community to thrive and be successful.
When we launched the site, we never dreamed that it would be so
successful, or that its growth rate would be so high. Today, we host
nearly 70,000 projects on 85 computers. The amount of bandwidth we
consume at any one time, including the mirrors, is approximately 225
megabits. We continue to add about 700 new users and 70 new projects
per day. In fact, we just crossed our 700,000 registered user

Since SF.net's inception, we have offered and continue to offer all of our
services for free. This is something that we are very proud of, and
something we will continue to do.

The site itself, as you can imagine, is very expensive to run. We
just purchased a lot of additional equipment to manage the growth, and
have hired addititiojnal SF.net programmers to code new
features/functionality that you will see shortly.

If you like what we are doing on SourceForge.net, and you want to help
out the site, here is your chance. To help cover the costs we have
added a 'donate' link on our site navigation system.

If you do help us and make a donation, we'll place an icon next to
your user name signifying that you helped cover the cost of running
SF.NET. In addition, your user name will be listed on our donation
page, which will be linked from the front page.

The link is http://sourceforge.net/donate

Thank you in advance.

BTW: Since I know people will ask: No, we are not doing this to try to
'save' SourceForge.net. The site is not in financial trouble, nor is it
going away. Our parent company, if you read our quarterly financial
statements, continues to show steady improvement. We are adding this
donation feature because the site is very expensive to operate and we
want to continue to add features and functionality that we know you
want. If you like what we are doing for your project, if you like what
we are doing for the Open Source community, now you can make a donation
and help us out. Thank you.

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