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October 17, 2012

TYPO3 Neos Funding

Category: Christian Mueller

How to ensure developer availability and ensure a smooth final release of our new family member?

I am asking myself the question how the funding of Neos development can work out. The Association budget is quite limited and other things obviously need funding too. I didn't tap much into the budget for Flow/Neos development for this year but if I look at my time log I see lots of hours spent with it. So far that works out more or less, thanks to my clients. Still some predictability of Neos work time and a better work life balance would be great. Quite some of those Flow/Neos hours happen after work time or on weekends. I could have achieved this by using parts of the budget but as the budget was already under heavy discussion for this year I tried to not do that.

So still the question remains how to get that into some useful balance. Neos is new and not finished so not that many contributors can be expected until a final 1.0 is out. And even then contributions will probably only rise slowly but on the other hand expectations seem to have risen since the presentations at T3CON this year. This all means our team wants to make the release of further alphas, betas and the final release as smooth as possible obviously. This needs steady development from the core team members which again means availability which can at some point only reached (if at all) by spending money on it.

I have long thought about this and want to start an experiment with this blog entry by actually searching sponsors for Neos development time to make the planning of a final release more predictable. So if you think your company could afford to support some hours per week/month that would be awesome. I would of course mention supporters and tweet about it. As said this is a try to see if it is a possible way of funding open-source development. I don't have expectations and would work on Neos anyway as much as I can afford. I am speaking just for me here but I guess you can ask other members of the team too if you want to sponsor someone else' work.

I am happy about any remarks and discussions but remember I worked for free on Neos so far and this is by no means a simple call to give me money. I want to get a feeling if this could work out to make open-source development of new products like Neos more predictable because development time (at least partly) is covered. Also if there is someone willing to sponsor I wouldn't give all my time to sponsored Neos development even if that would be a lot of fun for sure. But it would make me very dependent on the sponsoring and that is not what I want to achieve. I merely want to be able to reserve some fixed time in advance.


Thanks for reading so far. If you want to contact me:

christian.mueller(at)typo3.org
twitter: @daskitsunet


comments

comment #1
Gravatar: Anon Anon October 19, 2012 10:56
So the Core team decided everything without involving the community after burning lots (!) of money the last years for nothing. And now you want us to donate for something that has nothing in common with TYPO3 (the real one)? Funny story, bro!

comment #2
Gravatar: Karsten Karsten October 19, 2012 11:25
Hi, brave Anon!

Thanks for your constructive criticism.

comment #3
Gravatar: Sacha Sacha October 19, 2012 11:27
I think it's totally legit to ask these questions and come up with ideas like that. Why not do a crowd funding like Grid Elements is just doing? cheers - Sacha

comment #4
Gravatar: Christian Müller Christian Müller October 19, 2012 11:36
In fact crowd funding is also in discussion. I just saw the problem with crowd funding that you must setup a much better plan and rewards and stuff like that.
I think that it is great for funding specific features (as in gridelements) but for "lets move this thing forward if you like it" I guess it won't work out.

comment #5
Gravatar: t3agent t3agent October 19, 2012 14:02
Hi Christian, Hi Karsten,
i think you should have a view of what the community and the market is thinking.
The vision of TYPO3 Neos is really great and some parts of it are realized: BUT the process that the actual system resulted in have some great bad issues and many people lost their trust in this part of the TYPO3-project.
Now you must get this trust back to get money and thats why you MUST create a concrete plan AND realize the plan in the planned time. Its a software project wheater or not a open source project and such a big project needs a conrete plan with features, todos and milestones and as a open source project it MUST BE public. Communicate this, publish this on all plattforms you know, send it to Søren and he will share it all over the world, and show the World What your Vision is, What features you had and what you want to do and then do it. I think after that you'll get more money you can realize.

And by the way realize that forge is not a good platform to satisfy our customers and the people that want to use TYPO3 Neos in future.

Cheers
t3agent
(Christian Händel)

comment #6
Gravatar: Karsten Karsten October 19, 2012 14:39
Christian (H),

what Christian (M) wants to foster is the reliability of planning, so that should be something in the right direction. What I do not get are two things you mention.

"as a open source project it MUST BE public" - what is it that are missing?

And then the comment about Forge - are you saying the tool doesn't cut it? Why and for whom? Not that I disagree completely, I just want to know some background :)

comment #7
Gravatar: Christian Müller Christian Müller October 19, 2012 15:32
Christian, I really see your points. But I want to comment on some of them:

"BUT the process that the actual system resulted in have some great bad issues and many people lost their trust in this part of the TYPO3-project."

So what process are you talking about exactly? And (not saying I don't see there are critics about it) but I am not sure if "many people lost their trust" is exactly the case.

"Now you must get this trust back to get money and thats why you MUST create a concrete plan AND realize the plan in the planned time. "

Yes basically fine, but without a fixed amount of working time there cannot be a plan with a fixed date, that just cannot work, if you think it can, please tell me how.

The project is public, totally. We have a monthly report done by Karsten, our code is open, we do a daily meeting which everyone could join and listen too. All the information is there. As for the Vision in the public that could be improved for sure but if people are interested in it they can ask us anytime or see through our openly available protocols and easily find our plans and next steps. Btw. you wrote yourself in the beginning:

"The vision of TYPO3 Neos is really great..."

So obviously you have seen some vision in what we do...

There is a public milestone plan out there (AFAIK) that lists some core features we want to have in the 1.0 final and Robert made a statement on that in the T3CON keynote too. As stated on T3CON we definitely want feedback and feature requests. I think it will lead to much more discussion if we just decide upon some feature sets for the long term without hearing other opinions.

I don't see what forge has to do with all this. I mean it is not the sexiest way to work with issues and stories, but that is what the TYPO3 community decided on. Mantis is still not offline, so such a move costs a lot of energy. We tried JIRA for a short time in the Neos team but (apart from people in the team not liking it that much) we got again bad comments about that move because people feared that it would result in switching the ticketing system from Redmine (Which I can understand). With such a big community you cannot easily change things, but this is a point to raise in a more global context.

All in all this request is for discussion and if you don't trust us you don't need to sponsor anything. I see a future in independent support from people that like the product until the contributions go up. If we would have a bunch of new contributors that already have a basic understanding of it and some time on their hands this would be fine too instead of the money...
Don't get me wrong but I feel that certain people just utterly dislike this project and don't see that a fresher product with a solid, modern core framework is a good foundation for the TYPO3 family in the future (not saying that you are one of them, but this basic feeling comes up from some comments).

comment #8
Gravatar: Tolleiv Tolleiv October 19, 2012 17:37
Hi,
I like the idea behind it as well as I like the crowdfunding ideas and really hope that this works out and get's up some sponsors.
After reading the post I miss some specifics. I know that it is very hard to pin down specific numbers. But as the "feature wishlist" is known, I'd say that adding rough time estimates "per feature/task" would really help. This would also enable others to see the spots with missing manpower and the spots with missing "time".
Even if that sponsoring would be sponsoring for your personal time - I think people/companies would still need to know what the actual tasks are and what the estimated effort is.
Good luck. Cheers, Tolleiv

comment #9
Gravatar: Robert Lemke Robert Lemke October 19, 2012 18:45
Folks, let's do it this way: Those who believe in Neos and can't wait to use it, get in touch with Christian and spread the word.

Those who don't, please either wait until someone did the work or choose a different tool.

I just return from who a company belonging to the first group. They can't wait to get involved and figure out a way to support the team.

What ever you want to complain on the development process, throw it on me. Christian is the first person to thank and the last to complain to.

Thanks.

comment #10
Gravatar: t3agent t3agent October 19, 2012 19:00
@Christian and Karsten: look at you mailbox

@Robert
We want to bring the project forward? Right?
To advise that they can choose a other tool... are you serious?

What we are doing here?

comment #11
Gravatar: Christian Müller Christian Müller October 22, 2012 11:29
@Robert, thanks for the endorsement. But hey, we are a Team and I started this here, so it is fine if people complain with me ;) You don't need to take it all.

@t3agent We are in contact via mail.

@Tolleiv totally agree that there should be a better planning. I'll see if we have/can compile a list of todos and features that are on the list.


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