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Re: Donate to The Perl Fund

by demerphq (Chancellor)
on Dec 07, 2005 at 07:39 UTC ( #514749=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Donate to The Perl Fund

I'm always uncomfortable when this subject comes up on PM. I think that in many ways a better donation on PM is to give your information and skills back. Answer questions, post meditations, deal with considerations, you could join sitedocclan and help document PM, join q&a editors and help maintain the Q&A sections, join janitors and help keep the place the tidy or join pmdev and help build tomorrows features or even just help clean up some of the code. Whatever, its not just a matter of donating cash.

Having said that I can understand that what all of these things mean is contributing time, and that for many of us time is too precious to donate, so feel free to donate cash. But currently the only debit I know of is in the grey area. Corion and I pay for hosting the dev server, but its not used much at present, although I expect that after we resynch it we shall see more traffic and use. Anyway, I guess its kinda moot because we don't get any of the cash from the offering plate. If you feel like it I guess you could mark your donation "for dev server, see de-merphq" somewhere in the donation (if thats possible) and maybe the TPF people will get in touch with me about it. (Or answer my emails :-) Having said that they will just use the cash for some other Perl related issue, so donating to them is still going to a good cause.

Anyway, I'd be just as happy to have some folks come onto pmdev and just go through the code and clean it up, node by node. Which is to be quite honest the computer equivelent of dirty nasty work, but the folks currently active in pmdev have only so much time to do it. I hear people say a lot of stuff like "but you need to understand the site first" but I have to say that a lot of what we need doesn't involve deep insite into the sites architecture. Its just plain and simple reformatting, documenting and refactoring stuff. Drudgework. Things like finding all the hand coded html and making XHTML compliant. Stuff like reworking simple algorithms so they are readable. Etc. So if you are up to it, please feel free to volunteer. (I should add that we dont accept all volunteers for PMDEV normally we expect monks to be around level 10 or 11 before we let them in, however this isn't that high a bar for most of our regular contributors.)


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Re^2: Donate to The Perl Fund
by Limbic~Region (Chancellor) on Dec 07, 2005 at 14:28 UTC
    Having said that they will just use the cash for some other Perl related issue, so donating to them is still going to a good cause.

    Are you saying that the money I have donated in the past and specifically marked for "Perl Monks Fund" is being used for something other than PerlMonks?

    I don't know why, but it really bothers me that the total amount in reserves isn't publicly available. It also bothers me that the money is apparently either just sitting there or being spent on things other than that which was intended by the contributor.

    In other words, I don't really much mind how PerlMonks decides to spend the money that I contribute but had I known they weren't going to spend it at all or were going to let it be used for something other than PerlMonks, I would never have contributed. I do not plan to contribute in the future either. I have proposed what I feel is a good use of the money which, for the most part, went unanswered.

    Cheers - L~R

      L~R, I actually dont know where I got that idea from. Its quite possible its not correct.

      I don't have any direct relations with the TPF people. I sent them a mail about getting the dev server some financing but it went unanswered. Im going to call this thread to their attention and see what happens.

      Id like to say that part of the problem is that there are only so many people suitable for doing deep-core PM development and most of them already do as much as they can afford to do. Maybe its possible that tye or ysth or someone could arrange to do some contract work and give the site their full attention for a while, but they havent mentioned it recently.

      Anyway, the issue with paying for developement is that the people that can do it are the people least likely to say that you should pay them. I dont have the time to donate more efforts than I already do, and I dont contribute to get paid. Sure it would be nice to get paid for some of my lost weekends developing this or that, but id be just happy if you guys all got a T-shirt and wrote your names on it and sent it to me. You know what I mean? I volunteer my dev time because I love the site, i dont do it for money, that would cheapen my contributions in my own mind.

      On the other hand Id love it if Corion and I weren't the only ones paying for the dev server.

      Anyway, i realize that none of this resolves your feelings about this issue, but I hope it makes it clear why your idea of funding specific enhancments wasnt taken up with wild enthusiasm, at least by me.


        Hereís the short answer to the questions about PerlMonks and money. Hopefully we can put together something a little more detailed and put it with the donations page soon. First, when we get money, how do we decide where to spend it? Whenever we get some money, I contact Tim and the gods and we decide how to spend it.

        This has really only happened twice in the history of the web site. The first time was in 2003 when we started to get enough money to fund some upgrades that Tye proposed. Since that time, the donations virtually dried up.

        Recently, however, OíReilly has started running a few banners, putting an extra $3k in our pockets. We are discussing some possibilities, but figuring out where to spend money in an all-volunteer community is always a big challenge.

        To clear another thing up: donations earmarked for PerlMonks have been/will be spent on PerlMonks. There hasnít been much activity recently since there havenít been many donations and we need a reasonable pool of cash before we can start to spend it.

        Though I would like to make one request on this topic. When making a donation to perlmonks, please follow the link from the donations page instead of just sending a paypal payment to If you just send money to that address, it is really hard to tell which fund you are targeting. By using the web form, you guarantee that your money is allocated to the correct fund.

        Hopefully that clears up a couple of the questions raised in this thread.


        Thank you. You are right, it doesn't change my feelings. I love this place and I don't think any one would question that. I know that people volunteer here and don't do it for the money. My issue isn't that my personal idea went unused but that there doesn't seem to be any idea from anyone suitable for use. As I pointed out in Monastery Slush Fund, the only use of the fund I am aware of was for tye's node cache refactoring.

        The Monastery has been around for about 5 years as I assume the Offering Plate has been. The TPF only shows a rolling 12 month window of donations. I just don't see the point in contributing anymore if no one is going to bother to use it regardless of our recommendations. It also feels wrong to me that there would not be some public report of how much is in reserves or how the money is being used.

        Cheers - L~R

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