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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.