Quanta Project Sponsors New Developers!
Last year I had some difficulty and posted to our mailing list asking for help. Help came! Thanks to you I got Andras caught up. We also acquired new sponsors from people who helped out at that time. 2003 was a difficult year that started out in a cash flow crunch with a 3 month ripple effect, then proceeded to typohid fever. I finally closed out the year big and then started 2004 a very slow two months. Things are picking up and 2004 looks like it will be a break out year for Kitty Hooch! It's a big turn around and very welcome. We've almost completely normalized from the frustrations of our first quarter... I've been reviewing our sponsorship revenue, and now I have good news!
After recent additional sponsors have joined and Carlos Woelz, our leading sponsor, has renewed for another year I realized that Andras' income is now mostly assured by sponsors other than me. Realizing this I contacted two developers I had been considering to see if I could add one of them as a sponsored developer. Only one responded and we have been in a trial period. While there is a little time left in the trial the consensus is pretty strong that we will be adding Michal Rudolf as a new sponsored developer to work on Quanta and Kommander. Michal lives in Poland so his cost of living is in line with what we can afford to sponsor. He is the author of one of my favorite applications, Knowit. He will also continue development on Knowit and at some time we will probably incorporate a it as a planning plugin for Quanta.
I'm very excited about adding Michal. He is very particular about his work. He's made a number of tweaks in Quanta and Kommander cleaning code and speeding things up. He did the recent improvements to the table editor in CVS. He is very strong on usability and he's just a real great person who is fun to have on the team. Michal will be starting part time and work into full time. This will put less stress on our initial relationship and finances. I'm hoping our users help me bring him to full time.
Things got complicated when I heard back from Özkan Pakdil, the author of Flash 4 Linux. You may remember the write up on the Dot late last year. He lives in Turkey and he did this as a project for college. Anyway it doesn't seem to have gotten much, if any, work due to the simple reality that he's been scrambling to pay the bills. He is interested too it turns out. I thought I might be able to manage this but to further complicate matters he wants to include a friend. The saving grace is that they are willing to start out part time as long as need be and their financial needs are small, but you can take that times two. I think F4L would be a great addition to Quanta because discussions went to the idea that it could also generate SVG as well as Flash. My commitment to him was simple. I want to, I think it's possible, but it will require community support.
I Know there are a lot of mixed feelings about Flash in the community. Obviously we want to do things right. Obviously we want to gravitate to SVG. Obviously we want to focus on a good interface. The reality is that we are shut out from any decent tool for this and the language is a documented standard. This can make Quanta much more attractive to developers stuck on Windows. This can expand what you can do with Quanta. If we have a chance we're going to do this right. We're going to seek input from the community to look for better ways to do things because that's what's good about FLOSS.
Some day I hope my business makes me a lot of money, but today I am still shopping for bargains and forgoing large purchases. Eventually I hope also to set up a tax exempt not for profit organization to handle sponsorships and donations but that costs a lot of money. It's getting closer to a real consideration fast though. For me to get to where I can casually part with hundreds of dollars a month extra because I think it's cool I have to be very careful to have the money I need to finance the growth of my business. Otherwise I'm forever asking for help in a bad month. So while this is good news our users will get the final say in how good it is. You can contribute to Quanta as a sponsor or make a donation from our web site here.
While we need to get kdewebdev.org in motion it will be a while before we can use it so I have updated our donation pages. If you would like to direct your contributions to a specific use like Quanta/Kommander or F4L you can indicate how you would like that distributed in your comments at Paypal. I will do all I can to insure that is honored.
As a further note, we are looking to do a big BE release in another week or two. This will include some exciting things like a PHP debugger, CSS enhancements, new toolbars and of course KMDI. There will also be some improvements in Kommander and possibly even data widgets. We will probably do another Kommander only release after with a number of improvements. We are also looking to add a graphical link checker from a new developer soon too. 2004 should be a very much more exciting year for Quanta!