Funding Open Source Automatically

For a very long time I’ve been considering contributing to open source financially not just with code contributions. The model I was originally working on was one where I’d “buy” the free-as-in-beer open source software that I was using regularly. Looking at my software stack it’s almost all projects which don’t necessarily have huge corporate backing. Yes I use GitHub but that’s essentially Microsoft at this point. Yes I use Java but that foundation has huge corporate sponsors. Yes I use Linux which has lots of sponsors for some pieces but the projects I use are the smaller off to the side ones. So how did my “buy the software” model work? It turns out that plan sucks.

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Open Source Contributions for July/August 2019

Between the months of July and August I had a month of travel. Part of that was a three week trip to southern Europe and another week at my first astrodynamics conference in a very long time (the AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialists Conferenec). Because of that I actually forgot to post some of the things that I had been up to for the first half of July, before my trip. I’m therefore combining my open source contributions update to cover both months in one post. One of the biggest shifts you’ll see is my focus for the time being. While I spent much of May and June focusing on Avalonia or development using it my focus in the past couple months, and for the time being, is shifting to a project called B612 Foundation which is a non-profit organization looking to make strides in improving our ability to track near-Earth asteroids and give us enough warning time to mitigate a potential impact if one is predicted to occur. The work I’m doing on their open source astrodynamics engine and related tools is the perfect merger of my interests and technical capabilites: software engineering and aerospace engineering.

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Giving Back with BOINC

Back in June on a lark, or maybe it was some nostalgia kick induced by an article I read somewhere, I wanted to see if SETI@Home. This was a system designed by UC Berkley around 2000 to turn spare CPU cycles on otherwise idle computers into a massive distributed computing infrastructure. It turns out that not only does it still exist but in the nearly 20 years I hadn’t been paying attention it turned into a giant ecosystem of so-called “Volunteer Computing” (VC) called Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).

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Getting Ready for Diaspora API Going Live

It’s been awhile since I’ve done development around Diaspora regularly, or anything associated with the API. When I saw the announcement of the work being done with the API at their Hackathon back in April I was pretty stoked. It looks like it will be on track for the 0.8.0.0 release which hopefully will be in the near future. I was especially excited to see that there is a possibility of someone putting it up on a live-test server to work with. To get ready for that I wanted to make sure that my two code bases, the “test harness” and the “Comment Reflector” that used it to create comments for a blog as described in this blog post, worked as soon as a server went live with the code.

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Open Source Contributions for June 2019

I follow a lot of open source developer blogs, including some from project-based blog aggregators like Debian, Ubuntu, and some .NET developers. One of the things they do that I like is that they provide a monthly summary of the open source contributions. In some cases I’m pretty sure it’s part of accountability for getting some funding to work on the project. In other cases I think it’s just a little historical tracking on their part. Some people make lots of changes and others just have one small package they incremented slightly. As I (hopefully) continue to ramp up my open source software contributions I want to begin that process as well. Some of these are relatively inconsequential things. Many of them are documentation-driven. All of them however I hope will help open source projects or users of open source projects in at least some infinitesimal way. Worst case I’m just publically documenting my own experiences to make for easy reference for myself as well as potentially othersThis will be the first such summary articles.

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Picture of Me (Hank)

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