The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) is expanding again. This time the SFC has added Gevent, an MIT-licensed project that provides a Python networking library.
SFC has some big-name member projects like Amarok, Bongo, BusyBox, and Samba, but Gevent is a bit smaller. In fact, Gevent is mostly work of Denis Bilenko, who's trying to work on Gevent full-time.
The SFC that helps promote FLOSS projects by providing a non-profit umbrella organization so that FLOSS projects can get the benefits of a non-profit without having to distract themselves by setting up the non-profit themselves.
The addition of Gevent seems to indicate that things are going pretty well at the Conservancy. I asked Bradley Kuhn, who moved from the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) to work as the Conservancy's full-time executive director in October, how things are going. Kuhn says that the Conservancy now has the funds to employ him full-time through 2011, and working on fund raising for 2012. "My hope is to always keep Conservancy one year ahead on fundraising."
Kuhn says this has gotten easier because more of the member projects are channeling some of their revenue to supporting the Conservancy's general operations. In turn, this has allowed Kuhn to provide more attention to the projects — something that wasn't easy when he was only working on the Conservancy part-time:
I think it's been really excellent for me to get more involved in policy details with the projects. Projects now regularly consult me about issues related to leadership, fundraising, licensing and other project policy decisions. I'm really glad that I can put my full range of talents toward Conservancy now; I'm happy to provide Conservancy with the full range of services. When I was doing Conservancy as a volunteer in previous years, it was all I could do on the nights and weekends to keep the administrative details moving along. Now, with full time attention, Conservancy projects can get more of my knowledge toward helping their efforts.
The Conservancy is largely a "boring" organization, in that the services it provides are generally not very exciting. That is, however, the point. What the Conservancy does is allow single-person projects and larger efforts to focus on developing FLOSS while the other things are taken care of. It's a waste of time and effort for developers to spend time pushing paperwork when they could be adding features, fixing bugs, or generally polishing their projects.
Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years covering IT. Formerly the openSUSE Community Manager for Novell, Brockmeier is a longtime free and open source software advocate. He has written for many publications, including Linux Magazine, Sys Admin, Linux Pro Magazine, IBM developerWorks, Linux.com, CIO.com, Linux Weekly News, ZDNet, and many others.