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Operating Systems Software

To Whom Should I Donate? 299

jasonmanley writes "I currently use DesktopBSD. The other day I gave some thought to donating money to the project, but then I got to thinking — to whom would I donate the money? DesktopBSD benefits from FreeBSD and KDE among other projects. What about software with a smaller focus, such as OpenSSH? In fact, there are heaps of other projects' software embedded in FOSS packages, and I would like to know who the community thinks should get the donations."
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To Whom Should I Donate?

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  • Cowboyneal (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:09AM (#23515116)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:12AM (#23515130)
    Yet another instance where going with Microsoft makes things easier!
    • by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:48AM (#23515284) Journal
      Actually, giving the money to Microsoft would almost be like a lottery.

      There is a 1 in 20 jillion chance of them making significant improvements to their operating system, software, and business practices resulting in a decent, problem free [or much reduced] computing system.

      The odds of this happening are excruciatingly small, just like a lottery. The different thing about it is, if you 'hit', it greatly improves the computing experience of most of the computing world [so it's like everyone wins].

      This post can be modded: flamebait, insightful, dopey, idiotic, and/or funny. Any other modding is expressly forbidden.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by erikina ( 1112587 )
      You have a point. With traditional services/product - if you want to support someone, you simply use them. Want to support Honda? Buy one.

      However, when everything is free - this really doesn't work in the same sense. So I guess the option is donating or buying products from an open source company (like red hat). Another option would be instead of just donating - pay someone (possibly through a bounty system) to fix a bug or add a feature to some program.

      Then again, there are some pretty cool projects
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by the_B0fh ( 208483 )
        RedHat is a commercial enterprise, much like Microsoft. You buy from RedHat because you want commercial support. There is no non-profit segment to RedHat. They contribute to opensource because their business model requires it. If they don't make money, they will go away. However, the opensource software will still be around.

        For the OP, I would take a look at a couple of factors:
        1) which piece affects you the most?
        2) which project is the poorest?

        Personally, I prefer to donate to OpenBSD because
        1. they do
  • by rts008 ( 812749 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:14AM (#23515142) Journal

    I'll make that complicated decision for you...honest!
  • by crazybit ( 918023 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:15AM (#23515148)
    and give them some of your time and effort by reporting bugs, making some code (if you can), helping with documentation, helping newbies on their support lists, etc.

    sometimes our time is as good as some cash.
    • by LighterShadeOfBlack ( 1011407 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @06:43AM (#23515482) Homepage

      and give them some of your time and effort by reporting bugs, making some code (if you can), helping with documentation, helping newbies on their support lists, etc.

      sometimes our time is as good as some cash.
      And sometimes cash is better than time, so now we're back at square one having wasted 20 seconds. What was the point of that? If the guy had asked how should I donate then yes, your comment would be applicable but clearly the guy has some money to spend and is asking where to put it. Maybe he doesn't have free time, maybe he just doesn't want to spend it on open source. Even if by some freak occurrence all links in the BSD chain find themselves fully funded there's always more that money can do. Money can buy other people's time if that's really the only thing needed. In any case, I don't see how suggesting that this guy's offered money is less valuable than his time is really useful to anyone. I'm sure there are plenty of cash-starved projects that would much prefer the money to help allow the core developers to focus on the project than have one extra guy adding a line of code here or there.
    • and give them some of your time and effort by reporting bugs, making some code (if you can), helping with documentation, helping newbies on their support lists, etc. sometimes our time is as good as some cash.

      Not my time. I'm stupid, and me spending time helping only means more of other people's time fixing my mistakes. Oh, no, my money is much more useful to others.

  • Some options (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:15AM (#23515150)
    If you are dead set on donating to *one* of the projects, donate to the one who you consider most useful to you.

    If you have some rad coding skillz and some time, i'm sure the projects would also love to see bug reports with patches.

    Do you use any of the software to work/as part of your job? if so, the software that you use for that is a great candidate for a project to donate to.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I donate regularly to vim and groklaw.

      The short answer is, donate to whoever you like.

    • Re:Some options (Score:4, Insightful)

      by shird ( 566377 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:52AM (#23515296) Homepage Journal
      Taking this approach, you would almost always donate to a GUI based project. The 'most useful' is going to be something you interact with, and not something behind the scenes like the kernel - regardless of how much extra effort may be required for one over the other.
      • Re:Some options (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Corporate Troll ( 537873 ) * on Friday May 23, 2008 @06:51AM (#23515512) Homepage Journal

        Well, that depends on your own vision of things. One of the most useful software packages I found in the last 8 years (is it really already that long) was OpenBSD. At first I bought their CDs and T-Shirts occasionally. Then I started buying their CD on the 6 month release shedule and I just rounded it up to the next 100€ (back then CDs were 30€ or so) donating the difference. Now I even stopped doing that: I just have a monthly standing order to their account. I still buy the CDs occasionally, but it's not the rule anymore.

        Why OpenBSD? Because I like the system (not on the desktop, but as a server it's nice). They created OpenSSH which benefits pretty much every Unix out there. Their security fixes propagate to other platforms and software.

        So, no, "useful" is what you define it to be. I find OpenBSD useful because it's there, in the background, routing my packets, protecting my computers. I find that insanely more useful and important that anything else. (Note, that this has never stopped me from donating to other projects, including OpenOffice.org, Mozilla, OpenWebmail, and many others...)

      • "Taking this approach, you would almost always donate to a GUI based project. The 'most useful' is going to be something you interact with, and not something behind the scenes like the kernel - regardless of how much extra effort may be required for one over the other."

        That is why I always run X and KDE without a kernel. What the hell do I need one for? It's of no use of all to me.

        Here, let me fix your statement for you:
        "Taking this approach, people who are not very smart, or are ignorant, would almost a

  • by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:19AM (#23515164) Homepage
    OK, since I'm one of the founders, I'm biased. But free and open source software needs free and open standards and the Digital Standards Organization [digistan.org] is the only international network set-up specifically to defend and promote free and open digital standards [digistan.org].

    Coincidentally, on the day we signed the Hague Declaration [digistan.org], Microsoft announced they would support ODF in Office.

    Luckily, Digistan does not want your money, just your support. Sign the Hague Declaration online, and help us by getting involved.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:20AM (#23515168)
    Perl6 (Rakudo && Parrot) is making big steps forward in the last months. The Perl Foundation is using the money to support some of the developers which are working part-time on the projects.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by somersault ( 912633 )
      How is that offtopic? It's a suggestion for a donation. "I would" is short for "If I were you, I would", which is a valid suggestion rather than just a piece of random information.

      People saying "donate your time rather than your money" are very slightly offtopic, because the guy doesn't sound like he would rather support other projects financially than become a developer himself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:22AM (#23515176)
    Money can be a strong incentive, but it can also cause trouble in open source project, as Debians "Dunc Tank" [dunc-tank.org] project showed.

    Therefore I'd advise only to donate to projects that already accept donations, and clearly show that on their homepage. Otherwise your well-meant action might actually stir greed and envy, and thus could be counter-productive.
    • Agreed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @08:29AM (#23515916) Homepage
      Back when I was maintaining a somewhat popular free software project, I occasionally (very occasionally, twice over 10 years) got offers of donations. Both time I thanked for the thought, and suggested a donation to the FSF [fsf.org] instead. Really, I did it as a hobby, and didn't want the moral obligations coming from accepting money.

      Send a "thank you" letter to those who do not solicit donations, and tell them why their software is useful to you. It means surprisingly much
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:23AM (#23515182) Homepage
    ...since everyone will cheer for their pet project. Personally I'm inclined to go with KDE - they and QT are working to create a real development platform (phonon, solid, all the non-UI classes already in QT etc.) on Linux, not just a UI toolkit. Yes, I know GTK+ and family also have various non-UI things but none as polished that I've seen.
    • Qt (Score:2, Informative)

      Qt is owned by Nokia, which I doubt really need donations.

      I would instead take a look at Troll Techs various products, and keep them in mind if you ever need some of that.
  • Relevancy ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BrainInAJar ( 584756 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:24AM (#23515184)
    I would personally probably donate to the most relevant project, which since DesktopBSD is more or less a FreeBSD distro, and since KDE gets help from SuSE/Novell, the KUbuntu people, etc. it would end up being FreeBSD
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Donating to your favorite project should be like paying extra principal on your mortgage: It doesn't have to be a big, one-time donation. Lots of little ones are good too, maybe even better. And the payoff going forward is better because it lets the project look at steady funding, not some transient never-to-be-repeated windfall.

      Now my plug: I've been doing modest tax time donations to the FreeBSD Foundation and the Postgresql project for a couple years now. Because they're modest I can make them a permanen
  • The little guys (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:24AM (#23515188)

    Rather than donating to a project with corporate backing, why not split your donation up and give it to a few smaller projects instead? You're more likely to make a difference there. Even the tiniest donation could give a lone developer the extra enthusiasm needed to fix that one last bug before calling it a night.

    • by wfWebber ( 715881 ) <webber@wfRASPgaming.com minus berry> on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:46AM (#23515272)
      Yeah. Nothing sets the spirits like receiving $0.05 from an enthousiastic user.
      • by nfk ( 570056 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @06:24AM (#23515402)
        Even better would be just $0.02, accompanied by a big rant about future direction of the project.
      • Re:The little guys (Score:4, Interesting)

        by value_added ( 719364 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @08:08AM (#23515820)
        Yeah. Nothing sets the spirits like receiving $0.05 from an enthousiastic user.

        You could always extend that to a more personal approach.

        I'm a regular at a local Mexican restaurant. Instead of dropping my loose change anonymously in the tip jar, I show up with a few sixpacks of beer for the staff, and maybe some cut flowers for the hostess. I don't do this on a regular basis, but frequently enough to give everyone a good laugh. Now, my food orders are on the grill as soon as they see me pulling into the parking lot, and I walk out knowing the burritos I ordered were bigger than everyone else's, or my order included things that everyone waiting in line would pay extra for.

        Substitute beer with hookers and blackjack (be sure the hookers aren't crossing state lines), airline tickets, gift certificates or whatever else you think may be appropriate, and you might discover those few cents can add up and have a greater effect than you'd think.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Skal Tura ( 595728 )
      Spot on!
      That's so damn right!

      While my project wasn't FOSS, it was a browser strat game, keeping it running beyond personal interest for over a year longer was made to happen by the community support, we even almost finished up the next generation version of it (everything polished and updated, lots and lots of new content)

      In the end in my case "life came", and i just didn't have the time nor motivation to keep maintaining it. But it did give the community almost a year more time to enjoy the game :)

      As for d
  • Which ever (Score:3, Insightful)

    by heikkile ( 111814 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:26AM (#23515194) Homepage
    Just pick one at random, if you can't make up your mind. Or split your money to a few of the projects you find most useful, valuable, or which you like best. Next time you get the urge, donate to someone else. Don't worry so much about it, things will even out in the long run.
  • by apathy maybe ( 922212 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:26AM (#23515200) Homepage Journal
    A question you should be thinking about is, "how many people will benefit from this donation?".

    Let's have a look at the projects mentioned.
    DesktopBSD, never heard of them, probably have quite a small user-base compared to FreeBSD.
    FreeBSD, benefits more then just your personal desktop OS. Lots of people use it, code flows sideways to other BSD's.

    KDE, benefits heaps of people, not just those using BSD based OSs, but also Linux based OSs.

    OpenSSH, you would actually be donating to OpenBSD who run the OpenSSH project, but whatever. Again, code will flow sideways to other BSD's, and OpenSSH is used by sooo many people.

    Next question, how popular is the project? How many donations do they get?

    DesktopBSD, probably doesn't get too many donations, small user base and all that.

    FreeBSD would get a bit, KDE would get a lot more (much larger userbase), and OpenBSD would get a bit as well.

    So, my suggestion, don't donate to KDE if you only have minimal funds, they probably get lots of cash from other sources.

    DesktopBSD might be worth chucking some money at if you like them.

    But consider donating to FreeBSD or OpenBSD, even if you don't use them directly. Their code will help you (via DesktopBSD), and will also help other people. They also probably don't get so many donations because of the smaller userbase compared to KDE.
  • Software you are talking about is business, or should be business. Donate money to the poor instead.
    • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:50AM (#23515294) Homepage Journal
      I'm sure a lot of open source developers are poor. And as I pointed out in other places, how do you even know that this guy doesn't donate to the poor or other causes? If he's at the level of thinking about donating to software projects, he probably already donates to other more 'worthy' causes as well?
      • I am not making any assumptions about this guy, but you do. I am just saying about $10 dollars he is going to pay some developer. Even if he spent $1M for the poor in Africa before that, it is still better to spend those $10 for the same cause, than for the guy who has education, pair of hands, pair of eyes and computer at home.
        • Yeah I'm making assumptions which may not be valid, but in the end it's up to this guy how he wants to spend his own money anyway.

          I think the world could do with quite a bit of wealth redistribution, but I usually think of it as a rather fruitless exercise when any money that goes into certain countries just gets frittered away by a corrupt government rather than actually helping the people in poor conditions. I give 10% of my money to the church because I know that they will spread it amongst many differen
    • by slim ( 1652 ) <john@NosPam.hartnup.net> on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:59AM (#23515314) Homepage

      Software you are talking about is business, or should be business.
      I fundamentally disagree with this statement. Business is part of the software ecosystem. But software, including operating systems, can and should be written, distributed and used outside of a business context.
      • by grm_wnr ( 781219 )

        Software you are talking about is business, or should be business.

        I fundamentally disagree with this statement. Business is part of the software ecosystem. But software, including operating systems, can and should be written, distributed and used outside of a business context.

        Well, I'd have to disagree with this. Even if something is free (in any meaning), that does not means it's not in a business context. Linux and any BSD, which are the only OSs mentioned in here so far, are very much Business (Serious Business, even *rimshot*). At most, they are anti-business, but just negating everything does not actually make all that different (the ol' flip side of the same coin thing). There are some non-business OSs out there, but those are the really obscure hobbyist ones like Menuet.

        • Well, I'll have to disagree with your decision to disagree with the GP who was, in turn disagreeing with the great-GP.

          The GP's claim of usage outside of a business context doesn't claim that it shouldn't be written distributed, and used in a business context, only that it should be written, distributed, and used outside a business context. These are not mutually exclusive; you are arguing against a claim that he didn't make.

          Anyone disagree with my disagreement of the disagreement?
      • Why? Why software should be different from any other invention, any other technology?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:38AM (#23515244)
    here we are not talking about charity, we are talking about returning some value (that we are taking advantage from) to the people that make it possible, to continue having it. It is some kind of purchase but not in a regular way.
    So don't be so demagogic
  • by miffo.swe ( 547642 ) <daniel.hedblom@g m a il.com> on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:49AM (#23515286) Homepage Journal
    Its the guesture i think is important, not the money. The more people that see that someone thinks their work is worthwhile the better. As for what projects to donate to i cant say anything, follow your heart but dont forget those that you never think about but greatly benefits you. Im thinking of those that always just works and so good that you very rarely touch them or see them.
  • by bball99 ( 232214 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @05:55AM (#23515306)

    donate (time || money || expertise) here:

    http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html [gnu.org]
    • I don't like that idea.
      Because I don't like their ideals.
      I see it as freedom (to the receaver) with the self sacrifice of freedom (to the developer).

      The GNU policy is an attempt to "Stick it to the Man!" not really knowing who "The Man" is or what "The Man" does.
  • by zukinux ( 1094199 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @06:02AM (#23515322) Homepage Journal
    The common thinking would be, why should I donate to a big project, they must have been getting billions already
    The truth is different guys, just from looking at the donations page at KDE.org I would have thought that that they get at-least 30K$ p/m, but the truth is different (300$, in a good month)
    We, the USERS, should donate more [kde.org]
    • I'm not advocating to donate less to KDE, but apart from the page you mentioned, KDE gets corporate support [kde.org] (as already mentioned) and has several patrons [kde.org].
      Also, IIRC, KDE is very closely related to SuSE which then again belongs to Novell now. With that kind of background support, they don't seem to be struggling to pay their bandwidth bills, so I tend to stick to smaller projects without corporate backing. I find my money to make more of a difference than it'd make to KDE, Gnome, OpenSuSE or Fedora (and so
  • EFF? FSF? ORG? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bbtom ( 581232 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @06:07AM (#23515332) Homepage Journal

    How about your local Internet cyberfreedom group? That means EFF [eff.org] (US), Open Rights Group [openrightsgroup.org] (UK), European Digital Rights Initiative [edri.org], Digital Rights Ireland [digitalrights.ie], Free Software Foundation [fsf.org] or other civil liberties/human rights groups. Just an idea.

    I'd say give out lots of small donations. One group worth targeting in your donation are college students - often they are short on cash, and if they are trying to make the decision about whether to spend an hour hunting a bug in some open source code or get a crappy McJob flipping hamburgers, your donation may flip the balance for them. Having good experiences contributing to the free software world in one's formative years may also help a person avoid the temptation of crappy development jobs in the future.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I second the idea of donating to the FSF or EFF, great organizations helping keep free software free.
    • by hey ( 83763 )
      Which group in Canada?
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      One group worth targeting in your donation are college students - often they are short on cash
      Just buy them beer. That way you can donate directly and the students will have their own money available for whatever they want (like buying you a beer back)
      I am not sure how much beer you need to donate to get a tax refund.
      • by bbtom ( 581232 )
        That's definitely a boomer thing. Now that education actually costs significant amounts of money, we need money and not just alcohol.
  • Me. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zoolander ( 590897 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @06:07AM (#23515334)
    In this day and age, there are still software developers who - through no fault of their own - do not own a 50 inch Pioneer plasma.
    I happen to be one of those unfortunate souls.
    Please, give generously.
    • Me Too! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I too am one of those unfortunates.

      I sit and watch my 42" LCD with a tear in my left eye. With a 50" plasma, both my eyes would be on fire!

      Donate much and regularly. Please.

      On a serious note: In ten years of OSS programming I've only once received a user donation. It was $25 deposited into my paypal account and it meant a lot to me. Unsolicited donations are a pick-me-up that lasts for days.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      This is a sin! Where is Sally Struthers? We need to make a 1 hour infomercial.

      "These developers are suffering, wont you help? call the number on the screen now."

  • Debian. See: http://www.debian.org/social_contract [debian.org] And, if you'r interested after reading above, see: http://www.debian.org/donations [debian.org] Im not in anyway affiliated with Debian project, except I use it for every day work. You asked to whom you might donate, so this is my opinion.. they contributed "much" to the Open Source community. I know you'r not using Debian, but thats not the point. The point (imho) is in helping the Open Source and OS projects.
  • OpenSSL (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 23, 2008 @06:10AM (#23515344)
    Like it or not, your security depends on it, and it's chronically underfunded last I checked.
  • by explodingspleen ( 1267860 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @06:25AM (#23515404)

    There are clearly a multitude of metrics by which you can assess the answer to your question.

    Humanitarian: language translation / disability assistance software / tor.
    Wanting to overthrow the evil empire: wine, firefox.
    Wanting better hardware support: kernel developers.
    Wanting to thank people: any projects you use/couldn't do without.

    Really, it works best to just donate according to your own special favoritism. This way the projects get money in proportion to how much people/need want them. If you just wanted to pick the one project that will contribute the most to humanity, well, I can tell you already it's going to involve feeding hungry children and not improving your boot time.

    If you like, you can imagine you are purchasing the software, and donate whatever is the highest price you would have been willing to pay for it (or at least use that to figure out the proportions in which you should divide your money).

  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan ( 757476 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @06:48AM (#23515500) Homepage Journal

    Don't forget the organisations that defend your right to write software, like FSFE [fsfeurope.org].

    And you don't have to be European to like FSFE's work. As well as fighting against software patents at the European level, we have people working at the UN/WIPO/WSIS global level to prevent harm in future treaty (such as TRIPS, which was the basis for the EU proposal to allow software patents).

    And we do licence enforcement, campaigning for open standards, campaigning against the criminalisation of the grey areas of copyright law, and we supported SAMBA in their push to make the documentation published by Microsoft usable by free software developers. And more, but if I stop to think, then this post won't appear high enough to be seen :-)

    You can donate [fsfeurope.org], or join the Fellowship [fsfe.org].

  • The work of their various Councils and Societies [ieee.org] encompasses a large number of projects, to include Open Source projects.
  • I typically support the software titles I use regularly. OpenOffice, FireFTP, TrueCrypt...several others. Google and Canonical don't really need the charity but I'd support both organizations in my consulting business...if either of them would return a phone call.

  • by BLKMGK ( 34057 ) <morejunk4me@hotma i l .com> on Friday May 23, 2008 @07:30AM (#23515664) Homepage Journal
    XBMC for Linux is where I think money ought to go - that or the EFF to whom I donate to every DEFCON. Many of us have used XBMC on the old XBOX but it's now been ported to Linux using SDL so in addition it is also being ported to OSX and even Windows. The code can now handle HD video and while still "Alpha" I find that it works well enough that I'm using it on my main HTPC to watch movies often. EFF needs no introduction.

    http://xbmc.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=52 [xbmc.org] for more information on Linux XBMC or check out the Wiki -> http://www.xboxmediacenter.net/wiki/?title=HOW-TO_compile_XBMC_for_Linux_from_source_code [xboxmediacenter.net]

    P.S. ffmpeg is a project that MANY others benefit from including XBMC, if they need money they are also a worthy cause.
  • by cerberusss ( 660701 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @07:32AM (#23515676) Homepage Journal
    I always donate when I just solved a problem with some piece of software, or found a particular functionality I appreciate:
    • When I merged two pieces of source code using Meld [sourceforge.net], I donated $10
    • Upon finding out I could resize windows in Vim [vim.org] in an xterm, I donated $10, and another $5 when I found out how nicely it works together with X11 clipboards
    • When my business started earning money, I donated to CentOS [centos.org] because that's what's installed on my servers
    • When the Dag Wieers RPM repository [wieers.com] had packaged a piece of software for me, he saved me an hour of work -- so I donated $10
    And lots more. Outside of that, I donated to OpenSSH by buying a T-shirt for a colleague his birthday.
  • While the shareware mentality has produced some successes it is usually counterproductive.

    Also the lesson that "xv" should have taught us more than fifteen years ago is that you can have a program that everyone uses in the unix environment and hardly anybody is ever going to pay for it.

  • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @07:51AM (#23515742)
    Are you interested in open source hardware? Bothered by having trouble making PC hardware work with your OS? How about donating to the OGP?

    www.opengraphics.org [opengraphics.org]
    www.openhardwarefoundation.org [openhardwa...dation.org]

  • by halfnerd ( 553515 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @08:38AM (#23515974) Homepage
    I spent some time thinking about what tools I use most, checked out some web sites to see how badly different project need money and ended up donating to OpenSSH. ( http://paul.totterman.name/blog/supporting-free-software.html [totterman.name] )
  • by Bastard of Subhumani ( 827601 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @09:01AM (#23516094) Journal
    I hear SCO have fallen on hard times, you could always donate to them. YCSTB.
  • Check out my URL--it has links to projects I've donated to over the past couple of years & links to others I plan to donate to. Donation doesn't have to be a one time thing and you can eventually donate to many important projects. Just think of how much you're saving on proprietary software & divide it across dozens of projects.
  • by kilgortrout ( 674919 ) on Friday May 23, 2008 @09:15AM (#23516204)
    If you want to deduct your donation in the US, the organization must be certified by the IRS as a qualified nonprofit organization. This is commonly referred to as 501(c)(3) certification after the IRS regulation that deals with nonprofits. An organization known as Software in the Public Interest(SPI) is a certified 501(c)(3) orgnaiztion that was primarily set up to fund the Debian project but also gives to many oother free software projects:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_in_the_Public_Interest [wikipedia.org]

  • by nguy ( 1207026 )
    Isn't it kind of odd that the desktop version of a distro that prides itself on its liberal license and use of C ends up with the C++-based desktop under the GPL, instead of the C-based desktop under the LGPL?

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen