Practical Technology

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Mission: Funding all those small but important open-source projects

In 2014, OpenSSL had a gigantic security problem: Heartbleed. Its root cause? A combination of blind trust in the open-source programming method and a shoe-string budget. Less than a year later Werner Koch, author and sole maintainer of the popular Gnu Privacy Guard (GnuPG) email encryption program, revealed he was going broke supporting GnuPG.

Koch’s story had a happy ending. First, The Linux Foundation, via its Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), donated $60,000 to GnuPG. Then, e-payments vendor Stripe and Facebook agreed to sponsor the program’s development to the tune of $50,000 a year.

That’s great, but something’s seriously wrong when small, but vital open-source programs can be ignored until either the code breaks from neglect or its programmers abandon it to make a living from more lucrative projects.

Mission: Funding all those small but important open-source projects. More>

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