Library Sponsorship


Software development is expensive. By spreading expense among many users, cost per user is reduced. This is what open source does. Open source software has these advantages

  • Inexpensive to acquire - often FREE.

  • Tested/Validated by many other people

  • Better Documented

  • Effectively amounts to free outsourcing.

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages.

  • Quality is uneven. Documentation may be weak, code may not be portable, and code might not be well tested

  • Support is often nil.

  • Less than perfect match for the user's use case.

Library sponsorship can help address some of the above disadvantages. Sponsors can arrange for library developers to:

  • improve quality with better documentation, more tests, etc.

  • add features and/or functionality which would otherwise be considered to specific

  • provide support related to the specific usage scenarios

So of open source software development amounts to "FREE" outsourcing, Sponsorship will amount to "inexpensive" outsourcing. You get what you pay for.

In addition to the above, library sponsors can arrange to get their log and link placed on the library page. This might provide them with some other benefits:

This might be very interesting to a wider audience. Sponsoring organizations might

  • Demonstrate their commitment to high quality C++ software development. This is helpful for acquiring the most capable programmers.

  • Be looking for specific skill set. For example, organizations using Software Transactional Memory (STM) might want to display their logo on the library submission page which implements such a library. Programmers interested in the topic would be exposed to this logo which can be clicked through the organizations web page.

  • Be offering proprietary alternatives to the submitted library.

Compensation of library authors is a private arrangement between the author and the sponsor. The Boost Library Incubator has no involvement in this negotiation and/or transaction. Sponsors might offer

  • Payment for specific tasks such as library enhancements or support

  • Payment for placing the sponsors logo/link on the library submission page.

  • library authors employed by them to work on their library on company time and resources.

  • reimbursement of expenses to go to C++ conferences

  • anything else.

This concept of library sponsorship is an experimental attempt to address the main conundrum of open source software: The better it is, the less demand for improvement, fixes, enhancements, updates etc. and hence less potential revenue for the creator. Hopefully, this idea will create motivation library users to create incentives for library authors to make more and better C++ libraries.

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