[Squeakfoundation]how I could support a Squeak Community Foundation

Paul Fernhout squeakfoundation@lists.squeakfoundation.org
Sun, 27 May 2001 17:05:24 -0400

=== how I could support a Squeak Community Foundation ===

As Michael Phillips says in "The Seven Laws of Money", 
one of the most important aspects of any organization is having
"supporters", from whom volunteer effort and money will flow if the
cause makes sense to them. That is one reason I have kept asking "money
for what?" in an effort to determine the cause for which we are
expecting to get supporters. With "supporting the Squeak Community" as
the cause, I think we are in better shape to think about activities
related to that cause.

For example, with a community of 1000+ Squeak users who are Squeak
Community Foundation supporters, $20 from everybody would produce more
than enough to pay the direct costs for a non-profit incorporation, for
a dedicated Squeak box through an ISP for use by the community for a
reliable Wiki (perhaps including user accounts for Squeak servlets on a
model like the Python "Starship"), for a "Squeak Community" booth at a
few conferences (staffed by volunteers), and for a monthly Squeak
community conference call. These last three would directly support the
community. The first, incorporation, becomes an enabler of the last
three in regards to fund raising.

In my own case, this enlarged Squeak community purpose would make me a
stronger supporter of the foundation. In general, it would probably lead
me to focus more of my efforts on Squeak and less on alternatives, since
the larger Kay/Dynabook/Engelbart/Augment vision is not present in a big
way in most other developer communities. That support from me could come
in any of several ways, including time and money.

I know some things about non-profit issues (legal, social, financial)
from having been involved with a few environmental non-profits in
various roles over the years (for example, I was program administrator
for the NOFA-NJ Organic Farm Certification Program in 1990). My wife and
I have been looking into forming a not-for-profit 
for our garden simulator and some technology digital library efforts
(primarily as a way to limit liability, not necessarily fund raise). I
would be happy to continue to comment on such issues (such I have done

As stated before, and moving to a level of a commitment if a community
focus was adopted in the near future, I'd be willing to contribute $2000
towards removing obstacles from what we could now call "the business
Squeak user community" if 50 other people will also do so through a
non-profit Squeak Community Foundation. Presumably that money would be
spent primarily on employing someone full-time for coordinating
volunteer created contributions to a business Squeak, dealing with
licensing issues and statements of originality, picking a stable and
clearly licensed selection of code from what exists to produce a stable
and clearly licensed cross-platform (at least Mac, Windows, Linux)
ready-to-download business Squeak version (probably relying on StSq for
a start), testing candidate releases, "blessing" releases, coding a few
MVC or Morphic widgets business users might need, and so on. Obviously,
that process of empowering the business Squeak community would entail
further reflection and discussion about what really makes sense for
fostering a community of Squeak business users (e.g. a focus on web vs.
GUI vs. text-processing vs. embedded vs. all four) and whether targeted
marketing (e.g. issuing press releases or writing magazine articles) was
more essential than, say, coding.

Here are some other ways I could help with a Squeak Community
Foundation. I know of a couple East Coast squeakers who work at a nearby
computer company who supports some open source efforts like Apache and
Linux and who perhaps might be coaxed to serve on a board of trustees.
As mentioned above, I've already been looking into NY non-profit
formation and could help with that process in NY if no one cares where
the Squeak Community Foundation is incorporated (although I would think
California is where it would incorporate otherwise, given the
geographical concentration of well known squeakers there). Also, there
are foundations in NYC (like the variants of Ford & Rockefeller
foundations), as well as some major corporations head-quartered in NY
(like GE or Pepsico), at which I would be willing to help present a
proposal or demo Squeak in person if needed. I can also develop code, as
I have time, to address licensing and complexity management issues
related to code and content development by a large distributed

-Paul Fernhout
Kurtz-Fernhout Software 
Developers of custom software and educational simulations
Creators of the Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator