Donate to the Boost C++ Libraries
According to OpenHub's Boost page, as of August 2014 there are 14.2 million lines of code in Boost. Given the high quality of coding needed to pass Boost's community review process, and the extensive unit and functional testing required, a cost of US$20/line is not unreasonable. By that metric, the Boost C++ Libraries would cost US$284 million to rewrite from scratch in a commercial organization.
If you want more of the same, please donate generously. We will use donations to fund Boost infrastructure, help finance the annual C++ Now conference, and help fund students to work on Boost code without having to worry as much about finding the time or money to do so. You should be aware we may also use donations for any other purpose the Boost steering committee feels appropriate, and that ten percent (10%) of your donation after Paypal's fees will go to Software Freedom Conservancy. Software Freedom Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization that helps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects.
Why ask for donations for the first time in fifteen years?
Boost was not generated, for the most part, by any commercial organization. It is available in the public interest as one of the purest forms of open source: its license, the Boost Software License, is highly permissive and allows unrestricted commercial use. Most of the code was written, documented and tested in the spare and family time of some of the very best C++ engineers in the world, many of whom are also involved in the ISO C++ standardization process. Many of the additions to the C++ 11 standard library started life in the Boost libraries, and so will many of the additions and changes to the next C++ standard library.
Yet, for its first fifteen years, Boost has never asked for donations of money from its users. So why begin now?
As Boost grows, more time and resources is being spent on dealing with the size and complexity of Boost, especially as libraries are transitioned to make full use of the new language features in C++ 11/14. If you wish to support those efforts to bring more Boost libraries into first tier support for the latest generation of C++, please donate generously.
Why you should donate with a recurring monthly donation
Boost has participated in Google's Summer of Code since 2007. This is an annual student open source programming stipend program lasting three months during which experienced Boost developers mentor students who work on improving Boost libraries, usually in all the boring, thankless stuff none of us like to do. The problem with the three month duration is that the student is only just getting familiar enough with the Boost libraries to really ramp up their productivity and rate of output when the program ends. This leads to these outcomes:
- We don't reap the full rewards of what we should given the substantial investment in mentoring our developers invest into students each year.
- The student is just getting into the Boost libraries when they need to return to concentrating on their studies, and often back to the part time work needed to finance the high expense of university study nowadays.
- Students, when they graduate, get pulled into the development of proprietary rather than open source software, or they end up gravitating to one of the many open source projects much better at running a student-to-developer pipeline than Boost historically has been.
Whatever the case, Boost is not benefiting as it should from enthusiastic students with great ideas about where C++ should go next, and we hope that you can help us change that.
So, if you or your company or organization has benefited from the Boost C++ Libraries, or you would like to assist promising young C++ engineers develop their talents to the full, please strongly consider making a regular monthly donation to Boost! Please donate generously. Thank you in advance!