Projects: The personal costs

When you do open source development, especially as an independent developer, there is a constant struggle that must be balanced between that of work and personal obligations. As any open source developer will tell you, 99% of the time, the projects we develop fall strictly into the realm of personal time, no matter how much they may apply to our work field. It is difficult to justify the time that is required in maintaining one let alone a series of active projects when you also work a full-time job while trying to have some semblance of a life.

So, when you are faced with something you are truly passionate about, that constantly rubs up against a barrier that is your job and ever limited personal time, you start to question or more importantly look for change, in how you manage that passion. That is what I am currently faced with, the projects at the moment consume an increasing amount of my personal time on evenings and weekends — which has been that way for a long time — but recently, priorities and life have changed such that I can no longer allow that to be the case. I have managed these projects for almost 8 years, which I would not change for anything, I have and still do love working on them. However, the time has come that I need to start setting measurable, tangible, goals on the cost of maintaining these projects which will allow me, permitting donations or sponsors, to create dedicated time within my work week to manage the projects with focus strictly on them.

That said, I am seeking about $1,000 USD per month in donations or month-to-month sponsorships (which all sponsors will be duly pimped out on the site with a widget and on each project page); at the moment donations only average about $50-200 per month, it varies widely month-to-month towards the lower end. How did I come up with this amount? well it is simply a goal, a target, that reflects the amount of time I spend on the projects per-month (about 60hrs) and what I believe would allow me to take time out of other areas of my life to dedicate consistently that amount of time every month. This would make continuing to work on the projects much easier on me personally, easier on those in my life and easier on me occupationally/financially.

There is a donation tracker widget now on the right sidebar of the site, it simply uses paypal as the checkout process, the tracker will reset every 30 days. If you are interested in becoming a regular contributor or sponsor, please email me at ryan at to discuss it. Thank you in advance for your understanding.