[tahoe-dev] tahoe needs funding! (and Zooko is available for work!)

zooko zooko at zooko.com
Wed Mar 18 16:01:01 PDT 2009

Dear People Interested in the Tahoe-LAFS project:

Allmydata.com is responsible for the creation of Tahoe.   
Allmydata.com was my employer and also Brian Warner's for the last  
several years, and the company, under Peter Secor's leadership, asked  
me and later Brian, Rob Kinninmont, Mike Booker, Zandr Milewski,  
Justin Boreta, and others to spend some of our work hours inventing a  
completely new storage platform and to release it to the public as  
open source!  This gamble seems to have paid off, as the resulting  
open source software now supports all of allmydata.com's customers  
securely, reliably, and at low cost.

Now allmydata.com is focussed on serving customers and keeping costs  
down.  While the company will continue to fix bugs in tahoe and in  
the other open source software that their customers rely on (tahoe- 
w32-client, tahoe-iphone-client, tahoe-webdrive, etc.), it will not  
continue to fund major new development of tahoe.  The fledgling open  
source project is kicked out of the nest and has to learn to fly on  
its own.

I'm actually not too worried about the future of Tahoe.  I obviously  
love it so much that I'll end up hacking on it, at least evenings and  
weekends if not full-time.  Hopefully other folks will get into a  
similar groove.  There's actually reason to believe that open source  
projects which *don't* have a single major corporate backer can  
flourish more than those that do.  If that is true, I guess it is  
because people feel more responsibility for contributing to the  
project themselves instead of waiting for The Corporation to do it,  
and they feel like they have more control over the direction of the  
project.  On the other hand, Tahoe could wither and die.  That's life  
when you get kicked out of the nest.

Strategically, what I most want for Tahoe is to get a second major  
user.  Allmydata.com is a major user -- they rely on Tahoe heavily  
and are very good about expressing their needs in the form of  
specific trac tickets and use cases and so on.  But we need two  
users, so that we don't over-focus development on the needs of one  
user.  I think Shawn Willden's backup app might turn out to be the  
second major user.

Anyway, I'm looking for new job opportunities!  I love freedom and  
open source, high-quality engineering, friendly people, and most of  
all I love the idea of making the world a better place than we found  
it.  Please write to zooko at zooko.com if you're interested in hiring  
me. I answer all e-mail so if you don't get a reply that means your  
mail was accidentally deleted as spam so please try again.

Thanks to all of the users and contributors and thanks to  
allmydata.com for their generous and public-spirited sponsorship of  
Tahoe's inception.

Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn
Boulder, Colorado

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