Grants for applications (vs. Perl infrastructure)?

Somebody asked me:

Is the Foundation mainly interested in grants to help fund work on Perl's own infrastructure -- the language itself, key modules, and other community projects -- or would it also be open to considering funding open-source applications created with Perl, but which don't primarily exist to support Perl itself? (And which, perhaps, might help further Perl's reputation, and provide the world with more high-quality example code?)

Our grants program does not specify such scope. So our official answer is: "just send a proposal for review". I also went through the historical grants, both approved and rejected, and found no grant proposals in this area.

Anyway, even without specific grant proposals, I thought it would be interesting to ask this question to the public. Should we fund application development Perl?

I think it's a good thing for the Perl community to support software development in Perl. For instance, if somebody writes a face recognition website in Perl and gets one million visitors, it'll be a good exposure for Perl itself. There's no reason to limit the program to the "infrastructure" = bottom of the Perl development stack.

Will it fit in the existing grants program? Unlike developing a Perl module with promised features, it may not be straightforward to quantify value of such development activities until it's released and used. It can well fit in the grants program if the deliverable is well quantified.

What's your view?

(P.S. I see some people can't comment at blogs.perl.org. If you have an issue, feel free to email to me so I can publish your comments here)

2 Comments

I think the main requirement has to be that the software available under an open source license. I'd also be very skeptical of a grant that was aiming to bootstrap a business by building some sort of "open core" software.

Other than that, I think grant applications for this sort of software are fine. I think the big question will be whether this is software that other people use. I don't think it's a good use of TPF's money to fund speculative projects or projects with very few users.

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About Makoto Nozaki

user-pic Grants Committee Secretary @ The Perl Foundation. Feel free to email me at tpf-grants-secretary at perl-foundation.org