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-   -   Reimbursing OpenCFDalleviate your freeload guilt (http://www.cfd-online.com/Forums/openfoam/61033-reimbursing-opencfdalleviate-your-freeload-guilt.html)

smith May 25, 2005 07:02

OK FOAMers, This is a heart
 
OK FOAMers,

This is a heartfelt plea, not a demand, not an attempt at coercion or any other malfeasance!

I am not employed by OpenCFD and I do not receive any gifts from them (other than OpenFOAM 2.2 that is! :-) ), and I have never been near a mental asylum ;-)
.. so read this:

OpenFOAM is no mere technical item of geekware, it is a commercial strength money-making (or tenure-making, as the case may be) tool! So users like us should be contributing money from our own pockets, in however small amounts, according to our means, to OpenCFD for their wonderful product. We need to help keep OpenCFD solvent. My suggestion is that whoever you are, man, woman, communist or capitalist, please send a personal cheque today to either Henry or Chris or Mattijs.

I can't make you do this, I can't even gurantee OpenCFD want me to tell you this! I post this message freely and of my own accord, without any thought of others needing to follow my suggestions, it is simply an open letter to all FOAM users. After this post I will not mention the topic again unless prompted.

This is a pure honesty arrangement at present. Those OpenCFD guys can spend your cheque on their groceries or their next movie ticket, whatever. But the intention is to help these guys set up a more permanent PayPal type of contribution system. OpenFOAM can remain free under GPL as far as I know, but nothing forbids OpenCFD from setting up a purely voluntary honesty system whereby heavy OpenCFD users can ease any freeloading guilt by making small (or LARGE!) donations to OpenCFD.

In the mean time I'm suggesting we all send them a bit of start-up cash to get some kind of PayPal system up and running (hopefully such things do not require long term maintenance fees?). Failing that, I'd suggest OpenCFD still releases OpenFOAM under GPL but adds some low maintenance web forms, or maybe OpenCFD can simply post an address where contributions can be mailed, that would allow users to make contributions in a transparent way that does not incur administrative costs for OpenCFD (forget about receipts maybe? Somehow set it up as a charitable donation to avoid tax penalties for OpenCFD?)

How about if folks? I'm gonna' send my weeks allowance for coffee and chocolate bars to them today (it's more than you'd imagine---I only drink gourmet espresso :-D ).

It's not the amount you send them that matters anyway, send them a dollar, send them 50 cents! What really matters is the number of us who spontaneously decide to support OpenCFD that will be the telling factor in helping them pay their bills.

---
If you're dirt poor but somehow manage to use OpenFOAM then you can still consider some kind of donation "in kind" like contributing your codes and documentation, (see the recent threads on the need for heavier FOAM programming documentation and manuals).

You don't have to write THE OpenFOAM manual, just tell everyone how you wrote your nifty application in a transparent way, and post it to some kind of forum like "The Official OpenFOAM Users Contributed Documented Unofficial Code Repository" (intended as a mouthful!) that you could request OpenCFD setup for users to send quality code to. User feedback would quickly weed out bogus submissions, and if storage oveflows well then OpenCFD can just delete any contributions they care to, no questions asked OK? All the fancy Wiki stuff and comprehensive programming manuals can wait.

First we all need to help OpenCFD stay afloat.

Second we need to all be more community-minded and share our documentation and code sources. Don't tell me your notes are all "on paper"! Do you people never document your projects inline??? What's wrong with you?!!!
...excuse the haranguing, I mean it only in jest :-)

alberto May 25, 2005 07:37

I fully agree, except for this
 
I fully agree, except for this:

>All the fancy Wiki stuff and comprehensive
>programming manuals can wait.

A quite complete user guide is already available. What's lacking is the programming guide.
The wiki is a good way for all of us to give our contributions and to group the material for the future manuals.

>Don't tell me your notes are all "on
>paper"! Do you people never document your projects >inline??? What's wrong with you?!!!

Personally I studied (actually, still studing :-)) OpenFOAM on existing solvers, so I didn't comment the code, but took notes on how things are done, and I learn a lot faster if I write my notes down by hand. Maybe a problem of mine ;-) My own code is still under constuction.

Also, a commented code is not that useful if you don't have some basis of C++ and OpenFOAM programming. So I think it's more urgent an introductory guide to OpenFOAM programming.
I don't think a new user would understand just a quickly commented code.
I think a good approach, at least for me, is to study the user's guide and to do the tutorials to get familiar with the structur of OpenFOAM.
Then switch to the programmer's guide while looking to the code, starting from the simplest and gradually going on with something more complex.

Best regards,
Alberto

smith May 25, 2005 08:40

OK, nice thoughts Alberto.
 
OK, nice thoughts Alberto.

Thanks for tempering my post. :-)
Let's all go full steam ahead with all these supportive ideas in whatever way each of us can manage! And yeah, you are right, a Wiki would be a good way to get a nice manual started in a community effort approach. I'm all for it. But lets send Henry and the guys some cash so that they can foster this since no one else seems to be taking the initiative, apart from Bernhard Gscheider and Eugene that is (but isn't Eugene an OpenCFD worker??... never mind, it's all good!!).

Anyway, it looks like either Eugene or Bernhard will have something for you soon Alberto, at least that's my feeling. In fact Bernhard's Wiki:

http://openfoamwiki.net/index.php/Main_Page

looks pretty darned good, and has maybe beaten Eugene to the punch. But he has "Don't add content yet" warnings, so it's not quite yet open for prospective editors to rip into. Hopefully it'll be open for content additions soon.

I'd (humbly) suggest OpenCFD just mirror it or at least endorse it with a mention and a link if no one has any objections. (Not my call obviously.) Well done Bernhard in any case.

Best regards,
Blair.

Alberto Passalacqua wrote:
>A quite complete user guide is already available.
>What's lacking is the programming guide.
>The wiki is a good way for all of us to give our
>contributions and to group the material for the
>future manuals.
...
>I think a good approach, at least for me, is to
>study the user's guide and to do the tutorials to
>get familiar with the structur of OpenFOAM.
>Then switch to the programmer's guide while
>looking to the code, starting from the simplest
>and gradually going on with something more
>complex.

hsieh May 25, 2005 09:13

Hi, I think it is a very go
 
Hi,

I think it is a very good idea to setup some kind of donation system to OpenCFD.

Pei

chris May 25, 2005 10:58

I will put a link to Bernhard'
 
I will put a link to Bernhard's Wiki on the OpenCFD/OpenFOAM website and set up a donation system for the next release of OpenFOAM

alberto May 25, 2005 11:12

Sure Blair, I agree with you a
 
Sure Blair, I agree with you about donations. OpenFOAM is a great code and developers must be supported for their great effort.

>it looks like either Eugene or Bernhard will have >something for you soon Alberto

Hum, something for me? Should I worry? ;-))

Alberto

eugene May 25, 2005 12:09

Just to clarify, although I da
 
Just to clarify, although I dabbled a bit, I don't have any plans for starting an OpenFOAM Wiki now or in the future.

Besides a full time job in CFD consulting and code development I am also trying to finish the last chapter of my thesis, so spare time is at present non-existant. Once this yoke has lifted I will be glad to contribute http://www.cfd-online.com/OpenFOAM_D...part/happy.gif.

Nice job Alberto.


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