ASIFA-Hollywood

Would it be worth approaching ASIFA-Hollywood about potentially sponsoring the Natron development? They have supported various software in the past, such as Audacity, GIMP, Inkscape and Synfig. Synfig posted about this in June 2018 and revealed that they got $2000 from them, which is certainly not enough for full time development but it’s definitely a good thing.

I don’t yet know if they support individual developers or if you/Natron has to be a registered company.

Would this be something worth approaching them about? I have experience in applying for funding, although this is mainly for visual arts in the UK. Regardless, I’m certainly willing to take the lead on writing to them.

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I appreciate your efforts, but how is Natron supposed to even collect any funds? We don’t have any organization or account. And what will the funds be used on?

Granted, there are some places where Natron would benefit from some founding: infrastructure. The crash reporter system could easily be setup again, but require paying a monthly fee for hosting, or maybe we could find someone (a hosting company) willing to sponsor the project with some free hosting? :slight_smile:

I’m wondering the same thing! As I said, I don’t know if ASIFA will fund an individual developer or only funds organisations. Something I/we could ask at the very least.

I’ve also seen that GIMP relies on The GNOME Foundation to collect funding. https://www.gimp.org/donating/

Good question. I didn’t want write anything without people coming to a consensus first. Of course there are features that people really want, such as a 3D workspace, but from discussions I’ve observed over the last few months it seems like first Natron needs to work on things like documentation, build system etc. Maybe start there?

Looking at the list of supported software, it looks like they only support software that have a foundation setup and have potential.
All software in that list have a respective foundation or decent appeal.
Natron at this point in time doesn’t have a foundation or any similar organisation. Neither does it have much potential for “major development”, at least as of right now. To actually appeal to ASIFA, there must be some serious developments in Natron before approaching them. Natron needs to catch up with the industry or at least come close enough to appeal to, and be considered by ASIFA for support.

I think a small crowdfunding campaign would be enough for a hosting service. There are some free hosting services (000webhost is one I’ve used for website hosting before) but I don’t know whether they support infrastructure hosting.
Microsoft Azure has a free account that they say provides the following features endlessly:

What type of infrastructure is needed for the crash reporter?

Not much is required for the crash reporter. To collect the reports a simple PHP script is used. To process the reports we use a custom application that compares reports against symbols and generates a JSON as a result, so we will need to be able to run that app on the server (Linux-only).

Basic requirements would be

  • PHP access (basic POST and upload support)
  • cron access (this can be optional if I do some tweaks)
  • rsync access (to upload symbols from builds, FTP can also work, but rsync is preferred)

The original crash reporter backend had several other “fancy” features, but for the basics this is all we need.

Symbols does not need to be on the same server that collect/parse reports.

I can of course setup this on a private server at my house (I got good internet access), but in the long run that is not a good option.

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I think I’ll e-mail them with just that question then. You are most likely correct but it’s best to have a definitive answer.

Is this something you’re willing to take the lead on? As I said my expertise is on bid writing so I’m not even sure how to go about contacting web hosting services.

Overall it seems like the idea of reaching out to them is a non-starter, which is a shame. I’ll continue to support Natron in whatever non-programming ways that I can.

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No. In my opinion, infrastructure hosting should be managed by the developers themselves.
If you mean that I should take lead on the crowdfunding, my response to that is still going to be negative. It should be someone who can take time out to manage the crowdfunding and be in contact with the developers whenever needed. Perhaps someone like Thomas or Omar.
That said, right now would not be a very good time to start any kind of funding campaign, as right now, there is no clear roadmap for Natron development. Neither do we have a good enough userbase. And both of those things are necessary for a successful funding campaign. People won’t give you money, if they don’t know how and on what it will be utilized. And even if we had a clear roadmap right now, the userbase is very small to allocate enough funds for even short to mid term development.
So in my opinion, right now the way to go would be to have proper communication between all active developers and maintainers to create a clear roadmap for development, and to grow the userbase of Natron. Once those things are achieved, crowdfunding will be possible.

So I contacted ASIFA with a general enquiry about whether they support developers or only foundations/organisations. I enquired in the context of being a Natron user but their response would be useful to me and other software I work on/with*.

Anyway, their response was really nice. I won’t paste it in full here but, as expected, they usually supply funds to a project’s foundation/organisation. However, they’re also open to exploring other ways to support a project.

*sorry for the long preamble, just want to make it clear that I’m not trying to be a Natron representative!

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Actually, it’d be great if you could paste or at least quote what they said. Just the important bits. Or send it to me in personal chat; I’d like to read it.

Also please remember that we’re here for infrastructure needs (which is what I think @paperdigits was beginning to ask about).

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Yes I didn’t want to immediately volunteer us without knowing the requirements, but yes, that’s what I was getting to.

Can this php crash reporter be put into a container?

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Sorry for the delayed answer regarding infrastructure, I didn’t see my notifications and have been busy with work stuff.

I have been working on a simpler crash reporter that will work on the most basic setup. I have tested downloading symbols from SourceForge on-demand and it works great (that means we can upload symbols with the binaries). I also created an account at 000webhost where I collect the reports (can be any host, probably also SF.net). The reports are then parsed locally using a custom qt app (not done yet), we did have a nice custom web interface for the crash reporter, but setting that up again will require too much work (it was a custom wordpress plugin++), a simple application that downloads the DMP files from 000webhost (or whatever) and gets the symbols from SF.net should be enough.