When we released Chameleon at the end of last month, we thought we’d try something new to raise funds for the project. Selling T-shirts and stock icons seemed like a pretty good way. Boy, were we wrong.
Since March 22nd, we’ve sold 17 shirts. If you do the math, that will pay for less than a week of our time. And considering that we’ve already spent more than a week getting things rolling on Github and preparing a talk at the VTM conference, we’re already running at a deficit.
In summary, we’re very disappointed with how things have turned out. Not because of the funding, but because there’s some potential here that will never be realized. We’ll continue to add things we need for our own products, but don’t expect to see any documentation or bug fixes that don’t affect our own code. Any changes or fixes will get pushed out to the community on a schedule that suits us best: probably at the end of minor release cycles (every few months.)
To those of you who were so generous to contribute to the project, we appreciate your support. Unfortunately, we’re sorry to say that such a low volume of T-shirts doesn’t warrant the time and energy needed to get them printed up. We’ll make sure that the credit card orders are cancelled.
Updated April 19th, 2011: To be clear, we’re not disappointed with the Mac and iOS developer communities. The source of our disappointment is that we can’t afford to spend time working on general improvements to the framework.
Updated April 20th, 2011: We’re hearing a lot of “let the community help”—which is great and has already started happening. We will continue to support this aspect of Chameleon: we’re not giving up on the project.
But the area where the community is not equipped to help is with documentation. We have nine months of experience with porting an iOS app to the Mac: no one else is presently in a position to help other developers achieve the same goal. We also know that writing is a long and difficult task (my book took seven months of full-time work.) A lot of time is going to be wasted without this transfer of information: so be it.
So much of the open source community focuses on the details (code) without looking at the big picture (how people are going to use that code.) And if you try to think beyond the status quo, you get called names.
We’re also painfully aware that we’re new to managing open source projects. It’s likely that 13 years of selling software is tainting our decisions, but our hearts are in the right place: we want to help the iOS and Mac developer communities.
Finally, we’ve added a more traditional Donate button on the Chameleon Project page. Thanks in advance for any contribution you can make.