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2. Funding GNU Fortran

Work on GNU Fortran is still being done mostly by its author, James Craig Burley (craig@jcb-sc.com), who is a volunteer for, not an employee of, the Free Software Foundation (FSF). (He has a web page at http://world.std.com/%7Eburley.)

As with other GNU software, funding is important because it can pay for needed equipment, personnel, and so on.

The FSF provides information on the best way to fund ongoing development of GNU software (such as GNU Fortran) in documents such as the "GNUS Bulletin". Email gnu@gnu.org for information on funding the FSF.

To fund specific GNU Fortran work in particular, the FSF might provide a means for that, but the FSF does not provide direct funding to the author of GNU Fortran to continue his work. The FSF has employee salary restrictions that can be incompatible with the financial needs of some volunteers, who therefore choose to remain volunteers and thus be able to be free to do contract work and otherwise make their own schedules for doing GNU work.

Still, funding the FSF at least indirectly benefits work on specific projects like GNU Fortran because it ensures the continuing operation of the FSF offices, their workstations, their network connections, and so on, which are invaluable to volunteers. (Similarly, hiring Cygnus Support can help a project like GNU Fortran--Cygnus has been a long-time donor of equipment usage to the author of GNU Fortran, and this too has been invaluable--see Contributors to GNU Fortran.)

Currently, the only way to directly fund the author of GNU Fortran in his work on that project is to hire him for the work you want him to do, or donate money to him. Several people have done this already, with the result that he has not needed to immediately find contract work on a few occasions. If more people did this, he would be able to plan on not doing contract work for many months and could thus devote that time to work on projects (such as the planned changes for 0.6) that require longer timeframes to complete. For the latest information on the status of the author, do finger -l burley@gnu.org on a UNIX system (or any system with a command like UNIX finger).

Another important way to support work on GNU Fortran is to volunteer to help out. Work is needed on documentation, testing, porting to various machines, and in some cases, coding (although major changes planned for version 0.6 make it difficult to add manpower to this area). Email gcc@gcc.gnu.org to volunteer for this work.

See section Funding Free Software, for more information.


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