Wow @james_pattison, thanks for addressing all of those points!
As for the donate button, I see it now, and i’m sure it has probably been there for a bit. It must have been hiding in plain sight the whole time!
I sent Leonard a personal message with thanks.
Yes, looking at the proposals forum, which I’m assuming all of the proposals are placed on, I see the funding for the 2019 conference last year was approved, but no travel. Now, for 2020 I see 5 requests for travel expenses. It just LOOKS odd, even though there’s justification behind it and the community benefits from it.
I understand the benefits of meeting people in person as I can directly relate to it from my work experience. I’m part of a team that helps maintain/manage the software the local sheriff’s department uses to write reports and keep track of crime statistics. The vendor who provides the software is based in Florida, and we’re located in California. Multiple members of the vendors software development team are spread out across the U.S. so regular virtual meetings are a necessity. There is a conference the vendor puts on once a year, but they charge all of their customers to attend and put on different presentations and forums over the course of 4 days. During that time, we can connect with the people we have virtual meetings with and put a face to the name which like you said, is priceless.
I look forward to hearing about any developments on the funding of specific issues. I’m sure meeting the requirements of a NFP is difficult, but I think it could definitely benefit the community and project. If someone doesn’t beat me to it, I’m hoping to put up a bounty on getting Mateks Optical Flow and Lidar Sensor working by putting my money where my mouth is.
I’ll definitely try to find more info on Ardupilot and Dronecode. It seems like there’s quite a bit of history (not all of it good) between some of these projects. I frequent the PX4 forums too and like to keep up on who’s doing what.
Informality is great, to a point, in my opinion. It’s definitely a delicate balance between keeping the informal nature of the project, and trying to make decisions that typically rely on a formal business model. Kudos to you for putting in the work on it.
Thanks again for taking the time to write such a detailed breakdown for me, I really appreciate it.