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Author Topic: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation  (Read 4117 times)

trev

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Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« on: June 27, 2019, 03:55:53 am »
Does the "Free Pascal and Lazarus Foundation" exist?

Its website does not appear to get updated and there's no annual accounts/reports or anything that would indicate activity or life. And contact via Google+ (by invitation) seems a tad out of date.

My donation a couple of weeks ago went through via PayPal ostensibly to the "Lazarus Foundation" which I'm assuming is the same entity. Is it?

The Wiki was not any more enlightening than the Foundation web site.
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skalogryz

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2019, 04:20:33 am »
previous discussions on the topic:
https://forum.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php/topic,40770.0.html

Per this post from April 2018
https://lists.lazarus-ide.org/pipermail/lazarus/2018-April/234427.html
Quote
No, it is not dead. Why would people suggest that ?

For example, Pas2js is actively developed by the foundation.

So the foundation's primary target is Javascript!

I guess one might think that a foundation is some big-corp-(sponsored)-entity. Yet it in fact it might be quite small group of people. With it's own boundaries on resources. Thus while the foundation does exist it might seem to be as active as any other foundations in software world.

Yet, one have to accept, that neither (F)Pascal(C) nor Lazarus are popular either.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 04:25:36 am by skalogryz »
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trev

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2019, 07:14:13 am »
I found something under Legalese on the Foundation website:

"The bylaws and official statutory documents of the foundation will be published here, as soon as they have been translated to english."

But apparently this has not happened since its founding in 2016. So, transparency zero.

Apparently none of the Foundation members participate in the forum either, despite saying on its website:

"Get in touch with us:
    On the foundation Google+ community, on invitation.
    Lazarus/Free Pascal forum   <<<<--------------------
    Mail us at: foundation@freepascal.org
    Use the contact form"

Under News > Accountancy on the site I find:

"The foundation will publish the accountancy report at the end of the first three months of 2019 or earlier if possible."

No report, of course, and it's now within days of being the end of 6 months of 2019. No reports for 2016, 2017 or 2018 either.

To qualify for foundation status in most countries there are certain legal reporting requirements that must be met. Indeed, I just checked the law on Dutch Foundations and they are subject to similar requirements.

All very disturbing. Given all this, and the posts on the forum referred to above, I'm not intending to make any further donations to an entity that is unaccountable. No wonder I was not alone in querying whether the Foundation was dead or not.
o Lazarus v2.1.0 r62452, FPC v3.3.1 r42644, macOS 10.14.6 (with sup update), Xcode 10.3
o Lazarus v2.1.0 r61574, FPC v3.3.1 r42318, FreeBSD 12.0 (Parallels VM)
o Lazarus v2.1.0 r61574, FPC v3.0.4, Ubuntu 18.04 (Parallels VM)

skalogryz

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 07:34:00 am »
All very disturbing. Given all this, and the posts on the forum referred to above, I'm not intending to make any further donations to an entity that is unaccountable. No wonder I was not alone in querying whether the Foundation was dead or not.
send an email to "foundation@freepascal.org". ask.

I'd think it's not so bad, it's more lack of resources to keep PR up to date.

Michael Van Canneyt and Mark Weustink are active participants of mailing list (for both Lazarus and freepascal)

Detlef Overbeek is an editor of Blaise Pascal magazine.
I don't think he has an account here.

As this page suggests. Pas2js is the primary concern of the foundation.
The last of Pas2js was 3 days ago (june 24 2019). So it's happening.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 07:48:07 am by skalogryz »
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ssliackus

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2019, 10:00:25 pm »
Very good question.
I am sending 2 eur monthly donation over paypal and if there is no actual foundation, anyone can take my money and use them for personal purposes (I am not saying that anyone doing this, but it would be much easier).

I would not be happy if that happens, but that is very common problem (not having organisation and structure behind) for many open source projects, even strong ones. By not having formal organisation, project looses many financial and organisational benefits.

This means, that there is less transparency, less control or effectiveness pursuing goals.

Corporate donors are not willing to donate if there is no organisation, because they will loose tax relief that many countries provide for donors (for UK that is 25% of your donation). Additionally, organisations can apply for many local and international grants, easier participate in school/university programs, make use of many alternative funding sources.

Continuation of projects activities if something happens to key project members. Case with Voidlinux when one single person had all project passwords and he is simply gone (https://itsfoss.com/void-linux-crisis/).

I would strongly advise to have such organisation with separate web page or if that is too complicated, ten join several project under one umbrella organisation.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 10:09:19 pm by ssliackus »

Akira1364

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2019, 11:35:44 pm »
My issue with the foundation is that several of the things listed on it (such as anonymous functions and attributes) were never funded by foundation donations in the first place, and on top of that are known to be nearly (or entirely) complete already.

The most recent patch for attributes was "assigned" to Sven Barth over a year ago on the bugtracker:
https://bugs.freepascal.org/view.php?id=33384

Since then, there's been nothing but radio silence on the subject.

Stuff like the web assembly backend has made no progress whatsoever, either. The branch for it was essentially created, and then never worked on at all.

Basically, there's no way that donating to the foundation is actually helping or going to help any of the listed features get implemented faster (except for Pas2JS, which is an admirable project but not something I'd spend money on.)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 12:00:03 am by Akira1364 »

MvC

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2019, 01:01:15 am »
I can speak for the foundation.

It is correct that the foundation website is the least of our priorities.
Despite asking several times for volunteers, so far no-one has stepped forward to actually do the work of creating a nice-looking website. I am not a designer of websites.

But we're definitely actively working on the progress of FPC/Lazarus

- pas2js is taking a lot of resources. Currently generics are under development.
  It is generating a small amount of money, but not enough to cover the development costs.
  There was a meeting with Mattias about it only yesterday.
- We agreed with Karoly Balogh (Charlie) that he will be working on WebAssembly fulltime this summer.
  There is still an outstanding bounty for this.
- As it happens, I will be posting a new bounty tomorrow.
- We're actively looking for someone to finish the work on attributes.
  If you know people, tell them to contact us.
- if the upcoming Lazarus book sales generates some income, it will be used to further FPC/Lazarus.

If you need more transparancy: ask, and you will get answers. There are plenty of invitations to contact us. It's up to you to do so.

MvC

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2019, 01:14:09 am »
Very good question.
I am sending 2 eur monthly donation over paypal and if there is no actual foundation, anyone can take my money and use them for personal purposes (I am not saying that anyone doing this, but it would be much easier).

I would not be happy if that happens, but that is very common problem (not having organisation and structure behind) for many open source projects, even strong ones. By not having formal organisation, project looses many financial and organisational benefits.

This means, that there is less transparency, less control or effectiveness pursuing goals.

Corporate donors are not willing to donate if there is no organisation, because they will loose tax relief that many countries provide for donors (for UK that is 25% of your donation). Additionally, organisations can apply for many local and international grants, easier participate in school/university programs, make use of many alternative funding sources.

Continuation of projects activities if something happens to key project members. Case with Voidlinux when one single person had all project passwords and he is simply gone (https://itsfoss.com/void-linux-crisis/).

I would strongly advise to have such organisation with separate web page or if that is too complicated, ten join several project under one umbrella organisation.

Thank you.

Your money is being received every month, for which my heartfelt thanks!
I can assure you it is not being used for personal gain.

Anyone thinking that the moneys are being used for personal gain: this is not so.
None of the founders of the foundation get any money. Not a cent.
 
Besides time, we only spend personal money on it, to improve FPC/Lazarus.




 

greymont

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2019, 01:37:58 am »
Those are good answers, @MvC. However, the lack of active presence on the web is only a symptom of a lack of organizational substance. Seems there is no one in the foundation who is skilled at running an organization like this, or perhaps, no one ready and willing to do so.

I can think of several reasons this is so.

One is the rigidity the principle participants have about conducting business the way they always have. For example, nearly all the rest of the world has moved to embrace git. But you guys say it is not desirable. Well, if I was thinking of joining the effort this position would make me think more than twice. (Moving to use git would help make the project look fresh and alive.)

A second reason you may not be getting the help you need is the project looks very wobbly. Many comments made over the years make it look like it is barely getting by, "living of a shoestring", and therefore may be shut down soon. No one wants to join such an effort. (Updating the web site so the project looks successful and alive would help with this a lot!)

A third reason you may not be getting the help you need may be because the image of the group is that a small number of principals control nearly all of the project. Without more transparency of process it looks like a tight circle that is hard to break into and not friendly to outsiders. This is where having someone coordinate who is good at explaining what is going on would help enormously.

These are just some observations. You have probably heard them before. You will probably reply with the same statements as before. And nothing will change. What, then, will it take to produce meaningful change?

Peter H

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2019, 01:26:59 pm »
I think they dont do good marketing.

Because I am a beginner with lazarus (I did Turbopascal 30 years ago, but never delphi), I wanted a good book for introduction.
At amazon, most books about lazarus are "currently not available". There are some offers, but these where not what I wanted.

I dont buy a book, if I cannot have a look inside, if I cannot see the contents and dont kow the number of pages.

Finally I found "Learn to program using Lazarus", which was what I wanted. Now, there was a previev offered, but the link was broken and so I did not buy.
At some miracle day, the preview (which was hard to find) worked, I looked inside and purchased the pdf, which I have not regretted.

Possibly they should offer their books via Amazon print on demand service, where amazon does the logistic the advertising and offer the "look inside book" and does the print (on demand) and the shipping and has the cost of web traffic and administration. I think they could reach a much larger amount of customers there, beause the offered content is good.

If I look to this upcoming new book (which I want to get when ready) I shudder a little bit over 25€ "flatrate shipping". For this price I can order overseas by priority air mail!  >:(

For 25€ I can get a 250 sheet (500 pages) Din A4 printed and shipping is free here:
https://www.drucksofa.de/preise/

Finally this was the only way for me to get a printed copy of  "Learn to program using Lazarus"

I would be glad to support them by purchasing their offerings, but they make it difficult and expensive for me and other customers.


« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 01:33:14 pm by Peter H »

wp

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2019, 01:32:33 pm »
I dont buy a book, if I cannot have a look inside, if I cannot see the contents and dont kow the number of pages.
I just stumbled across a pdf preview of the new Lazarus Handbook which Michael mentioned above: https://www.blaisepascalmagazine.eu/preview-of-the-pdf-file-of-the-lazarus-handbook/
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Peter H

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2019, 01:36:58 pm »
Yes, but the preview for  "Learn to program using Lazarus" is gone....
They must improve their marketing. Its not about the products, these are good.

ssliackus

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2019, 02:08:23 pm »
Thank you @Mvc, for response. I am not blaming anyone or saying that anyone is doing something wrong. I much appreciate your hard work and even try to help as I can.

I just wanted to express concerns, that many donors  would, probably, have.

As @greymont said, there are many areas of the project that needs to be improved and refurbished, to gain more synergy in modern world. That is true, entire project looks like frozen in 90s.

My other concern would be the price of the book - are you sure it is priced correctly (image attached)? Even being supportive and earning enough, I wouldn't, probably buy this book. I may understand authors, they've spent so much time and effort, but this book would be not affordable for the most who are willing to buy it. May be there exist less pricey options for publishing and shipping? I heard lulu.com are quite good on that.

Editor

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2019, 02:13:49 pm »
Maybe you don't know but there are very few people that are working on all of this stuff.
We have a lot to do. I will make a list of all activities I do on the several sites.
Because I forgot about the Foundation, it is me to blame. I will  finalize the administration next week, so it will b up to date. I had started it but not finalized.
Sometimes one needs to do urgent things first.

People that have a lot of comments should come and help us to fulfill all of our tasks. PLEASE COME AND HELP.
If your interested simply send an email to me:
Detlef Overbeek = editor @ blaisepascal.eu or send it to: foundation @ freepascal.org or to professionals @ lazarusfactory.org

For all we do the development of FPC, Lazarus,pas2JS, Web-assembly, all the websites and writing and publish the books: Lazarus Handbook, Learning to program Lazarus and Blaise Pascal Magazine.
I have 100% daytime/nighttime job because of this, so if you have any questions please send them to me directly and I will answer instantly.

Editor

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Re: Free Pascal / Lazarus Foundation
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2019, 03:03:56 pm »
In reply to the book Lazarus Handbook(?) I suppose you have taken that info from our website?
If this is the book you mentioned then please note the following:
first of all there are three versions.
So I don't think you are well informed:
There is a pocket version and a hardcover, which makes a pricing difference.
Further On there is a PDF version: then you do not need to pay shipping cost.
If you want more details let me know.
One extra thing you should know: 50 % of the PROFIT will be reinvested into the Lazarus FPC project.
We very much need that.
So it is not only a commercial project.