[Linux-aus] [Grant Application] Comprehensive Kerbal Archive Network

Craige McWhirter craige at mcwhirter.com.au
Mon Apr 24 08:41:10 AEST 2017

G'day Paul! I been keeping track of CKAN and love what you've done there. Great
work :-)

My question and I may have missed it in your email, is what are your actual
infrastructure requirements?

The costs seem reasonable but it would be good to also know what those costs
are providing. It would also help others know what they needed to provide if
they wanted to do some hosting for you.


On Sun, Apr 23, 2017 at 17:17:37 +0000, Paul Fenwick wrote:
>    G’day Linux Australia council and members,
>    In August 2014 I founded the Comprehensive Kerbal Archive Network
>    ([1]KSP-CKAN), a modifications (mod) manager for the popular Kerbal Space
>    Program game by Squad. Inspired by the Debian packaging system, my goal
>    was to create a system that would allow players to easily install mods and
>    keep them up-to-date, supported by rich metadata so players could be
>    assured they were getting the right packages for their system, including
>    dependency management and upgrade paths.
>    My not so secret mission was to inspire a new generation to be excited
>    about space exploration and research.
>    By creating a cross-platform (Mac/Linux/Windows), open-source (MIT) client
>    and associated metadata (CC-0), the project has been a resounding success.
>    We’ve attracted over 300 contributors, brought delight to well over
>    120,000 users, indexed thousands of mods, and measure our success in
>    decades of human joy delivered per month.
>    Most of the mods we index are also free and open source, and we handle the
>    automatic preservation of these in conjunction with the Internet Archive.
>    The KSP-CKAN is especially important for people using Kerbal Space Program
>    for planning and simulating real space travel, using the Realism Overhaul
>    stack. This provides an exact simulation of the solar system, authentic
>    hardware, and faithfully modelled aerodynamics. We’ve had NASA employees
>    personally devote their time to improving both the KSP-CKAN and associated
>    systems.
>    As we do not track our users, it’s hard to directly measure our project
>    success in terms of mods delivered, but we can use the number of client
>    downloads and user contributions as a proxy. Since early 2016 we’ve
>    routinely had over 100,000 downloads with each significant release, and
>    over the [2]last month we’ve had dozens of contributors working on our
>    metadata and code.
>    For the last two years, AWS have been kind enough to sponsor our compute
>    costs, which are primarily used for the automated indexing of mods.
>    However, that sponsorship has recently expired, and due to a change in
>    contacts at AWS we’ve been unsuccessful at getting it reviewed.
>    While I’ve stepped down as mission director, I’m still the legal entity
>    responsible for hosting costs, and I'm very much supportive of the project
>    and its goals. We're extremely fortunate to have Leon Wright as our prime
>    infrastructure person. Leon is active in PLUG and the Perth open source
>    community, has been instrumental in [3]handling the video processing of
>    past LCAs, and has kept our systems running for years.
>    Our expenses are very modest; about $30 USD/month covers all our hosting
>    and compute costs. Because the amount is so small, we’re hoping to have
>    them covered by a single sponsor rather than via crowd-funding, as this
>    keeps our administrative overheads to a minimum.
>    To help us while we find another infrastructure sponsor, I’d like to apply
>    for a Linux Australia grant to secure the KSP-CKAN’s hosting for another
>    year. If at all possible, I would like to request the grant be paid in
>    arrears (after the costs have been incurrred), and only for the actual
>    costs of hosting. This both reduces our administrative work, and means
>    we're not asking LA for more funding than we genuinely need.
>    If we find an infrastructure sponsor before the end of the grant period,
>    then we’ll only be asking for funding up until the changeover date. Of
>    course, we welcome any LA member or organisation that wishes to cover our
>    entire infrastructure costs for a year or more, but we'll cast our net
>    more widely if need be.
>    For this grant application, I’d like to request a maximum of $600 USD
>    ($800 AUD) over the twelve months ending 30th April 2018 to help with our
>    infrastructure. This is more than our projected expenses ($360 USD / $500
>    AUD) simply so we have some breathing space.
>    As mentioned, we’ll only be seeking reimbursement for costs actually
>    incurred.
>    Many thanks again for your consideration, and I look forward to answering
>    any questions you may have.
>    Paul Fenwick
>    Founder, Comprehensive Kerbal Archive Network
> References
>    Visible links
>    1. https://github.com/KSP-CKAN/CKAN
>    2. https://github.com/KSP-CKAN/NetKAN/pulse/monthly
>    3. http://www.techman83.me/programming/2014/01/20/eventstreamr.html

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Craige McWhirter
M: +61 4685 91819
W: https://mcwhirter.com.au/
GNUSocial: https://social.mcwhirter.io/craige
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