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

Kathy Reid kathy at kathyreid.id.au
Wed May 3 14:39:01 AEST 2017

Hi everyone,

A courtesy reminder that community feedback on this Grant Application is
open until next Monday, 8th May and will be considered at Council
Meeting on Thursday 11th May.

Kind regards,

On 24/04/17 03:17, Paul Fenwick wrote:
> G’day Linux Australia council and members,
> In August 2014 I founded the Comprehensive Kerbal Archive Network
> (KSP-CKAN <https://github.com/KSP-CKAN/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 last month
> <https://github.com/KSP-CKAN/NetKAN/pulse/monthly> 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 handling the
> video processing
> <http://www.techman83.me/programming/2014/01/20/eventstreamr.html> 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
> _______________________________________________
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> linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au
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Kathy Reid
Independent digital consultant

       email: kathy at kathyreid.id.au
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