[FreeBSD-Announce] FreeBSD Foundation Quarterly Newsletter, December 21, 2004

Robert Watson rwatson at FreeBSD.org
Tue Dec 21 04:07:44 PST 2004

               The FreeBSD Foundation Quarterly Newsletter
                           December 21, 2004

In this Edition:
 o Letter from the Secretary/Treasurer
 o An update on the FreeBSD Foundation's 501(c)3 Status
 o A Roundup of Recent Foundation Activities
   - Event Sponsorship
   - PAE/BusDMA/PCIe Hardware grant
   - The FreeBSD Performance Cluster
   - FreeBSD Foundation Web Site
 o The FreeBSD Foundation acquires the FreeBSD Trademark
 o An Update on the Netperf Project
 o The State of Java Runtime Licensing
 o New Proposal Submission Process
 o Future Projects
 o Foundation Financial Data

Letter From the Secretary/Treasurer

  FreeBSD Community,

  For almost five years now, the FreeBSD Foundation has been working
  quietly to support the FreeBSD project.  Many of you may be aware
  of the FreeBSD Foundation, but not know much about our activities.
  This quarterly newsletter, along with a revamped web site debuting
  on January 1st, marks a renewed effort to educate the FreeBSD
  community about our efforts.

  This first newsletter includes important information about the
  FreeBSD Foundation's current status as a public-charity and the
  steps you can take to help us keep that status.  Even if you don't
  have time to read the whole newsletter, please take the time to
  read and understand this section.

  The remainder of the newsletter is devoted to answering the
  question we get most often, "What does the FreeBSD Foundation
  do?"  From financial data to status updates on recent and planned
  projects, we hope you'll find the answer to all of your questions
  in the newsletter.  If you don't find what you're looking here or
  on our web site, please don't hesitate to contact us via email.
  Thanks for your support!

  Justin T. Gibbs
  gibbs at FreeBSDFoundation.org

  FreeBSD Foundation Board of Directors
  bod at FreeBSDFoundation.org

The FreeBSD Foundation's 501(c)3 Status

  December 31st of this year will mark the end of the FreeBSD
  Foundation's probationary period as a 501(c)3.  The IRS requires
  all non-profit public charities to prove, at the five year mark,
  that they have met the "public support test" or be classified as
  a private foundation.  For several reasons that are too technical
  to go into, it is in the Foundation's interest to remain a public

  The easiest way for the Foundation to demonstrate "public support"
  is to pass the "1/3rd test":

                Limited Donations      1
               ==================  =  ===
                 All Donations         3
  For the purposes of this test, no single donor may contribute
  more than 2% of the total donation pool to the numerator.

  Through good fortune and the extreme charity of a handful of
  donors, the FreeBSD Foundation finds itself at risk of failing
  the "1/3rd test".  As of today, the ratio of limited donations
  to total donations stands at 27.9%.  While we have every confidence
  that our support history will substantiate that the FreeBSD
  Foundation is a public charity, going through the appeals process
  can be a lengthy and expensive ordeal.

  For this reason we are directly appealing to the community to
  help us meet the "1/3rd test".  To do so, the Foundation will
  need to raise $30,400 in donations not affected by the 2%
  contribution limit.  Given the Foundation's expected donation
  balance, the 2% limit for any single person or entity is $8000
  given during the Foundation's 5 year probationary period.

  If you use FreeBSD and would like the FreeBSD Foundation to
  continue its support of FreeBSD, please consider making a donation.
  No amount is too small to make a difference.

  The FreeBSD Foundation accepts donations via check:

       The FreeBSD Foundation
       7321 Brockway Dr.
       Boulder, CO 80303

  or PayPal:


  Checks must be postmarked by December 31st. to count toward the
  advanced ruling period.

  Thanks again for your support!

Recent Foundation Activities

 o Event Sponsorship

   The FreeBSD Foundation has taken an active role in sponsoring
   BSD-related and FreeBSD-related events, including the highly
   successful AsiaBSDCon conference held in Taipei during March of
   2004, and FreeBSD developer summits co-scheduled with major
   conferences such as the USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC)
   in Boston, MA during June 2004, and the EuroBSDCon conference
   in Karlsruhe, Germany during November 2004.  In addition, the
   FreeBSD Foundation has provided limited travel grants to a number
   of FreeBSD developers to attend conferences and workshops on
   behalf of the FreeBSD Project, including assisting in travel
   costs to attend the above events.  Both BSD-centered conferences
   and FreeBSD-specific developer events play critical roles in
   expanding the FreeBSD user community and supporting collaborative

   The FreeBSD Foundation would like, in particular, to recognize
   the contributions of Michael Wu and the AsiaBSDCon organizers,
   Scott Long, the EuroBSDCon program committee, the USENIX ATC BSD
   sig program committee, the USENIX board, and the BSDCan organizers
   for their outstanding contributions in organizing these and other
   important events.  The FreeBSD Foundation is committed to
   supporting similar future events.

 o PAE/BusDMA/PCIe Hardware grant

   Typical system configurations continue to gain more memory -- it
   is not uncommon to see 2GB or more in a desktop.  Recently Scott
   Long has taken on the task of polishing up the system components
   that handle these large memory configurations.  To aid in his
   development and testing of the PAE, BusDMA, and new PCI-Express
   extended configuration space framework, the Foundation has
   purchased 4x2GB DIMMS of DDR3200 ECC memory and a case to house
   a donated, large memory capable, system.  The fruits of Scott's
   efforts are already being seen in the FreeBSD CVS tree.  Thanks
 o The FreeBSD Performance Cluster

   Originally created in support of the Netperf project, our
   performance cluster continues to grow.  We expect to add 64bit
   systems to the cluster early next year as well as simplify the
   mechanism for having developers "check-out" the cluster for test
   runs.  For more details on the FreeBSD Performance Cluster, see
   the "Network Performance Work Update" section later in the

 o The FreeBSD Foundation Web site Gets a New Look

   The members of the Board of the FreeBSD Foundation may be many
   things, but certainly not web site designers!  After a year of
   neglecting the current web site, we finally enlisted some help
   in the form of Dag-Erling Smorgrav.  Dag-Erling is putting the
   finishing touches on our revamped site just in time to ring in
   the the new year.  Look for the site to debut on January 1.
   Thanks Dag-Erling for all your hard work!
The FreeBSD Foundation acquires the FreeBSD Trademark

  The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce the acquisition of
  the FreeBSD trademark.

  In October of last year, Wind River Inc. agreed to assign the
  FreeBSD trademark to the FreeBSD Foundation.  As with most things
  involving paperwork and government entities, progress has been
  slow, but transfer is now complete in both the U.S. and Germany.
  Transfer requests for the United Kingdom and Japan are expected
  to complete shortly.

  The Foundation would like to thank Wind River for their assistance
  with the Trademark transfer, and Murray Stokely for his diligence
  and hard work in shepherding the process.

  As originally registered by Walnut Creek CDROM, the FreeBSD
  trademark applies to "CD ROMs featuring an archive of computer
  programs which may be accessed for use archived on a CDROM." With
  the trademark transfer complete in two jurisdictions, the Foundation
  is now turning its attention to updating the trademark to reflect
  its current usage by the FreeBSD project.  The new trademark
  filing should be submitted to all four jurisdictions in January.

Network Performance Work Update

  The defining architectural drive behind FreeBSD 5.x is "SMPng",
  the adoption of fine-grained synchronization primitives and
  additional threading to improve concurrency and scalability.
  During this massive undertaking, kernel components not yet converted
  to the new architecture are supported, but suffer a significant
  performance penalty.  Removing this penalty from the networking
  stack was a requirement for FreeBSD 5.x to become the new -STABLE
  branch and replace FreeBSD 4.x in Internet server installations.
  Through the sponsorship of the FreeBSD Foundation and the support
  of many volunteer developers, the initial lock down of the FreeBSD
  network stack was completed for the FreeBSD 5.3 release.

  The Foundation's initial contribution to the network stack lock
  down project ("Netperf") was to award a six-month development
  contract to Sam Leffler.  Sam, a FreeBSD developer and one of the
  original developers of the BSD networking stack, completed locking
  of the firewall, Ethernet bridging, DUMMYNET, and socket subsystems.
  He also cleaned up existing synchronization work in the routing
  code and several areas of the TCP and UDP implementations.

  To support the volunteers continuing this work in testing the
  robustness and performance of the networking stack, the FreeBSD
  Foundation created the "FreeBSD Performance Cluster".  Located
  in donated space at Sentex Data Systems' Ontario, Canada colocation
  center, the cluster has proven an invaluable asset for determining
  network stack bottlenecks and performing regression testing.
  Through a matching hardware donation from FreeBSD Systems, Inc.
  the cluster was christened with three 3.06GHz Dual-Xeon machines.
  Recently a Dell 2650, donated by IronPort Systems, was added the
  cluster.  Permitting full remote management, including network
  booting, remote power, and remote console, the cluster provides
  an important experimentation resource available for developers
  throughout the world.

  Even with the great success of the Netperf project, there is still
  much to be done to complete the SMPng initiative.  The FreeBSD
  Foundation plans to continue its work supporting this and other
  architecture and performance initiatives through targeted development
  grants and improvements to the FreeBSD Performance Cluster.  Please
  see the "New Proposal Submission Process" section of this newsletter
  for details on the Foundation's funding process.

Java Update

  In August of 2003, the FreeBSD Foundation released its first
  binary distribution of the Java runtime environment for the FreeBSD
  platform.  Since that time, the Foundation has funded additional
  development to port the Java 1.4.x to FreeBSD, and worked diligently
  to simplify the licensing process for "OEM" distribution of our
  binaries.  Work on the Java 5 port has also recently begun.  While
  we are pleased to report tremendous success in supporting Java
  development initiatives, our negotiations with Sun Microsystems have
  yielded few results.

  The seemingly constant restructuring at Sun has made it difficult
  to find and retain consistent contacts in their licensing program.
  The latest blow to our efforts was the recent notification of
  Sun's desire to revoke and renegotiate the FreeBSD Foundation's
  SCSL license.  From what we can determine, Sun is re-negotiating
  all SCSL licenses to standardize their Java revenue model.

  Even after receiving notice of the termination of our license
  attempts to contact Sun to renegotiate the license have gone
  unanswered.  For now, it is safe to assume that the Foundation
  will engage in another lengthy, and potentially costly, licensing
  negotiation before our binary distributions can continue.

  In the mean time, the FreeBSD Foundation is continuing its support
  for Java development.  With the recent introduction of Java 5.0,
  and FreeBSD 5/6's new KSE thread library, there is still much
  work to do.  This should ensure that FreeBSD continues to enjoy
  excellent Java support while we await resolution of the Java
  licensing issue.

New Proposal Submission Process

  As the Foundation looks on to 2005, the board of directors has
  started to develop a more formal proposal review process for
  vetting responses to its proposal requests.  The new scheme has
  many of the same features as a paper review committee for a
  technical conference.  The Foundation will solicit reviewers from
  both inside and outside the BSD community with technical expertise
  in fields applicable to proposals.  Each member will review a
  fixed, small, number of proposals and submit comments on those
  proposals for group discussion and ranking.  The committee's
  recommendations will then be used by the board of directors to
  choose the funded proposals.

  Our hope is that by limiting the workload and commitment for
  volunteers we can attract high caliber reviewers.  We also feel
  that bringing input from outside the BSD community will increase
  the visibility of FreeBSD while also broadening the community's
  knowledge of other technologies.

Future Projects

 The FreeBSD Foundation is always looking for new ways to enhance
 and promote the FreeBSD operating system.  Below are a few of our
 new initiatives that are just getting started:

 o Legal Council on the DMCA, copyright auditing, and code licenses
   The SCO lawsuit has heightened the awareness of the Open Source
   community to intellectual property issues.  In early December,
   the FreeBSD Foundation tasked its legal council with exploring
   different ways the FreeBSD Foundation, the FreeBSD Project, and
   its developers can limit liability for IP infringements without
   hobbling the project in paper work.  Working closely with the
   FreeBSD Core team, the Foundation hopes to provide FreeBSD
   developers with accurate and useful information about copyright
   law, the DMCA, and software licensing.

 o Enterprise Storage Initiative
   The first test of the FreeBSD Foundation's new proposal review
   process will concentrate on FreeBSD's storage subsystems.  From
   VFS and file systems to the CAM SCSI framework, this area of the
   FreeBSD kernel is one of the largest still lacking the fine-grained
   locking of the SMPng architecture.  FreeBSD also lacks many
   industry standard storage features including a journaling file
   system, software RAID support for many vendor's meta-data, and
   iSCSI.  While the Foundation lacks the resources to fund all of
   this work, we hope to address some of these issues via development
   grants in 2005.  Look for our request for proposals early in the
   new year.  Monetary donations to the Foundation will help to
   make funding for these projects possible!

FreeBSD Foundation Financial Data

  Profit/Loss Jul 2004 - Sep 2004

     Ordinary Income/Expense
          Grants                                     1,485.95
        Total Income                                 1,485.95

          Computer Equipment                         8,022.00
          Event Sponsorship
             Conference Fee & Travel Grants      1,668.90
             Event Sponsorship - Other           3,622.47
          Total Event Sponsorship                    5,291.37

          PayPal Fees                                   33.85
          Postage and Delivery                          39.53
          Professional Fees
             Accounting                            450.00
             Legal Fees                             72.30
          Total Professional Fees                      522.30

        Total Expense                               13,909.05

     Net Ordinary Income                           -12,423.10

     Net Income                                    -12,423.10

  Balance Sheet as of Dec 21, 2004

       Current Assets
          Checking/Savings                         194,605.36

       Total Current Assets                        194,605.36

     TOTAL ASSETS                                  194,605.36

          Retained Earnings                        182,803.98
          Net Income                                11,801.38
       Total Equity                                194,605.36

     TOTAL LIABILITIES & EQUITY                    194,605.36

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