>> One early Axiom project question was how to keep Axiom
>> alive after the project lead dies (aka me). Almost all projects
>> die once the lead developer stops developing. Since Axiom
>> is so complex it needs a lot of explanation to transfer the
>> required knowledge. I really want it to survive and flourish.
> Because project is complex I suspect it needs lot of dedicated
> uninterrupted time to understand and maintain/improve it.
> Probably you have to live inside this project to do meaningful
> work on it (full time). It is hard to get started on complex
> project if you have to do it after work, besides family and
> other chores on small scraps of free time.
Well, I'm one of the original authors so I have some background.
In addition I've been maintaining it for over 20 years so I've had
a lot of "dedicated" time. Most of that time was "after work" but
it is a really interesting and challenging piece of software.
> Maybe project will be lucky and someone financially independent
> with interest in math and lots of free time discovers it (need for
> another Isaac Newton). Maybe Jim Simons donates money to the project.
> Unless there exists already one, maybe foundation needs to be
> established similar to Linux Foundation:
> to ensure that project leaders can afford to work on the project.
Financing isn't the real issue. That said, I've contacted many
companies over the years to try to establish funding. For example,
the U.S. government won't give grant money to individuals. You need
a 'fiducial" agent, that is, a certified accountant. I asked companies
like IBM to set up a small shop of a couple accountants that could
manage government grant accounting (spending / receipts) so that
open source projects could get grants.
I've contacted many companies / universities to try to get support.
The latest effort is with the Schmidt Futures foundation.
The Schmidt advantage is that it has a focus on open source software
and is working with universities worldwide. This is the ideal situation
for Axiom support / development. I wish they worked with more
universities, especially CMU where I have some prior connections.