Working on core takes time. Writing patches takes time, reviewing them takes time, just keeping track of what all is going on takes time. Most of us are volunteers but the most valuable thing that I lack as an initiative lead is raw hours. One of the reasons I agreed to lead the configuration management initiative is because I was getting a generous donation of 50% of my billable time from NodeOne (now Wunderkraut) to work on the project. Since leaving NodeOne my activity in the queue has lagged as I concentrate on my own projects as well as working on a contract basis to make ends meet. People like sun, alexpott and many others have stepped up to help, but things still end up getting delayed as I try and find the time to review major issues and help keep things moving.
After my last contract ended, I decided that rather than hunt down another one, I would instead launch a fundraising campaign to allow me to work on CMI full time. Over the last few weeks, I have been approaching companies with funding proposals to see if I can raise funds to work on core full time through December. The results have been encouraging. Two companies - Pantheon and WebEnabled - have come through with $5,000 donations, while others like Annertech, Wunderkraut, Riot Games, Inuits and others have come through with smaller donations or pledged developer resources to the project.
Given this encouraging start, I decided to push forward with the fundraising effort, and now I'm looking for your help! If your company is interested in sponsoring my work on CMI, please get in touch through my contact form. I will send you a funding proposal and the details of what I'm looking for and special benefits at specific funding levels. However this isn't just about established companies sponsoring with large chunks of change, I want this funding effort to represent the diversity of our community. Therefore, I have created a ChipIn so that individuals can also be a part of CMI. You will find this in the right sidebar throughout my website.
All funding raised will be used to further the goals of CMI. As I stated in my talk last week at DrupalCon Munich, we have done a lot in 1.5 years, but with three months to feature freeze it is really time to accelerate development in a major way. Mostly I would like to try and focus my time on doing the things we need to scale development - mentoring new contributors, sorting out large blocking issues with the architecture, writing documentation, etc. However I also plan to get in and write patches to go with the new system, especially when we are investigating new pieces of the architecture and figuring out how they work. I would also love to find a way to spread funds throughout the CMI contributors. This might take the form of sponsoring trips to camps or cons, or direct donations to them as appropriate.
I truly believe CMI is vital to the future of Drupal. Time and time again over the last year and a half, people have come up to me to tell me how this is the most important problem Drupal has to resolve. How important is it?
Take a moment to calculate how much time you spent this week managing Features, writing update hooks, exporting data, and manually redoing settings that couldn't easily be managed with one of the above methods. Multiply that times 52 and imagine all that time put towards more productive work.
CMI will reduce budgets, making your business more competitive. It will allow hosting providers to implement advanced functionality for users much more simply. I really think it will give Drupal a huge leg up competitively and push it to a new level of adoption.
Please help us make Drupal great!