Dear OS/2 community members and VOICE supporters,
On the 6th of August 2014 me (Roderick Klein) and Gerrit Schoenmaker went to a Dutch public notary to start the OS/2 VOICE International foundation, after the VOICE members approved this transition. Since then, VOICE has been active but we have not had much time to communicate to our donators what has been done with the money!
But first, as to why. There were two reasons to convert VOICE from a Canadian organization to a Dutch foundation.
- There was one was potential fiscal issue. To the best of our understanding the treasurer of OS/2 VOICE in Canada could be viewed by the Canadian IRS as a person with a private bank account. VOICE had never been officially reported to the Canadian IRS as non profit organization. We also could not find somebody to replace Gordon Snider as a treasurer in Canada.
- Another reaseon we wanted to convert the organization was to speed up the decisions process. Often it wold take weeks to get from an idea to a board and member vote. This issue was also described in the document sent to all VOICE members so they could read why we (the board) wanted to convert OS/2 VOICE into a Dutch foundation.
In my opinion a lot of OS/2 users just want to see stuff get done. Having said that, VOICE also wants to be transparent on how it spends your donations.
VOICE is now an official Dutch foundation registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and its bylaws are registered with a public notary. You can find a best-effort translation of the bylaws from Dutch to English here.
All projects supported have to be in line with these bylaws. This for example means if we sponsor software development the binaries will have to be available for everybody free of charge and the source code has to be covered by some sort of "open source" license. Another example are organising or supporting events like Warpstock Europe to promote OS/2.
In short the OS/2 community must benefit of actions taken by OS/2 VOICE. The OS/2 VOICE board has 7 members who have to approve all proposals, as an extra safe guard to make certain your money is spent as wisely as possible. You can find the financial report for 2015 here.
Note: The reason OS/2 VOICE has about 19.000 US Dollars on its bank is mostly due to the of the PMMAIL product over the last 10 years.
What has OS/2 VOICE been spending your donations on ?
- The new os2.org forum is sponsored by VOICE at a cost of €120 a year. This mainly covers the cost for webhosting. In return the OS/2 VOICE logo is shown on their front page.
- Netlabs.org, also a non-profit orginations, hosts a wide variety of projects that are being updated by OS/2 community members. Netlabs needed a new backup server and VOICE donated €1000 to Netlabs to make this possible. To get an impression how many projects are hosted by Netlabs read their Netlabs newsletter. Netlabs also hosts the core RPM repository with a lot of software ported by Bitwise Works and other people: see http://rpm.netlabs.org/.
- BitWise Works works on porting / developing Qt 5.5 for OS/2; this libary is used to port many applications to OS/2. Voice has contributed €1800 to support this effort and will donate another €1800 once the project is finished. For more information on Qt, see http://trac.netlabs.org/qt4. By the way, you can purchase sponsor units for BitWise Works and other people who port software to OS/2 here.
- A laptop for Wim Brul has been sponsored for 250 Euro so he can develop his software in an SMP environment for his webcam/touch screen drivers.
- Development of the so called Split Window view in Xworkplace has been finished; this was been by Rich Walsh at a cost of $900. While the binaries and source code are currently not publicly available yet, sources will be committed to http://trac.netlabs.org/xworkplace and binaries will be uploaded to hobbes.nmsu.edu. The changes are currently receiving final testing before being submitted into SVN.
- Warpstock Europe 2015, 2016 and 2017.
You might wonder why VOICE supports Warpstock Europe, while a lot of donators never visit the event. The core reason for doing so is that it brings together paid and unpaid people who develop software for OS/2. For example, in May 2016 people from Arca Noae and Bitwise Works at Warpstock 2016 in Cologne, Germany. But also other volunteers and end-users meet at the conference and talk with each other. And for those who could not make it to Warpstock Europe we provided a video and audio stream.
We believe it is this interaction between developers and end users that provides a basis for new projects and ideas. It also puts OS/2 in the spotlight outside of its small community, with articles on heise.de and TechRepublic. While the heise.de article does not have such a positive "tone" it was still placed on the website of Heise, thanks to a a press release release by OS/2 VOICE.
In 2015 Warpstock Europe operated at a loss (see the financial report). This was mainly due to time constraints on behalf of the chairman. While we still need to do the accounting for this year's Warpstock, it likely operated at a loss also. But we intend to break even or even make a small "profit" on the next event. Nevertheless, Warpstock Europe was a success in the sense that we had 40 visitors in Cologne this year, a significant rise compared to previous years. We think this has also to do with all the news surrounding ArcaOS (also known as Blue Lion), which encourages more people to visit Warpstock Europe/US.
Warpstock Europe 2017 will be held in Rotterdam and the website www.warpstock.eu already reflects this. By announcing Warpstock Europe 2017 earlier than the previous two Warpstocks Europe we hope to attract more people and break even or even make a small profit. We already secured sponsoring from Daniel Caroll from the US for the social event, which does not haveto be paid for by VOICE.
Future projects we are working on:
- rpm.os2voice.org (the project just got started, the URL is not functioning yet!). This project is to provide the OS/2 community with more RPM packages that can be installed on OS/2 with the free ANPM package manager. We are working to get a team of volunteers together.
- This article and the site articles.os2voice.org is a new starting point to get more and new articles published about OS/2 and getting the OS/2 VOICE newsletter back on track.
- Other projects under consideration are a Youtube channel with videos about OS/2 and to start again with speakups. With speakups OS/2 users can ask questions to a developer.
On behalf of the OS/2 VOICE board I would to thank all members for your donation and I hope you feel the money you donated has contributed to keeping our favorite operating system moving forward.
President OS/2 VOICE