[texhax] Crowd funding for LaTeX development

Brian Dunn bd at bdtechconcepts.com
Mon Sep 25 10:54:17 CEST 2017

Might it be worthwhile to consider setting up a centralized
crowd-funding system for LaTeX development?

- LaTeX is increasing in popularity:
	- Overleaf shows 750,000+ authors, 10,000 journals, 250
	  advisers, and around 30 organizations/companies.
	- ShareLaTeX shows 1,300,000 authors, 30 partner institutions.

- LaTeX may be a good candidate for crowdfunding:
	- LaTeX is a preexisting and growing collection of small
	  pieces, instead of one large project.
	- Many authors are involved.
	- LaTeX packages have a long and useful lifespan.
	- Small packages/changes may be developed on spec, priced
	  reasonably according to actual development time involved, then
	  released when the funding is raised.
	- The results are immediately usable.
	- There are several LaTeX consultants advertised who presumably
	  would have time to do some of the advanced work.  Any number
	  of students may be interested in helping with documentation
	  and translations.
	- The various publishers, journals, etc. may be willing to fund
	  anything which would make their lives easier.

- Things to be funded:
	- Bug fixes, updates, and improvements for existing packages.
	- Documentation and translation improvements.
		(Ex: floatrow, komascript)
	- New specialty science, engineering, humanities, and
		professional packages.
	- Modules for TeX4ht, babel, tikz, lwarp, bidi, etc.
	- LaTeX3, XeLaTeX, LuaLaTeX, ConTeXt.
	- TUG, DANTE, GUST, etc.
	- Web infrastructure such as CTAN, LaTeX Font Catalog, wikis.
	- Distributions such as TeXLive, MiKTex.
	- Editors, LaTeX syntax highlighting rules.
	- Font development

- A crowdfunding platform should be chosen carefully and hosted
  independently for the long term.

- Publicity probably requires the involvement of Overleaf/ShareLaTeX to
  spread the word to their users.

- Anyone doing much work may have to form a business entity.  (One
  advantage of doing so in USA is the ability to use a FEIN instead of a
  SSN for W-9 forms.)



Brian Dunn
BD Tech Concepts LLC
bd at BDTechConcepts.com


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