Madwifi Project Looking to Found Non-Profit Organization

Oct 07, 2007

The developers of the free Madwifi WLAN driver for Atheros chipset-based devices are discussing the foundation of a non-profit organization.

Madwifi developer Michael Renzmann called on the developer mailing list for the project to discuss and decide on the issue in the near future. The developer community had planned to adopt the legal form of a non-profit organization for a long time. The motives are mainly practical: for example, there is no account for donations, because the project lacks a formal body, despite repeated queries on donations.

The alternatives would be joining Software Freedom Conservacy (SFC), who provide financial and legal support to Open Source projects, or Software in the Public Interest (SPI) who support software development and distribution. In an approach typical of developers, the Madwifi.org people have set up a ticket list for completion. The Wiki on the project homepage provides background information and topics for discussion on the planned institutionalization.

Up to 2005, just a few developers were responsible for the original BSD version and the Linux version of the Madwifi driver. One of them is the creator of the first Madwifi driver for BSD, Sam Leffler. Sam and the man behind the first Linux port, Greg Chesson, gave up driver development early in 2005, but volunteers interested in continuing the project were soon forthcoming. Since then, the Madwifi project has been a loosely knit developer community with its own project website, a Wiki, mailing lists and IRC chats.

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