Today I’m asking you for a donation to keep my mobile browser research up and running. I don’t really like doing this, but I have to if I want to continue my testing programme.
I did this once before and it worked. I’m going to try it one more time and hope it works again. If I don’t try I’ll never know.
Let me explain. In 2012 I started to look for research sponsors. My reasoning was that, next to web developers, browser makers are the prime benficiaries of my work, and they have money, so I should ask them for some.
That worked. I was lucky enough to find four of them: Microsoft, Google, BlackBerry, and Nokia (thanks, guys!). These four sponsorships paid for a lot of mobile compatibility research in 2012 and the first half of this year. I was happy — and didn’t have to go to you hat in hand.
From August on I’ve been working on renewing these sponsorships as well as attracting new sponsors. Unfortunately, so far only Microsoft and Google agreed to an extension, and I have not found any new sponsors. I sent out a lot of mails, and continue to hold faint hope that maybe one company will come through, but have to face the fact that my sponsorship income will decline by 50%.
And if it doesn’t generate enough income, I can’t continue my testing programme.
To give you an idea of the time I need: I recently retested the CSS2 declarations that were never added to a CSS3 module. These tests took me three days to run, and I already had good test cases and already knew exactly what I was looking for.
The media query tests (still unpublished) took more like a week — and that doesn’t count the week and a half I spent last year in writing the test suite. And I still have to spend two days or so to make the tables ready for publication — mostly because I have to decide which behaviour is right and wrong so I can give browsers Yesses and Noes. And I have to spent at least another week or so to update the test suite for
matchMedia and then run it in all the browsers.
The viewport tests: a week for creating test cases and running them; and that’s in only eight browsers instead of the customary forty. And it left out some stuff.
Anyway, you get it. This sort of testing is very useful (I think), but very time-consuming. And I need money, just like everybody else.
Any amount is welcome (though largish amounts are preferred), and the more you give, the longer I can continue my research without worrying too much about paying my bills.
I won’t die of hunger if you don’t give, but I will have to break off my research to look for and then do some odd jobs — jobs that will likely be fun but won’t increase our understanding of mobile browsers. And even if they increase my personal understanding I won’t have the time for the endless testing that allows me to write a full report that the browser vendors and you can use.
I prefer to continue working as I do now; with a lot of time for research, and a bit of conference organising on the side. However, that depends on my income.
Do you want me to continue my research for as long as possible? Then please make a donation.
Oh, and full transparency. If this works, I’ll let you know how much the lot of you gave.
I’m speaking at the following conferences: