Goings-on in DLand

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The blog has been quiet for the past month, largely because I’ve been busy. I’ve had a couple of articles submitted to me which were a little light on content, so I asked the authors to flesh them out some more. Both are busy at the moment, but I’ll check back in with them in the New Year.

In the interim, I figured I’m due for a new update. I’m also working on the next article in my D and C series, which I hope to publish soon. If you’ve got something you’d like to say, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can’t promise I’ll publish your article, but if it checks all but a few boxes I’ll be happy to work with you to check off the rest. I’m also open to Project Highlights. If you’ve got a project to show off, let me know and I’ll tell you how to proceed. The D Language Foundation pays a bounty for most guest contributions, so it’s a relatively easy way to make some cash. Speaking of bounties…

Task Bounties

Don’t forget that we’ve got 8 open task bounties awaiting someone to claim them. You can also make a contribution to increase the bounties for the tasks you’re concerned about by clicking on the corresponding card on that page. Click the first card on the page if you’d like to seed a new bounty with a contribution, but be sure to include a note with a Bugzilla issue number or a request that I contact you for details. Once we’ve got it sorted, I’ll create a new card for your task and assign the seeded amount.

I’ll be adding some new tasks to the page in January. We’d all love to see some of the existing tasks closed out before then!

Contract Work

Some readers may be aware that Adam Ruppe is working on contract for the D Language Foundation to take LDC’s Android support to completion. It looks like he’s not too far away from the finish line. You can read about his progress and his JNI module in the latest installment of This Week in D.

Back in October, Sebastiaan Koppe posted a comment in a forum thread where the OP asked what was holding up D support for WebAssembly. Sebastiaan at that point had made a few announcements about his Spasm project and posted some demos, but there was still a lot of work to be done. His response to the question:

The short answer is manpower…With D the main issue is that someone needs to port druntime to wasm. I am working on it in my spare time, but progress is slow.

I wondered if there was a way to speed things along. After securing permission from the people in charge of the Foundation’s purse strings and discussing the details with Sebastiaan, he agreed to make a dedicated effort to get the project done on contract. He needed a few weeks before he could get started. He also wanted to draw up a document detailing his approach and ask for feedback. That resulted in a forum thread, Proposal for porting D runtime to WebAssembly.

I’m happy to report that the contract has since been signed and the work is underway!

The Human Resource Fund and More

Both Adam and Sebastiaan will be paid from our Human Resource Fund, which WekaIO seeded and expanded through two generous donations. We are thankful to everyone who has donated so far, but we need to keep growing it. There’s a good deal of work out there that can improve the ecosystem if we have the money to throw at it. You can donate directly through the Human Resource Fund donation page, where we apply the same rewards as listed on our OpenCollective page, or you can donate $60 through our special donation page and we’ll send you a DConf 2019 t-shirt.

We also welcome direct donations to our General Fund. You can make indirect donations by shopping through AmazonSmile at smile.amazon.com and selecting the D Language Foundation as your preferred charity. We’ll receive a small percentage of your purchases through that URL (and we’re only available through the .com domain, not .uk, .de, .jp, or any other Amazon domain). There are browser extensions, such as Smile Always for Chrome and Smart Amazon for Firefox, that will automatically send you to the smile subdomain when you visit amazon.com. You can also turn on AmazonSmile in the Amazon Mobile App.

Purchases through the DLang Swag Emporium also send money to the general fund. We get a commission on every item sold, but if you visit through this link (or the one in the sidebar) which contains our referral number, we’ll get referral commissions on any item you buy on your visit to Zazzle, including those in our own store. We’re selling D-themed coffee mugs, stickers, t-shirts, hoodies and now wrapping paper. We’ll be adding more items and more emblems as time goes by. So far, you’ve helped us raise $135.05.

SAOC 2019

SAOC 2019 Milestone 3 wraps up on December 15. The final round kicks off the same day. Out of five who started the event back in September, four remain. The reviewers have largely been pleased with their efforts so far. At the end of Milestone 4 in January, only one of the four remaining participants will be eligible for the final $1000 payment and the award of a free trip to DConf 2020.

The participants are supposed to be posting weekly updates in the General forum, so you can follow their progress there. After the event, I’ll ask those who didn’t get the grand prize to write about their projects and their SAOC experience here on the blog.

The D Language Foundation, the SAOC reviewers, and I wish good luck to all of the participants as they enter the final stretch. They’ve been working hard and picking one “winner” isn’t going to be easy!

DConf 2020

Preparations for DConf 2020 are well underway. At the moment, I’m waiting on the news that the venue contract has been signed and delivered. As soon as I hear that, I’ll come straight to the blog with the announcement. I’m hoping to be able to announce our invited keynote at the same time, but I’ll not delay the main announcement for it.

What I can tell you now is that we’ll have a longer submission period this year. We’ll also keep the registrations open longer. We’re aiming to bring new people in and are currently discussing a special event with that goal in mind. That will require an advertising budget this time around. We did some advertising for DConf 2018 and learned some lessons in the process. We hope to apply them to better effect for 2020. Any donations you can make to the General Fund will help us toward that end.

Keep it Going

Thanks to all who have contributed their time, their energy, and their money to help make the D language and the D community what they are today. We’ve come a long way since the day I first stumbled upon the Digital Mars website in the summer of 2003. But there’s always more work to do. Newcomers to D have no perception of what came before, only of the way things are when they arrive. We need to continually improve the DLang experience, meet the expectations that surround a modern programming language, and live up to the ideal. That means we are always in need of more donations of time, energy, and money. If you have any to spare, we welcome it!

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