As they say, all good things must come to an end. However no matter how much you expect the inevitable, it's still a bit of a downer when it does happen.
The Open Source Applications Foundation has been sponsoring my work on wxPython for about 5 years now. I spend about half of my time working on Chandler, supporting the other OSAF engineers with wxPython questions or problems, or in working on specific needs that OSAF has in wxWidgets or wxPython itself. I'm free to spend the other half of my time working on wxWidgets or wxPython in whatever way I want. Typically I use a big chunk of this time supporting the wxPython community, answering questions on the mail lists, tracking down bugs that people report, etc. but I also work on other features or long-term goals for wxPython that may not necessarily line up with some immediate need that Chandler has. It's been a real good deal for everybody involved. I've been able to get paid for working on my favorite hobby, the Chandler project has gotten the support and expertise that they needed, the wxPython community has also had a large block of my time and attention, and wxPython itself has had many improvements and enhancements that I likely would not have had time for otherwise.
This week OSAF announced a restructuring and downsizing of the Chandler team. They want to shift the focus more towards gaining more users and, since it is an Open Source project, the building up of a volunteer developer community. The other goal behind the transition is a desire to stretch out the remaining funding until the project can find a way to become self-sustaining. As you've probably guessed by now, I was not one of the worker bees kept in the hive. I've got a few weeks left on my contract and then I'll be making my own transition to something else. Although I've known this was coming, I didn't expect it until the end of this year, so it's still a bit of a disappointment.
So what does this mean for wxPython? Hopefully nothing, other than some reduction in the time I am able to spend focused on wxPython. It would be great to be able to find someone willing to support my working on wxPython part time like OSAF did, but it's probably pretty unlikely that that particular lightning will strike in the same place twice. On the other hand, I expect that my next gig will be something that at least uses wxPython so there will be some opportunities for some of that work to roll down to wxPython and the community. Of course, on the gripping hand, if you or somebody you know would be interested in sponsoring at least part-time work on wxPython, please do contact me.
Update: This news was noticed by the New York Times.