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 The media query tests (still unpublished) took more like a week – and that doesn’t count the week and a half I spent last year in writing the test suite.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.