This is actually helpful news, because it frames the problem we already have in a light that is immediately understood by the public. We could organize a fundraiser for the platform around this fact.
With a very serious note that all funds could be wasted if the contract is given to someone unvetted, who does not deliver a functional platform - so it’s not as easy as 1-2-3, but this news does give us the context to package a fundraising effort.
Please also note that I do NOT support rogue fundraisers by random citizens, and that any fundraiser platform registration and access to funds must be held by a paid and long trusted employee or founder of the project, to prevent embezzlement or misuse of funds. For example, we citizens can help the Das Lab team flesh out the text/copy for the campaign, but I do not myself wish to hold the keys, and I do not advise or support any citizen to run out and register a crowdfunding campaign yourself.
Since Rhiju has expressed interest in this in the past, I think if we can collect the links and text and such necessary to plug into the campaign, we can make it easy for them to register and run the campaign themselves. It is very nice that Das Lab trusts us with so much, but it would be naive to trust us with the keys to the amount of cash needed for platform overhaul, as in other communities I have seen firsthand employees and long standing community members embezzle, exploit, and social engineer themselves into positions of access to funds meant for the community. So take my advice or don’t - I hope everything would be fine regardless. But I strongly advise that someone physically in lab is accountable for the keys to the fundraiser, preferably Rhiju, Ann, Johan, or Ben Keep.
Alternatively, there may be grants available for a platform upgrade that has now - with clear documentation from Adobe - become a requirement for the project to survive.
While it would of course be marvelous if volunteer efforts to code a new and fully functional site from the ground up work out, we cannot assume this will happen. However, I am still considering the mechanics necessary for success in such a venture, so I’m not closed to it. As discussed extensively in recent forum posts, community dev would still require some organization and oversight that we simply don’t have funds for. Those of us most dedicated might generously donate as much time as we can and even make respectable progress, but because of security, competency, and other concerns, I feel that volunteer dev is not something we should or can count on.
So… you’ve been informed and duly warned, and now I hope we can use this to move forward with a contingency plan for the official and permanent retirement of Flash in the next 2-3 years, and the improvement of the related issues affecting the platform.
p.s. You can see from the skeptical comments on this seemingly legit fundraiser below, that public scrutiny is increased when public funds are requested. This is why, for example, I do not support fundraising for conventions that do not deliver a tangible benefit back to said public. So we’ll need to keep this in mind while determining our goals, so that it is clear and transparent what the funds will be used for, and the requirements to be awarded contracts with those funds must be well defined.