The recent request for donations to help with my hard drive recovery has created some speculation that I want to put to rest.
By making the request, I was acting alone. SquawkBox 3 development, this site and its contents, and statements I make are in no way officially connected to VATSIM. I am not affiliated with VATSIM in any way except that I am a regular pilot member. When I began development, VATSIM did make an announcement that I was beginning the work and that they were supportive, but that is the extent of the relationship.
VATSIM has a firm policy of the network and the software that runs on it remaining commercial-free. Philosophically I am 100% supportive of this. To wit, it is one feature of many that initially attracted me to this hobby. When I began development of the new version of SquawkBox, I made a personal promise to the original creator, Joe Jurecka, that I would never attempt to make money from the software. And I stand firmly by that committment. My time and labour developing SquawkBox are offerred at no charge, as is my server, USA-S3.
Despite the differences of opinion seen on the forums, one thing I think everyone is in agreement on is that SB3 should come out sooner rather than later. So my rationale for soliciting donations was to simply be forthright about the fact that this data loss is a setback that would delay the release. Enough people stepped forward to turn that into a non-issue.
In fact, the people that donated are mostly strangers that I have never met, supporting me in developing software that they have never seen. I am cognisant of the level of trust implicit in this, and I vow to honour that trust by completing the project in as short a time frame as possible.