Why we want to create an association for free scientific software[modifier]
The idea of creating the association came up in discussions on the mailing lists of the GNU TeXmacs project. In order to boost the development, we in particular need an easy way to get donations and/or to sell services (like books with documentation, Knoppix CD's, integration of certain features, etc.). As a French government employee, the main developer does not have the right to receive money on his personal bank account. For legal reasons, we therefore need to associate ourselves in some structure in which this becomes possible.
Now we are convinced that many other developers of scientific software are in a similar situation, so it might therefore be interesting to join our efforts. Of course, the creation of an association has additional benefits. Besides developers, we may also attract volunteers who might promote the idea of free scientific software, help with the organization of conferences or other activities, and so on.
From the organizational point of view, the idea would be to create an association to which it is easy to attach new software projects. Every such project should have a manager which is responsable for the financial aspects of the project. Besides, with the resources of the main structure, additional activities might be organizes with a benefit for all.