Concept and team

Published: 2017-09-15 (last updated: 2018-01-09)

Our mission is to develop robust digital infrastructure. We achieve this goal by continuous maintenance of permissively licensed (MIT/ISC/BSD) open source libraries, which are used by various partners and supporters.

We strive to enable more people to run their own digital infrastructure. Minimising the executable size of services and cutting down complexity is crucial to help people to understand the technology.

Rewards (in terms of shirts, money, stickers, hardware, retreats) for contributors of the open source community are part of the funding plan. Academic papers and talks at workshops and technical conferences will be written to document the development and deployment of the technology. The annual balance will be opened for the public to satisfy transparency what donations and funding is used for.

Non-profit company

Robur is part of the Center for the Cultivation of Technology, a charitable non-profit company.

Our budget stems from three pillars: donations from supporters, grants, and commercial contracts (features or products). For our mission, it is crucial that all our developed libraries are permissively licensed and open source.

Supporters can make donations to robur, which will be used for further development and maintainence of software and community infrastructure. We plan to get a donation platform (from our host company) in the second quarter of 2018, which will automatically generates tax-deductible receipts. If you like to donate (>YYYY) € now, please get in touch with us and we will manually process your donation. We accept bitcoin donations (see contact).

Various foundations, research councils, countries, have grants for open source projects which improve the current state of digital technology. We keep an eye on these, and apply where appropriate. If you want to partner up with a specific proposal, let us know.

Companies can contract robur to develop prototypes (see example projects). Developed libraries are open sourced under a permissive license, to be reusable by other interested parties. The application code itself can be exclusively owned by the funding partner. Examples include branding, configuration and the concrete composition of libraries.

Negotiable terms include time-limited exclusively licenses, service level agreements (on-call troubleshooting, running infrastructure, updates), early access on new development, influencing on the development roadmap.

2018

We start our endeavour in 2018. Our budget consists at the moment of 6 bitcoin converted to € and prototypefund. We are still looking for funding. 2018 will be our first year, starting with a team of three, hopefully five at the end of the year.

Team

Catherine

Catherine runs an independent software consultancy from Wisconsin, USA. She mostly writes code and tests, and builds tools for doing the same.

She has been a member of technical staff at a famous container company, a research assistant at a famous English university, lead embedded systems programmer at an obscure maker of network middleboxes, a network security analyst at a large utility company, a systems administrator at a graduate space research department, a sorter of discarded things, and a maker of sandwiches. She harnesses entropy and fights bitrot.

Catherine has worked extensively on the MirageOS TCP/IP network stack and is a member of the project's core team. She managed the release of MirageOS's latest major version.

In her free time, Catherine enjoys bothering cats, playing board games, and embroidery.

Eva

Eva is an infrastructure software engineer and a researcher.

She studied Applied Computer Science in the Natural Sciences, and developed a typechecker for a compiler of a language for optimization problems. In her PhD project she developed metrics to compare forest data structures, with an application in molecular structure comparison. Working as a postdoc in cancer research on molecular structure prediction, she found her way to Brooklyn and Berlin.

In the US tech industry, she works on infrastructure problems with distributed systems on a large scale with millions of users, developing API infrastructure and search infrastructure, with a focus on stateless systems.

Her Erdős number is 4.

Hannes

Hannes enjoys living in Berlin, Germany. Until end of 2017, he used to be a research associate at the University of Cambridge in the rems project. He enjoys to write code, and also travelling and repairing his recumbent bicycle, and being a barista.

Hannes did his PhD in computer science about formal verification of imperative code (using a higher-order separation logic and the theorem prover Coq). Hannes co-authored not-quite-so-broken TLS, a TLS implementation from the grounds up in OCaml, and contributes to the MirageOS project as a core team member. He is working on various projects, including opam signing and netsem, an executable formal model of TCP/IP which can act as a test validator.

Martin

Martin has been programming since before programming was trendy, eating Sharp SC61860A machine code for breakfast since before it was healthy, and using Linux way back when it was just Linus Torvalds’ glorified terminal emulator.

A founding member of Unikernel Systems (later acquired by Docker), Martin has been involved in a number of library operating system projects since 2014, including the rumprun unikernel and MirageOS. He is a co-author of Solo5, a secure execution environment for unikernels, and joins robur in 2018 to continue his work towards creating secure software that “just works” and other ambitious projects.

Martin lives with his family in Bratislava, Slovakia and in his spare time enjoys hiking, yachting and the arts.

Paul

Paul is an independent IT consultant located in Copenhagen.

Paul has a background in penetration testing, protocol design, applied cryptography, and architectural IT security system design for customers in especially the banking, insurance, and pension fund sectors. He has been consulting on BPAY integration in Australia, and conducting web and network security assessments for customers throughout the world.

Lately he has spent the last three years writing OCaml and has been working with IT security, dev-ops and automated deployment for customers specializing in Enterprise Resource Planning, Internet of Things, and medical technology.

In his spare time he dabbles in research into similar topics and serialization frameworks, in addition to the enjoyable pursuit of tabletop roleplaying and social interactions in smokey pubs - two disciplines that he excels in, but that have somehow not been of particular interest to paying customers (yet).