Supporting the further development of Clojure
Quoting Rich Hickey:
It is important when using open source software that you consider who is paying for it, because someone is. There is no such thing as free software.
Rich makes a great case: read the whole article here. I have chipped in despite it being a rather tight year, and if you are a user of Clojure, you should consider it as well. I think Rich is one of those rare individuals who makes our entire profession better. If you have followed any of the Clojure development lists, you can quickly pick up how thoughtful he is in furthering the design of Clojure.
A language designer must contend with many opposing forces when bringing a feature of a language to fruition. Is the feature powerful enough to justify the added complexity? Is the feature approachable to the bulk of the users of the language? Does the feature fit into the existing language as a whole? Time and time again I have seen proposed features go through the fire of Rich and the Clojure community's scrutiny, and I think they have succeeded in creating a language that has a great balance of power, elegance and beauty. It's also really fun to use.
I will comment on one other important aspect of Clojure that I have noticed as well- the welcoming environment that Rich encourages and enforces in the Clojure community. Trolls are not allowed to roam free, and usually are quickly (but politely) guided to either be civil, or to the exit. I think this has been a big component in the quick growth we have seen in the Clojure community, and I hope it survives as more and more people are drawn to the language.
I hope this unique funding strategy works. Already the response has been very positive (over 50% of the desired goal as of this writing). I look forward to seeing the further growth of the Clojure language and its community in 2010.