Resurrecting The 'dev Fund Bounty' Idea


fischju2000

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Discussion of this has been on the other forum a lot, but it has died off on both.


The idea is a dedicated website for allocation of the dev fund. (And I may be taking some liberties with the idea here) Community members submit ideas for programs or projects along with how much cash it should be worth along with (or without) a deadline. These submissions are voted on, and the most popular end up in a top 10 or 20 list. When a developer fulfils this 'request' in a manner sufficient in the eyes of the community, they collect the bounty.

An example (not exactly) of this idea would be the old DS wifi bounty, where people donated money and milestones were set up. When a person submitted the documentation or libraries, they got paid. This turned many people onto the project, and in short order they had very good libs that are still in use today (as a part of devkitpro).

Ideas could be anything from an open source SGX driver to game ports, anything people wanted.

I think it is an idea that shows promise, but I could just be caught up in the democratic process this week...
 

emip

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I think this is an excellent idea.
I would be enthusiastic to be on both the paying and paid ends of a scheme like this.

It's a great way to marry the people with more money than time and the people with more time than money :)
 

TrevorBradley

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I'd similarly be happy to throw 20 bucks down on a few existing Open Source projects to be ported to Pandora.
 

TaG

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fischju2000 said:
Discussion of this has been on the other forum a lot, but it has died off on both.
It's probably died as there is little to discuss. We don't know yet what we will have, what we will need and what people are working on.

fischju2000 said:
The idea is a dedicated website for allocation of the dev fund.
Are you talking about the official openpandora dev fund or a separate one?

Surely we need to wait for craigix and ED to start the discussion on the official dev fund - people either willingly gave money or didn't, so it is in their court now.

If you are talking about a separate fund, I don't see why.
 
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fischju2000

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TaG said:
fischju2000 said:
Discussion of this has been on the other forum a lot, but it has died off on both.
It's probably died as there is little to discuss. We don't know yet what we will have, what we will need and what people are working on.

fischju2000 said:
The idea is a dedicated website for allocation of the dev fund.
Are you talking about the official openpandora dev fund or a separate one?

Surely we need to wait for craigix and ED to start the discussion on the official dev fund - people either willingly gave money or didn't, so it is in their court now.

If you are talking about a separate fund, I don't see why.
Not entirely seperate, that would be up to Craigix or ED.

I think people would donate more if they could donate to what they wanted and more so if their name goes into a donaters list. If what they gave money to doesn't come to be within a certain time frame the money goes back into the general fund.

I'm not saying set up the site right now, perhaps in a couple of months when we have a good idea of what is needed/wanted. SGX drivers, DSP drivers (OpenAL port?), game ports, emulators (with milestones for speed or compatibility) or whatever else.
 
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quadomatic

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Yeah, I think this is a great idea. Since I already donated $20 (well, I will have when I get my botched PayPal payment done with, very soon I think) I would hope that this is the sort of system Craig and EvilDragon use.

I guess I probably wouldn't recommend any of the things I think of for bounties, since they're stuff like emulators. Most of the things I would want are just programs that would be ported, like some GPS program using OpenStreetMap, or Amarok 2. Not sure that any of those things need a whole lot of work since they're open source projects already. Stuff like SGX libraries and DSP drivers would probably be good, but aren't those things going to be included with Angstrom upon release?
 

yashton

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One thing you have to be very careful about when doing things like bounties in open source is that you cannot afford to pit the developers against each other. Open source is stable and powerful because of developer transparency and cooperation. As soon as you dangle a reward out in front of the developers, cooperation will decrease because the reward has to be split among those who cooperate on a solution. One prime example I recall from a few years back $1,000 offerred to the first person to boot Windows on an Intel-based Macintosh. The prize grew to something like $12k, but afterwards, it was observed that most developers were duplicating the same work, instead of building on a common set of ideas. The solution would have been accomplished much faster if everyone had cooperated instead of competed. Not to say that a little cash won't add incentive to writing features, but it seems to me the only way to maintain the cooperation is to make the bounties small and incremental. Offering $1000 dollars for a new fully featured word processing suite is going to cause fragmentation, but offering $5 dollars to fix that "Find" dialog box that's been bugging you just might make it get fixed.

Usually the way money gets pumped into open source projects is when a big company decides that a project is worth something to them and they pay some developers salary and set them to work on what they want. Notice though that this is a salary for work done, not a reward to the person who completes something.

If you haven't already read them, Eric Raymond has written some very superb analysis of why open source exists and the motivations behind developers and such things. Cathedral and the Bazaar is the seminal work about development ideology, and Homesteading the Noosphere talks about topics of motivation.
They can be found here. Cathedral and the Bazaar

Finally, I don't know what kind of programming/developer experience OP has, but I do want to say that the best thing to do when you have a problem is to solve it yourself. As the saying goes, you have an itch to scratch, and you should scratch it. Now if you don't have the skills, learning them is a good experience (and fun too!), though it's not for everyone. You obviously are also willing to put your money where your mouth is (as opposed to a number of people who whine about things they want, yet do nothing besides make a fuss), and your money could provide some incentive. Even without the money, you can still contribute by being active in the community, submitting bug reports/feature requests, and generally doing what small things you can.

Bounties may be a good idea, but it should be well planned and in line with the community development model in order for it to ultimately succeed.
 
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