Is there a state of the art for free software project bounties? I’m sort of curious, because I’ve become a heavy user of a project which has an overworked maintainer and no particularly vibrant community. I also have no time/ability/desire to dive into that codebase, but I have two features that I’m pretty sure upstream would accept if someone coded them up. So I’m sort of curious about the options for situations like that, but realize I haven’t looked at the problem in ages and don’t know what the state of the art is, or if any one is even experimenting with it anymore. Anyone? Bueller?
18 thoughts on “state of the art for bounties?”
I’d really like to know this to.
In my opinion the state of the art about bounties is http://www.fossfactory.org/ , a pretty comprehensive service that runs a bounty workflow tool (code published as AGPL).
For $50 straight cash, I’ll answer the question for you.
Luis, there’s this project you might have heard of called GNOME that recently offered bounties for a bunch of accessibility stuff. The site is still up so you can see it: http://projects.gnome.org/outreach/a11y/
Weird, My name got replaced by my website url.
James: sure, but I meant for arbitrary, user-submitted bounties; GNOME’s bounties are carefully chosen, groomed, etc. fossfactory looks more like what I was thinking.
And I’ll look into the URL thing; it has something to do with openid, obviously. It may finally be time to upgrade the openid plugin :)
Might also be worth a look.
Funambol pays for work (and they have some GNOME related work they’d like to see) – I’ll be posting an interview with them soon.
(FWIW, this is not for a GNOME app- it is a firefox plugin. I’m not sure why, but most of them seem to be single-dev shows and perhaps more susceptible to this?)
There is fossfactory, but if it doesn’t integrate with Launchpad, what good is it?
I’ve occasionally thought about the feasibility of making a living by selling time in one-hour slices. In other words, I would work on projects that inspire and interest me, and people could support that by paying for my time in increments of one hour. This would be the other way around from typical bounty systems, where developers have to hunt for things someone wants to pay for.
I guess with my approach I’d have to work on highly visible projects and be pretty good at it, too.
The short answer: No, afaik there is no standard procedure for bounties. There’s not even a dedicated wikipedia page for software bounties :)
I think it really depends if you want to pay an honorary price, more like a donation, or if you want to pay using a normal time estimation at a normal hourly rate (around 50$/hour, +/- 50$ :) ).
It is open source software after all so “i’m pretty sure upstream will accept” might not be as easy. I suggest you write up a short proposal and then fire up your email or irc client and get in touch with that overworked maintainer.
I’m sure he can quickly tell you what bounty you should set and he might propose a few changes to your spec so that everything fits in neatly with the existing app, if you’re really lucky he might even be able to suggest someone to code it up.
Also – it would very nice of you to just slice some money off of that bounty and donate it to the main project.
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