Bounties, etc.


I did make an effort to ensure that this bounty program worked well for
everyone.  A number of maintainers reviewed the site before it went up
last October.  I obviously missed Mark and the Planner guys; sorry about
that.  However, the site has been up since October and I've never once
gotten a mail from a maintainer asking that anything be changed.  But
perhaps the onus is on me to get that right.  My apologies to all the
maintainers who were offended, and especially to Mark who had to deal
with multiple patches for a single bounty.

Another bit of angst is around the "Firefox preference" in the bounties.
Let me point out that this just shows up in two places: supporting
'aim:' links in the browser, and autofilling web forms.  Not that big a
deal, and the web form autofilling is sort of lame anyway.  But yes, the
bounties do favor Firefox over Epiphany.

There's obviously a lot of consternation about the way this bounty this
has been prosecuted, so we're going to make some changes.

First, I'm going to move the bounty web site off of  It won't
be associated with GNOME.  Some of you seem to think that's a good
thing; I think it's a shame that GNOME doesn't want to be associated
with some pretty interesting work.

Second, if you're a maintainer and your module is implicated in a bounty
in a way that bothers you, please mail me.  We'll work it out, or I'll
remove the bounty altogether.  As the maintainer, it's your call.

Third, after this set of bounties is complete, I won't be using the
GNOME foundation to distribute money to bounty winners anymore.  We
should finish this set, because the money is already set aside and the
invoices have been issued, but after that, we're done.  And yes, the
foundation is taking an administration fee for the bounties.

Lastly, I'd like to ask that everyone take a deep breath and look at the
fundamentals of this situation:

1) Novell put up over $26,000 to fund innovative integration work in the
desktop.  The result has been an increased level of community hacking on
various modules, some cool features that people like to show off at
conferences and to their friends, and the introduction of a few new
hackers to the project.  

2) I did try to make sure module maintainers saw the bounties before
they went up, and I made changes based on the feedback I got.  The
bounty web page has been up for about 10 months.  No one has asked me to
change anything on it till now.

3) We've pioneered an interesting paradigm in the open source world,
which is being copycatted left and right (Mark Shuttleworth's python
bounties; the Mozilla bug bounties; etc.)  Whether we do it or not,
bounties are inevitable in open source.

I think the changes we're making will address everyone's concerns.
Please give us a few days to do this.

When you try new things, it doesn't always go perfectly.  I hope that we
can be a community that's tolerant of people who want to try new things,
and not a group of people who get hotheaded over well-intentioned
forward progress that's not fully formed.


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