Re: bounties?

<my $0.02>
Don't get me wrong, bounties can be great motivators, especially
around key bugs or major refactoring jobs etc. I think the Google
Summer of Code is a great example of a successful bounty program.
Other systems that have worked well are sometimes the completely
independent 'I'll buy a DVD/Beer/Lunch for someone who can fix bugX"
however, even if we assume all the administrative overhead was
completely handled, and the awarding of proper monies to all parties
who worked on a bug/feature there is still one major issue. Bounties
can 'cheapen' the sheer unbridled awesomeness of the untold hours
committed by volunteers who do it just because they love Gnome, or
Free Software, or even just an application. I know that if I had been
chasing bugs for a release for a week or 2 and someone outside the
project gets $200 for some other bug, I would feel a little 'shafted'
(for lack of a better word ;) ). I think that the balance that has
been struck between the commercial and the FOSS world is a healthy
one, where we find plenty of developers employed to work on/with Free
Software Projects.

That being said, I do think that maybe a 'community powered' system
for this _could_ be made to work. I think that there is a great
feature proposal at launchpad which outlines a system that could work
well, primarily because it would encourage smaller sums (generally
speaking) which would probably be spread over several bugs. Giving not
only new talent, but in-place maintainers all a chance to make a
little money, and more importantly, it gives users a great way to help
steer development.

Its a tricky subject, and I think that the current system (no real
bounties to speak of) is much better than a poorly handled bounty
system, however, if there was enough interest (both on the funding and
receiving side of things) I think a working system could be

</my $0.02>

Kevin Kubasik
On Nov 8, 2007 3:53 AM, Johannes Schmid <johannes schmid gmx de> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Hi!
> Just a short note on the success of bounties. The Anjuta Project
> (, list is not completely up-to-date) put bounties
> of overall about 4000$ in place about two years ago. Only about half of
> those have been worked on since and the biggest part was done by already
> active developers who had done some patches in the area where the bounty
> appeared before.
> So as a conclusion for us, I would say that bounties keep people
> motivated but they don't bring too many new developers & constributers
> to a project. I can't of course say how that would work in the whole
> GNOME project.
> Regards,
> Johannes
> Tristan Van Berkom schrieb:
> > On Nov 6, 2007 7:26 PM, Quim Gil <qgil gnome org> wrote:
> >> On 11/6/07, Dr. Michael J. Chudobiak <mjc avtechpulse com> wrote:
> >>
> >>> I guess it's no surprise that money and free/open software have a
> >>> delicate relationship...
> >> I have been putting it in this way:
> >>
> >> The connection between free software development and money compares to
> >> the connection between friendship and sex: you can build a consistent
> >> relationship starting as friends or lovers and continuing that way,
> >> but if you jump for once to the other side you will probably mess up
> >> everything.
> >
> > Interesting way of putting it, we wouldnt ever want patches to be rushed
> > in because of cash incentives, this is indeed risky - on the other hand I dont
> > see why there shouldnt be some external distributed firm of developers
> > working on a bounty system that is only remotely related to gnome (and
> > why not X, the Linux kernel as well) - a bounty hunter could be responsible
> > for writing the code and getting it approved by the appropriate maintainer
> > or reporting back to the firm why it wasnt accepted by a said gnome maintainer.
> >
> > I'm sure alot of us myself included would like to spend more time working on
> > free software if we could only afford it...
> >
> > Cheers,
> >                  -Tristan
> >
> > PS: please excuse double post if you recieve twice as the first bounced
> >>from the wrong mail address
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> > foundation-list gnome org
> >
> >
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Kevin Kubasik

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