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Author Topic: advice wanted re: software bounties  (Read 1557 times)

traycerb

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advice wanted re: software bounties
« on: October 09, 2008, 05:16:24 PM »

do you think a bounty for software can work?

there's an app that a community has been clamoring for for, literally, years, that just hasn't been fully implemented.  it's been attempted at least twice, (one open source, one closed) with ~90% functionality implemented.   After the initial rush of coding, what remains are tiresome boundary cases, that never get around to completion.  I thought if people pooled into a reasonable bounty (a few hundred $, max $1000), it might sweeten the pot and lure out programmers already interested in the project.

I use donationcoder programs (desktop coral ftw) and I initially immediately thought about posting it up as a donationcoder idea, but ultimately felt it was too big/unwieldy.  Ironically, though, i came across a post on the donationcoder forums (http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=503.0) which pointed me to fundable.org, a site which could manage the fund-raising portion of the bounty.

But I still have doubts, especially after reading about a disastrous $30,000 bounty involving the GIMP project (http://dneary.free.fr/gimp_bounties.html).  I think the big critiques of bounties is it that they create a mercenary feel and take away the fun of coding a project, which is a problem because you're still reliant on programmers being naturally interested in the project unless you can raise the obscene $ to pay for an actual contract programmer.

Finally, if this goes live, would there be any objection to posting about the bounty on donationcoder?  I know for a fact that people would be interested in the topic as donationcoder already has one program directly related to it.  All the other community-oriented bounty sites are dying/dead, and sites like rent-a-coder are too commercial.  Besides if cash is to be spent, it may as well be spent among friends :).

mouser

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Re: advice wanted re: software bounties
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2008, 09:31:36 PM »
Another site that does this kind of stuff and is pretty nicely designed is http://www.micropledge.com.
They have actually put out a call for help for donations recently so give them a visit for sure.

I'm definitely interested in hearing about your idea, and yes i welcome you to post about it on dc if you do set it up somewhere.

I think you summed up the dilemna exactly as i understand it:
Quote
I think the big critiques of bounties is it that they create a mercenary feel and take away the fun of coding a project, which is a problem because you're still reliant on programmers being naturally interested in the project unless you can raise the obscene $ to pay for an actual contract programmer.

In other words, these types of projects usually don't have enough money to outright hire someone who will take it on as a professional job, and for whom getting paid is a primary concern.  Which means the people you are trying to appeal to are usually people for whom money is low on the list of their priorities, and so its kind of weird to focus on a bounty type thing where money is such a dominant aspect of the project.

Recently I've been thinking about alternative approaches.. For example a programmer presenting an idea they want to work on, and looking for someone to match their coding time with some small amount of funding money, and then the two people being co-owners of the work produced..