Collective Pledges to Build Bounties

Registered by Rocco Stanzione on 2006-02-27

Several commercial projects, notably Codeweavers Crossover Office, apply resources to feature requests based on user pledges that collectively amount to a bounty. A similar system, where any user with enough interest in a feature to open her wallet for it can contribute to the bounty, may have a dramatic effect on the effectiveness of bounties by removing the limitation of the financial resources of the single user who created the bounty.

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Rocco Stanzione
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Completed by
Curtis Hovey

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This is a great idea... I think people have been throwing it around for a long time but no one really did anything about it. And Launchpad is a great place to integrate this feature because it has, or it strives to have, everything else that's needed to make this successful.

And I'm not talking about the current version of the bounty system:
What is currently implemented looks more like a discussion list.. It's not integrated in any way with the rest of Launchpad so it might as well be a separate app.

Just imagine: you visit one day launch pad and you see a new interesting blueprint that you really want to be implemented... it would be really great to actually be able to do something about it. I mean, I'm just a user.. so I'm at the mercy of the developers when it comes to new feature.. If they don't like the idea there's nothing else I can do.

And I for one would make this feature in the form of lazy payments, not pledges... Or at least give the user the choice.. Maybe I want to contribute just a little bit but I want to do it now... I want to put the money where my mouth is so that I feel I've done something convincing.. I want to show people I'm committed to this. And in the end if things don't work out the money could be refunded, sent to another bounty pot, or just distributed to a series of bounties...

I see this feature as the opportunity to chip in my 5 bucks along side every other user that is interested, and not as an opportunity to make big pledges for features that are not going to be implemented anyways.

This is a killer feature I think. Let users vote for features/bugfixes with e-money/PayPal. Targeted donations, maybe connected with karma. A collaborative variant of a freelance site. Launchpad integrates bugs from external bugzillas, so it can be used to accumulate donations to bugs and features upstream. For example Ubuntu user just adds feature request/bug to Ubuntu and throws $5. Others add some money too. Launchpad admins report this issue upstream. As the sum grows upstream developers became more and more motivated. This also can result in growing interest of freelance programmers and outsourcing firms to OpenSource development.

I've looked into this, and if launchpad were to do this, and if a for profit corporation would do this it would and could operate as an escrow service, and not pay taxes on the collected bounties. If a non-profit does this, then it could do it differently. I believe it's a good match for canonical and launchpad as it is not their entire business, therefore they do not need to worry too much about interest paying for overhead. The main point is to have a maintainer approve a blue print for the work before money can be allocated, and again approve the solution and claim before money can be disbursed. If someone follows these steps it becomes pretty trivial to make this happen.

wladston : I'm looking towards this feature for a long time. There are lots of stuff on Ubuntu that I really wish I could pay someone to do it better, but me alone, a poor Brazilian student, won't be able to put in sufficient money. I feel like I'm completely dependent on how nice the devs want to be to fix (even stare at) my bugs, I feel like *I* can do nothing at all about it. This is really a feature that I believe, would bring open-source community software development on an upper level. Please, make this become real.
jackflap: It seems like Launchpad/Canonical have dropped the ball on this one, however, I am happy to report that just recently a new site popped up just recently (beginning Oct 2007) which does exactly this. could be a major platform for open-source development. It might be a useful idea to try and get involved in their community and throw around some ideas on how they can improve on what they're doing.
wladston : that is totally amazing!! Thanks for the link, going to get involved :) I'll trow in 5 bucks for, say nautilus integration with unison, and see what happens.
Note: there is already a Ubuntu Wiki page with active proposals and (SourceForge remake with bounty system)


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