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Miro Asks Users To "Adopt" Lines of Source

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the pray-you-don't-get-refactored dept.

Software 178

soDean writes "The FOSS video player / downloader Miro is asking its users to support development by 'adopting' a line of source code for $4 a month. Each adopted line of code comes personalized with a little avatar character that will grow older over the year. PCF, which makes Miro, says they think the project is the first of its kind and they believe it's a chance to 'to have a truly bottom up funding base.'"

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178 comments

what happens (4, Funny)

binford2k (142561) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753037)

when your line of code dies?

Re:what happens (5, Funny)

Chabo (880571) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753067)

Or maybe if someone decides to deprecate your method just to spite you?

Re:what happens (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753105)

If this [youtube.com] isn't proof that welfare is a bad idea, then I don't know what is. Damn nigger animals are too stupid to feed their kids when Popeye's is closed.

Re:what happens (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753389)

damn! Rochester is 38% black, but seriously? Either only niggers eat at popeye's, or only niggers complain when popeye's is closed. I don't know which is funnier.

Re:what happens (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27754561)

Niggers stink like old dog shit.

Re:what happens (5, Funny)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753123)

when your line of code dies?

It gets buried properly, it gets inserted into the Duke Nukem Forever project.

Re:what happens (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753641)

hahahahaha holy fucking shit that was good.

Re:what happens (5, Funny)

CrimsonScythe (876496) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753141)

I just adopted this little gem:

}

I hope they won't port it to Python any day soon, though...

Re:what happens (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753993)

Oh come now! You know you want to fondle, ``{}.'' Oh wait! What are you doing with your other hand?

Smart FOSS Marketing! (4, Insightful)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753039)

Finally an Open Source project with some real marketing geniuses on board! That alone deserves celebration.

I don't think this will quite work, but it's a step in the right direction. Will users get to pick which line they adopt? You could even imagine an auction system. Some lines might become very trendy: "I own the main function declaration of the program, but that cost me $500".

I'll ask the people on my entrepreneur network [fairsoftware.net] if they like the model!

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753117)

Some lines might become very trendy: "I own the main function declaration of the program, but that cost me $500".

Own? Yea, so can I change it to whatever if I own it?

The problem with the marketing geniuses at Miro is, they appears to be marketing to a very small niche of: 1) teenage 2) geek 3) girls 4) with low IQ.

Because that's the only combination that I foresee will bite on this one.

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 4 years ago | (#27754321)

"The problem with the marketing geniuses at Miro is, they appears to be marketing to a very small niche of: 1) teenage 2) geek 3) girls 4) with low IQ."

Well, that seems to be exactly Hollywood's target and they are not doing so bad.

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (3, Insightful)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753127)

Change $4 to $1 and they might get more bites.

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753189)

Agreed. $4/month = $48/year. Great if some people do it, but they will get more bits at $12/year, or $20/year.

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (2, Insightful)

jvillain (546827) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753703)

$4 per line per month?????? This must be the most expensive code in history. What are these guys smoking?

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1, Insightful)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753511)

Problem I can see is that it could cause a large want to increase the lines of code in the project for the sake of revenue. This could cause a project to become bloated just so they can get money. On the other hand, then they're making money from bloat!

Can I adopt a comment?

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753549)

Also, it could make certain things be held waiting for adopters. "This plugin requires 10 more adopters before it can be used."

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753731)

I doubt it becomes an issue for the first decade, at the very least. They aren't going to get thousands and thousands of people signing up to spend $50 a year.

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (2, Insightful)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753733)

Nonsense.

Do you really, honestly think that there is even a remote possibility that they'll have more adopters than lines of code? Or even close?

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 4 years ago | (#27754425)

At $4 per line, that's quite a lot of cash they'll have to get before the amount of lines of code becomes limiting.

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753585)

Finally an Open Source project with some real marketing geniuses on board! That alone deserves celebration.

Firing them from a cannon into the sun? But hey, at least I've heard about their project now!

This whole adoption thing is a step in a really bad direction: the users only need to hear about the source code if the binary isn't working for them. Of course, make it available and talk about it in receptive circles, but I don't think the target audience wants to hear about it. (It's a torrent client combined with a media player).

It sucks for exactly the same reason the EULA-dialog with the GPL in it does: it forces unnecessary detail on the user who likely just wants to view that one film their other player choked on.

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

jakykong (1474957) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753929)

Your absolutely right for miro, that it's probably not the right approach. Anyone who cares to know about the source code knows where to look. It might not be the right thing to adopt... but what about adopt-a-channel, split 50-50 between the channel and the developers? I'm sure something could be worked out.

More importantly, this would probably work better in a more source-savvy project. Like gcc or the Linux kernel. Some project where only people who care about the source code even know that it exists. Does this remind anyone of the pet rock?

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753639)

Finally an Open Source project with some real marketing geniuses on board! That alone deserves celebration.

I don't think this will quite work, but it's a step in the right direction.

It doesn't even really need to work in order to "work". Even if they don't make any money from this promotion, they landed themselves with a story right here on Slashdot, which has probably exposed their software to a lot of people who hadn't heard of them before.

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753667)

Way to spam an unrelated link, dumbass.

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753915)

Way to spam an unrelated link, dumbass.

But, but, but... It's not spam, it's astro-turfing... er... no, wait. I know, it's marketing!

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753679)

When I first read it the first thing I thought of was Wikipedia. I've made minor edits to a couple articles, and every time I do, Wikipedia automatically puts those pages on their watch list. When someone else edits those pages, I can quickly look at those edits. I tend to be interested in those articles, and help refine subsequent contributions. In effect, I've "adopted" a part of that article. It might be interesting if OSS projects structured their projects such that micro-contributions are easy to make and subsequent changes could be more easily monitored.

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753963)

Four bucks a month for a piece of software that if closed source would probably retail for around $20?

Nice try...

Re:Smart FOSS Marketing! (1)

Protocron (611778) | more than 4 years ago | (#27754465)

I think that really do have some marketing geniuses there. If I remember correctly they were the first nonprofit to develop a Firefox addon that took your Amazon purchases and fed them through there nonprofit sponsor links so that you could done money without even thinking about it.

This is another really great marketing venture. It's too bad that Miro kinda sucks and is not geared towards my age demographic.

support this first post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753041)

adopt your mouth to my asshole, bitch!

Stupid == True (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753047)

This is stupid.

Where's Sally Struthers? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753065)

"For only $4 a month, you can give this line of source clean electricity and information to process and grow."

Re:Where's Sally Struthers? (5, Funny)

TerribleNews (1195393) | more than 4 years ago | (#27754625)

Oh, yeah, my parents adopted a line of code in Beliz or Botswanna or something and they kept getting printfs from him ever month and then one day they decided to go visit him in his village and when they got there it turned out he'd been commented out years ago and his parents had been keeping the $4 and writing fake output. True story.

$4 a line?? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753155)

Man, that's more than a lot of programmers get paid at their full-time jobs.

Re:$4 a line?? (2, Insightful)

acordes (69618) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753241)

Can't tell for sure if you're joking, but the average commercial programmer only generates something like 10 SLOCS per day (can't remember the exact number). Hopefully companies are paying their developers more than $40 per day :).

Re:$4 a line?? (3, Interesting)

Chabo (880571) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753331)

Hopefully companies are paying their developers more than $40 per day :).

Depends on whether those jobs have been sent overseas.

On a related note, I'm genuinely curious: what's the average salary for developers look like in the countries to which companies often outsource work, like India and China?

Re:$4 a line?? (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753577)

China is pretty awsome - around 3K/year for a software engineer. 4.5K for a manager. This is in USD and is a few years old. Might be higher now.

India is more like 10K I believe.

We have an outsourcing consulting company in Tempe and they do all the work in Mexico. I believe their people make less than 20K/year there.

Re:$4 a line?? (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753591)


On a related note, I'm genuinely curious: what's the average salary for developers look like in the countries to which companies often outsource work, like India and China?

If this is to be believed:
http://www.payscale.com/research/IN/Job=Software_Engineer_%2F_Developer_%2F_Programmer/Salary [payscale.com]

Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer with 5-10 yrs experience makes a media salary of around 430k Rupees. (between 8.5k and 9k US.) Interestingly, 10-20yrs experience is actually lower. (I'd guess they've got less in demand skillsets.)

Re:$4 a line?? (3, Interesting)

Gwala (309968) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753855)

We have a group in Shanghai - we've got pretty well qualified guys in our office, we pay them 14,000 RMB per month (~US$2,000). They get about 8,000-10,000 of that with the rest going to the government in payroll taxes.

More average developers come in at between 6,500 to 8,500 RMB per month.

Re:$4 a line?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753647)

10 SLOCs a day? 10 freaking lines of code a day?

If all a given programmer can generate is 10 lines of code a day I'd be better off taking the mop and bucket away from the janitor, handing them to Mister-10-SLOCS-a-day and telling him to swab the decks, and then sitting the janitor down at the terminal and showing him how to write Hello World and then turn him loose on a project.

Re:$4 a line?? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753745)

Hah, I know! I write thousands of lines of code a day!

My coworkers keep telling me I could do the same thing in just 10 lines of code of decent, maintainable code by refactoring and using abstraction, but I'm pretty sure they're all just slackers.

Re:$4 a line?? (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753849)

The average programmer spends most of that day in meetings or researching/analyzing/testing before modifying existing code to fix a bug or add new features.

Re:$4 a line?? (3, Insightful)

CecilPL (1258010) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753973)

When the project you're working on has a total line count in the millions, most of which was written 10 years ago, you better be damn sure those 10 lines of code you're adding don't break some seemingly unrelated area in a seemingly unrelated way that takes someone else a week to debug.

Don't forget the 1/2 of your time you spend researching, writing documentation, and going to meetings.

Working as a professional software developer is a lot different than hacking around on your 10k line hobby project.

Re:$4 a line?? (1)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753957)

That's $4 a line per month, or over say a 5-year lifetime of the code, $240 per line. If the production rate is 10 SLOCs per day (I heard 12 SLOCs), that would be $2400 per day of future revenue. If code "lives" 10, 20, or more years (or even until the copyright expires, which with continuing extensions will likely be when humanity self-destructs), well, I'll let you calculate it. :)

Re:$4 a line?? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753983)

First, that number, which has been bandied about an awful lot (if not 10, then it's 7, or 12, or similar) is very questionable. I would like to see a reputable and responsible study that shows these numbers.

But that wasn't really the point. The figure is $4 per month. That's $48 per line of code, per year. I would not mind getting paid on that scale, especially since my output averages a lot better than 10 lines of code on a work day.

Re:$4 a line?? (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 4 years ago | (#27754225)

I just checked my software project. I have about 250,000 lines of code in about 4 years. That works out to over 200 lines of code per day. I wish I could make $800/day! That works out to $200K per year. (Besides, as someone else pointed out: this is $4 per line of code per month, not $4 per line of code.)

Code Bloat? (1)

basementman (1475159) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753159)

Interesting idea, I wonder if this will lead to people purposely adding lines of code just to generate more revenue. Hopefully they would set up a price system based upon supply/demand at that point though.

Re:Code Bloat? (1)

Anonymous Conrad (600139) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753249)

Interesting idea, I wonder if this will lead to people purposely adding lines of code just to generate more revenue.

FTFA there's 46,000+ eligable lines. So until they're turning over $2m a year there's no scarcity. I don't see them getting $2m but then I'd never heard of Miro.

Re:Code Bloat? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#27754409)

Imagine a webbrowser, serving up a custom site, with rrs and torrent support, with a media plugin. Wait did i just describe opera?

I kid, its what marketing call a media platform, like the iplayer download client or 4od, but build around open technologies (a.k.a what i listed above).

I wonder how much of the 3rd party projects code is included in thier count?
the rendering engine is gecko
the interface is xulrunner
i think the torrent uses transmition
the media player is gstreamer/xine or vlc

that's REALLY expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753191)

Supposed to spend %0.5 of my disposable income on a single line of code, month after month? This makes SMS look cheap!

No, you're REALLY poor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753377)

You only have $800 of disposable income a month? How do you expect to buy a new computer every month that way?

In Other News... (1)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753209)

The code-base of Miro doubled in size with 99% of the new lines coming from comment...err programmer documentation.

The Sims (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753237)

Now the developers at Miro will spend all their time making sure their emoticons age properly instead of actually coding!

Way to make a killing (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753297)

At $4/month that would be a nice way to make a killing in profits.

Of course the result will be something roughly like the whole pixel advertising schemes in the end and Miro itself will suck, but hats off for the a good scam to make money of software.

Closest thing I heard (was:Way to make a killing) (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753801)

At $4/month that would be a nice way to make a killing in profits.

Recently we evaluated a static code analysis package from a vendor (that shall remain nameless) that wants to charge us by the line. The code in question is just over half a million lines of C code. At the (presumed) rate of ten cents a line, that's easily 50k USD. I can't think of a better business model (other than the route MP/RIAA have taken.)

Re:Closest thing I heard (was:Way to make a killin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27754277)

I believe you are talking about the same code analysis package that we purchased at my place of work... and our code weighed in at 16 million lines of code.

The expense of copy paste and never refactoring finally showed up.

Of course their price per line is just the starting cost. You try to bargain them down as far as you can.

Code bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753349)

This will lead to code bloat as they make more lines of code to make more money as adoptees.

One way to make programmers actually comment their code though. Do comments count as adoptees?

I just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753357)

adopted this goodie: if user = adoptedcode then programmer = chucklingatstupdity end if

What happens (1, Redundant)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753379)

What happens if your line of code is the cause of a major bug? Do you have to hide your head in shame?

Maintenance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753413)

This could be a good idea as long as people don't try to maintain the line of code they adopt in the spirit of Cosmo Kramer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pothole).

Whole Function or Class (5, Insightful)

some_guy_88 (1306769) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753459)

If they let you adopt a whole function or even a whole class, this could be a cool way of not only making money but also minimising bugs.

People who adopt are likely going to read the code they get so this is a good way to get lots of eyes on the source.

Just a thought..

Doesn't bode well (1)

ShawnCplus (1083617) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753473)

heh, I adopted a line of code, the recurring payment was processed by PayPal and then Miro's site broke so I paid for nothing. HOORAY!

What if??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27753537)

I wonder what would happen if M$ would ask users to pay what they feel for say anywhere between $10 to $1xx for Windows 7 Ultimate.

Comments? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753631)

"The line of code I adopted starts with /* and has several expletives referring to the code below it."

Kind of expensive... (1)

Falkkin (97268) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753685)

$4/line per month? Hell, I should try and get some code into this project... if I can get 2000 lines of code adopted, I'll make $96K/year for the rest of my life. Seems I'll be able to retire before 30 after all. :)

Cheap trick... (5, Funny)

Paaskonijn (1220996) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753961)

I get this on the page:

Hello there! It looks like you are visiting from Europe

Did you know that there are more Miro users in Europe than in the United States, but more than 99% of our financial support comes from American donations and philanthropies?

Europe loves open-source, right? Help us make something great!

Sounds like they're trying to cash in on our hatred for the U.S. :)

Re:Cheap trick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27754051)

Not excatly hating.. perhaps more of a sense of self-worth.

Re:Cheap trick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27754127)

Or possibly pay your fair share?

Software developer shats his pants with an idea! (-1, Flamebait)

tyrione (134248) | more than 4 years ago | (#27753969)

Someone please rationalize how valuable your time is, per line, from a GPL piece of software, beyond $0.00.

``Hey Bob, I've got a brilliant idea on how we can cover your mortgage and save your marriage for your zealotry and unwillingness to pimp your talents!''

``What's the idea, John?''

``We'll charge buy the line!''

``How does this keep the application GPLv3 compliant?''

``We'll call it non-profit donations! Yea! That's the ticket!''

``Oh wait! I've got a better idea, John!''

``What's that?'' skeptically replies John.

``We'll call it, `Adopt a line per month subscription!' ''

``Gawd! We suck at marketing! I mean holy s**t! Boy we suck at marketing. Oh well, at least we always have our parents homes to continue our base of operations when our wives kick our asses in divorce.''

Coming soon to a codebase near you... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#27754005)

// This space for rent //

// Ch3ap V1agra NOW! Click here! //

// I partied with your Mom here. She liked my Python in her PERL. //

FFMPEG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27754033)

I want the line that includes FFMPEG.

The bottom line (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#27754037)

How much does it cost to run this program?

Are you really adopting a line of code or contributing $4 a month to be used as required.

Huh?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27754177)

This is where the "looped out" open source community just boggles my mind for lack of appreciation as to why capitalism works (by and large) in our economy.... why on earth should the people _making_ the product do the funding and not the people _using_ the product.

I seriously just don't get this.... it's the most idiotic, ridiculous and laughably stupid (not mention arse about) idea I've seen in years.

Any good yet? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#27754331)

I like the idea of miro, but my ISP sucks and last time i checked it didnt support an easy way to change my upload limits, or encrypting all connections?

I also don't see the need for an entire application when they could just as easily make the thing a web app and users could use rss + their normal torrent application to download stuff, but i suppose some people prefer to have it run locally.

I'll pay $4 (1)

Mike610544 (578872) | more than 4 years ago | (#27754605)

if someone agrees to adopt this line I saw at work today:

pHSEGB->coarse += (7- nWeirdBits)*6 - 42;

Hungarian notation, confusing logic, magic numbers, "weird bits", and some jackass decided to subtract the ultimate answer from it all.
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