Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A New Way To Fund Open Source Software Projects, Bug Fixes and Feature Requests

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the charge-10-cents-per-compile dept.

Open Source 52

Lemeowski writes "Open source software projects are seeing some success on fundraising sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But Warren Konkel believes open source software needs a better funding model that's more aligned with how software is built. So Konkel, who was the first hire at LivingSocial, teamed up with his friend David Rappo, a producer for games including Guitar Hero and Skylander, and founded Bountysource, a crowdfunding and bounty site specifically designed to help developers raise money for their OSS projects, bug fixes and feature requests. In this interview, Konkel talks about how he recently snagged a $1.1 million investment in Bountysource, gives developers tips on launching a fundraising effort for their OSS project, and more."

cancel ×

52 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Tighter integration? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44881839)

It would be cool to have bounty collection integrated with issue tracking, where after creating a new issue or finding that one that I need implemented I could put my money on having a resolution with just a couple of keystrokes.

Re:Tighter integration? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44882321)

Github, are you reading this? Go for it!

issue tracking, where after creating a new issue or finding that one that I need implemented I could put my money on having a resolution with just a couple of keystrokes.

It would also make it legal to fund projects in Finland, where donations are illegal (without cumbersome permits etc). One can't give money without compensation like work, or product or service. But giving money for fixing issue would be legal.

Re: Tighter integration? (1)

Brent Dubeckyj (3118409) | about 10 months ago | (#44883487)

But you are getting something in return ; you're paying for software.... It just isn't available for download yet....

Re:Tighter integration? (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 10 months ago | (#44884673)

Can you give a cite for that? It's hard to imagine any country deliberately banning all charity, especially one as enlightened as Finland.

Re:Tighter integration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44884793)

That's probably where the cumbersome permits come in... sounds like a tax thing.

Javascript needed (3, Informative)

Captain Hook (923766) | about 10 months ago | (#44881887)

Can't see anything on the bountysource homepage without Javascript enabled.

Inspirational webdesign makes me want to donate money.

Re:Javascript needed (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44881969)

You could put out a bounty for making the web site viewable without JavaScript. :-)

Re:Javascript needed (5, Funny)

kajsocc (2955535) | about 10 months ago | (#44881991)

You could put out a bounty for making the web site viewable without JavaScript. :-)

No he can't. He doesn't have JavaScript enabled.

Re:Javascript needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44882071)

The mailbox key is in the mailbox.

Re:Javascript needed (4, Funny)

HyperQuantum (1032422) | about 10 months ago | (#44883317)

You could put out a bounty for making the web site viewable without JavaScript. :-)

No he can't. He doesn't have JavaScript enabled.

And obviously, he cannot enable it for that single website because that would be a crime against humanity.

Re:Javascript needed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44882047)

I'm throwing money at the screen, but nothing's happening.

Re:Javascript needed (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44882043)

Have you looked at the page source?

Ouch.

No, my computer won't do *that*.

This is one of the cases I'm glad I couldn't see the page because by default I have Javascript off.

Re:Javascript needed (2)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about 10 months ago | (#44882485)

Could you enlighten the rest of us with what was it that turned you away from enabling javascript?

Re:Javascript needed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44882713)

By my book remote code execution is a vulnerability, not a feature.

Re:Javascript needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44882991)

Glad to comply.

I didn't turn off Javascript for this site specifically. I do it routinely:

As my namesake (The Other Anonymous Coward), I don't want to execute random code from random sites on my computer. It's a vulnerability I have no need for.

In the specific case, just have a look at this horrific piece down the page: generating Javascript on-the-fly with document.createElement("script").

Obfuscated would be a mild characterization. Besides, this:


    e.src=(("http:"===document.location.protocol)?"http:":"https:")
          + "//" + "js-agent.newrelic.com/nr-100.js"

WTF is that for? Why not just a plain link?

Ah, thought so. Thanks, but no thanks. I won't let my browser play with ya.

Re:Javascript needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44883527)

and I don't run Jscript by default for anyone (Deny All) with whitelisting instead. Much safer then anyother option

Re:Javascript needed (1)

odie5533 (989896) | about 10 months ago | (#44885397)

The purpose of that code is to make sure HTTPS is used to grab the script if you are browsing the HTTPS site, and to make sure HTTP is used if you are browsing with HTTP. A better alternative is to use a protocol relative url i.e. "//js-agent.newrelic.com/nr-100.js".

Re:Javascript needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44886339)

The purpose of that code is to make sure HTTPS is used to grab the script if you are browsing the HTTPS site, and to make sure HTTP is used if you are browsing with HTTP. A better alternative is to use a protocol relative url i.e. "//js-agent.newrelic.com/nr-100.js".

Yeah, I read it that way as well: thing is -- those guys are incompetent or downright malicious. I don't want to find out. This site is no-go for me.

Re: Javascript needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44886867)

The purpose of that code is bullshit, then. Offering over https what needs to be offered over https is a SERVER thing. Heck, as if it were so difficult to redirect an URL.

Re:Javascript needed (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about 10 months ago | (#44882063)

-1 Offtopic. Yeah. Right. Sure. It's not like anyone else had the same problem or anything...

Slashdot...I tell you what...

Re:Javascript needed (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44882235)

Solution... stop being so paranoid and turn javascript on.

"Hey sysadmins, my monitor isn't displaying anything useful, it's just the random contents of memory. Some idiot required that I turn on my CPU executing code before I could get any useful output."

Re:Javascript needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44883585)

The web was designed to be viewed without JavaScript. The monitor wasn't designed to show images without getting proper input from the running computer.

Anyway, with this type of web site, they are guaranteed to get zero search results from search engines, therefore they just penalize themselves. And all those who put bounties on the web page, because the chance that a potential developer sees it goes down dramatically if the search engines don't find it. Unless you explicitly go to the page looking for bounties you're virtually guaranteed to never see them.

That's what some web "developers" don't get. By making their web page JavaScript only, they hide not only from users browsing without JavaScript, they also hide from search engines. Which rarely is intended.

Re:Javascript needed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44884769)

That's what some web "developers" don't get. By making their web page JavaScript only, they hide not only from users browsing without JavaScript, they also hide from search engines. Which rarely is intended.

It's pretty trivial to provide content that only search engine web crawlers can see whilst building a more interactive browsing experience using javascript.

One question for all those javascript-off-by-default peoples. Do you use video streaming sites like youtube, netflix, amazon instant video? If so, what makes you think they're any safer than wewillstealyouridentity.com? Their primary interest is making money, not providing a secure system for users to access safely...which means their admin passwords are probably 8 characters or less...

Re:Javascript needed (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about 10 months ago | (#44893437)

I don't know why I'm replying to an AC, but I just hate to see illogical reasoning.

One question for all those javascript-off-by-default peoples. Do you use video streaming sites like youtube, netflix, amazon instant video? If so, what makes you think they're any safer than wewillstealyouridentity.com? Their primary interest is making money, not providing a secure system for users to access safely...which means their admin passwords are probably 8 characters or less...

"Their admin passwords"? You're saying that the only thing standing between me and full control of YouTube itself is an 8-character password?

What is wewillstealyouridentity.com supposed to represent?

You're conflating the use of JavaScript at all with giving personally-identifying information to random web sites.

You are being irrational.

Re:Javascript needed (1)

gottabeme (590848) | about 10 months ago | (#44893409)

You think the only reason to disable JS is because of paranoia? How about BLOAT? How about 12 external scripts loading 15 more external scripts before the page will even finish loading? How about bloating memory usage from a few megs for a page to 50 megs because of all the JS? How about heating up my laptop and killing its battery life because of running JS in the background just so I can be a statistic on some graph?

Security is an issue with JS, but it's the least of my reasons for disabling it.

Re:Javascript needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44882195)

Same problem. They should crowdsource their wepage first...

Well, so much about that thingy.

Synfig (1)

ssam (2723487) | about 10 months ago | (#44881917)

The current synfig (2d vector animation software) crowdfunder has an option to influence development direction.

Absolutely nothing new about this (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44881939)

Bounties have been tried over and over again with open source software. They don't work. You end up getting like five people chipping in $10 to try to solve some problem that would take a team of engineers a week to solve. And who in their right mind is going to do that, when they could get paid to do something else?

OSS definitely needs to find a better way to get users to part with their cash to fix the bugs that actually take work to fix (instead of it just being "fun", like most less-mature OSS projects). But bounties have proven themselves as not being that solution.

Re:Absolutely nothing new about this (3, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 10 months ago | (#44882013)

Fortunately, despite the name, it seems BountySource also supports fundraisers aka Kickstarter-style schemes aka "assurance contracts". We know from Kickstarter that this model can scale to very large investments, when the project leaders are credible and there are lots of people who want something done. Unfortunately Kickstarter has a very narrow focus, so it's really great to see someone step up and create a competitor focused on the open source world. If I didn't already have a job I'd definitely consider experimenting with funding myself this way.

Re:Absolutely nothing new about this (3, Interesting)

pspahn (1175617) | about 10 months ago | (#44882059)

Bounties have been tried over and over again with open source software. They don't work.

If this is the case, do you think that maybe it's simply a matter of visibility? How many people do you know (ie how many fecebook friends do you have) that would even be aware that some form of bounty-open source kit exists? Are the bounties something they will perceive as valuable? I'm guessing not.

You've got to make it attractive to aunt Suzy, and that's where the problem lies. Suzy doesn't really care about this stuff and so it never gets put under her nose. Do a promotional live cd as a reward. Have it play a promo video that's simple and mimics Google's ad motif while also touting the benefit of open source in general. Maybe offer some form of outstanding support as a reward.

If you're too specific with bounties, there's no greater incentive for someone to donate. Bundle your fixes up and try and fund it as a leap from 0.95 to 1.0. With all the version creep going on today, people might be inclined to see something go 1.0 (however arbitrary the version scheme actually is).

Re:Absolutely nothing new about this (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#44882099)

And who in their right mind is going to do that, when they could get paid to do something else?

This, pretty much. People who only do things for money will want as much money as they can get.

People who are doing it for love don't really care about the money.

This is just another bunch of leechy entrepreneurs wanting something they can collect an eternal cut from.

Re:Absolutely nothing new about this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44884823)

Bounties have been tried over and over again with open source software. They don't work. You end up getting like five people chipping in $10 to try to solve some problem that would take a team of engineers a week to solve. And who in their right mind is going to do that, when they could get paid to do something else?

Fundamental problem: People start OSS projects because they think it's a cool idea or they want to use it when it's done. Not to get paid. (If you start an OSS project to get paid, then your project has already failed.) Finding a way to fund the development is nice but these projects are started by people who already are paid to do something else.

Re:Absolutely nothing new about this (1)

odie5533 (989896) | about 10 months ago | (#44885433)

There are sites where you simply vote on new features for OSS and the team uses the votes to gauge user interest in features. Attaching money to those votes adds incentive. Keep in mind that open source developers are in many cases coding for free to begin with. So if a lot of users want them to add a feature, they may be inclined to do so, regardless of financial incentives.

Re:Absolutely nothing new about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44889399)

that would take a team of engineers a week to solve.

No problem, ever, in the history of engineering has taken a team of engineers to solve. Sure there might be a team on engineers working on it, but in the end solutions are always found by individuals, in most teams usually the one individual that carries the team.

Too many crowdfunding sites. (1)

Trracer (210292) | about 10 months ago | (#44882073)

Hmm, there are too many crowd funding sites. :(

Re:Too many crowdfunding sites. (1)

ssam (2723487) | about 10 months ago | (#44882093)

1 privately owned company should have an exclusive monopoly on how crowdfunding should work, what the fees should be, how payments are made and what projects are suitable. Any project that dares uses a different crowdfunding site should be ridiculed for being different.

Re:Too many crowdfunding sites. (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#44882115)

Competition produces inefficiency, as efforts are duplicated and people work to destroy each other rather than cooperate to produce the best possible set of options.

Of course, 1 privately owned company should not have a monopoly on anything, whether it's called a corporation (as in the US) or a government (as in the USSR).

Re:Too many crowdfunding sites. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 10 months ago | (#44884391)

Competition produces inefficiency, as efforts are duplicated and people work to destroy each other rather than cooperate to produce the best possible set of options.

Well there are two big sites most people have heard of. Kickstarter seems to have been verbed (verbing weirds language, mind you), but relatively popular and used in contexts where the crowdfunding site is NOT kickstarter.

The other one is Indiegogo.

They have their pluses and minuses. For Indiegogo, a plus can be a project doesn't have to reach its goal to be funded - if the project owner is willing to have Indiegogo take a bigger cut (9% vs 3%) they can say it will always go through. A minus for Indiegogo would be that contributors have to pay upfront - if the funding is unsuccessful (and the owner doesn't want to allow partial funding, like how Canonical chose with the Edge), then contributors are refunded.

Kickstarter doesn't allow partial funding, but they don't charge you until it's due (depending on your credit card is (foreign currency, carrying a balance, etc), Indiegogo can cost you 10% or more if it's refunded).

But while it personally means I will never support an Indiegogo project (and get constantly annoyed when people refer it as a "Kickstarter project" because it seems synonymous with crowd funding), I can appreciate the flexibility of both options.

Plus, Kickstarter has started to tighten the rules a bit to prevent cut-and-run and other type of things.

And there's no network effects - it's not like eBay where they can unilaterally change the rules and everyone has to shut up and take it (because it's damn hard to run another auction site - you end up with buyers lowballing (because it's not eBay), and sellers wanting eBay-like prices despite the lower clientele).

Having both around keeps both honest - Kickstarter can't unilaterally change the rules without upsetting people who'll just go to Indiegogo instead, and vice-versa. Sure resources are wasted - whenever you have duplication of effort, it happens (the most efficient would be a single site), but I'd rather take inefficiency over monopoly.

And we're also finding new areas where crowdfunding is interesting, but neither Kickstarter nor Indiegogo is appropriate. And there's always the attempt to do it by oneself.

Re:Too many crowdfunding sites. (1)

ssam (2723487) | about 10 months ago | (#44922013)

I used a GPB paypal account to pledge to the USD ubuntu edge indiegogo, and was refunded the exact amount in GBP that i pledged. no fee was taken.

Re:Too many crowdfunding sites. (1)

Trracer (210292) | about 10 months ago | (#44882979)

I think the problem is more on my side, there are too many to keep up with.

Bounty Source is over 7 Years Old (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44882095)

Looking at my e-mail archives, I've had an account on BountySource since September 2006. It isn't new.

Re:Bounty Source is over 7 Years Old (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#44882123)

History is the propaganda of the salesman.

Re:Bounty Source is over 7 Years Old (2)

Njovich (553857) | about 10 months ago | (#44882217)

They quit in 2008, and restarted recently.

Re:Bounty Source is over 7 Years Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44883121)

"Looking at my e-mail archives, I've had an account on BountySource since September 2006. It isn't new."

The news is the $1.1 million investment.

The actual piece about this was published by Yahoo! Finance on July 16:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bountysource-raises-1-1-million-130000440.html [yahoo.com]
(Which was mentioned in a blog post that was mentioned by opensource.com that was mentioned by /.)

Re:Bounty Source is over 7 Years Old (1)

Lemeowski (3017099) | about 10 months ago | (#44887043)

They originally launched in 2004 as a full project management platform for open source software, but they moved onto other projects. They relaunched Bountysource again last year with the same name, but an entirely different concept. Details are in the interview: https://opensource.com/business/13/9/bountysource-CEO-interview [opensource.com]

How to get the companies to fund? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44884431)

The problem as I see it, is all these funding models usually rely on the user (who does not have a budget) to work. However it is often the institution that is benefitting from the use of OSS. I know here (university) oss is used, but it is a political minefield and battle just to get it considered, let alone have some sort of funding get back to the originating project.

Does anyone have answers to this problem?

I'd love it if we were given a budget that we could spend as we saw fit on worthwhile projects.

Bug fixes (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 10 months ago | (#44885855)

Don't agree with the bug fixes bit, but feature requests seem fair enough...
If you get people to pay for bug fixes, then people will intentionally write buggy code. Also if i paid for a feature request, i would be very unhappy to be given a buggy implementation of that feature and then asked to pay again for bug fixes.

Similarly while a developer who's developing code for their own use, they have an incentive to fix bugs that affect their own use, but they have no direct incentive to fix features developed for someone else's use.

This again? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 10 months ago | (#44886141)

Ugh, again? Seems like every two months there's another "revolutionary" company that wants to bring bounties to open source. And every time they have to learn the hard way that bounties are a TERRIBLE way to do software development.

Can someone please just write a big, heavy book about how stupid this bounty idea is so that next time some moron suggests it we have something to hit them with?

Re:This again? (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | about 10 months ago | (#44888241)

A cynical person might think that BountySource exists to make the owners a 10% non-refundable commission on top of every amount of money that changes hands and whatever they can make selling accumulated data to Twitter, Facebook and GitHub and others. They do not give a tinker's cuss whether it is an effective way to do anything except that.

This cynical person might think that if he could see anything at all on their web site.

Attracting devs to abandoned projects (1)

V for Vendetta (1204898) | about 10 months ago | (#44892755)

This could be a (partial) answer to sunday's Ask Slashdot [slashdot.org] question, "Attracting Developers To Abandonware?":

I can't code in any meaningful way, nor do I aspire to. I could easily pay for a supported version of icewm, but I can't personally pay someone enough to keep it alive. I'd love it if someone took a personal interest in the code, to ensure that it remains up to date, or to make it run on Wayland or whatever.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>