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jolla bounties

asked 2014-04-15 19:53:35 +0300

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updated 2014-05-09 16:04:32 +0300

vbmithr gravatar image


I was just thinking about setting up a crowdfunded operation for developping Jolla apps/features. Developping big stuff takes time (https://together.jolla.com/question/10751/whisperpush-encrypted-sms, for example), and IMO the best way to have those apps or features (integrated to the OS) developped is to crowd fund a competent developper that could focus full time on the task. As a community, we can certainly afford the most popular features.

We should set up a website (or the like) to enable proposing and voting (with money) for bounties.

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Shouldn't Jolla just provide a facility for paid apps on the Store? That way you get a variety of developers motivated to tackle problems all at once. I'm not against your idea... but I think app payment in the Store would probably be just as effective. I think its been requested numerous times, but hasn't been forthcoming. An alternative, if Jolla doesn't want to handle payments, would be to just allow developers to put a Donate button linking to Paypal etc onto their app pages.

roboro ( 2014-04-16 14:03:38 +0300 )edit

This is different IMO. Because Jolla is much less about apps than iOS/Android. Some hard work is required in the OS itself to enable more features for the apps, and much work is required there, this is _not_ about making an app, and thus cannot receive payment like an app (moreover, the result of this work should be avail for everyone).

So no, I think this is a totally different issue.

vbmithr ( 2014-04-26 15:03:02 +0300 )edit

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answered 2014-04-28 14:57:42 +0300

roboro gravatar image

updated 2014-04-28 14:58:49 +0300

I am responding to your comment as an answer, because the comments field does not allow enough characters, so apologies for this.

Your original post said "operation for developping Jolla apps/features" and your example was for support for whisperpush (which on every other platform is released as a separate application). So it seemed clear to me that you were talking about apps as opposed to OS features.

When you say that Jolla is much less about apps... I don't know what you are really going on about. Apps are integral to adoption of Sailfish. You can't expect everything to just be part of the core OS. Application development on top of the core should be encouraged. Developers who run into core limitations, are naturally going to contribute to getting these things improved if they know that stability for their applications is dependent on these changes, particularly if they are getting paid for their applications.

Agreed that hard work is required in the OS itself, isn't that what Jolla pays its own full-time developers for? Furthermore, there are a fair number of volunteers who contribute to Sailfish/Mer/Nemo regularly. Sure, it would always be nice to see more people helping out here... but if you crowdfund some people and not others, then you end up with a situation where a volunteer just thinks that he/she is being shortchanged volunteering when some people get paid for this stuff.

I'm not really against what you are proposing, but I just don't think its that simple. Here are some things that you need to consider. How do you decide who to fund, or who is a better contributor? Who manages the allocation of these funds? What happens if I donate money for a feature and the developer never gets around to working on that? If you only work with pledges, how do you make sure that people actually pay-up when the feature is done? How do you ensure that changes made by the developer actually get accepted into one of the core development projects? What happens if the developer introduces a serious bug, but does not get back to it? Does this result in some unpaid developer having to fix up someone else's mess? What about QA, testing, documentation etc? Why does the funding always get aimed at developers? There is much more to bringing out safe, reliable and useful features than straight development work.

On top of this... presumably the person who codes the crowdfunding application, hosts it and manages it will also want their cut. This just looks like a middleman type operation. I would much rather just pay the developer directly for a new application (that could be dealt with if Jolla allowed payments or donations through its store)or donate to Mer: http://merproject.org/donations.html. Most of the people working on these projects track TJC etc, so they're aware of the problems that people run into and the general wishlist.

All of that said, if you still think this would be a really valuable thing to do, set it up yourself and see whether you can get a following of people who are willing to donate cash for bounties. Suggesting that developers spend time working on this, rather than doing it yourself, just takes developers away from the task at hand.

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I see your valid points solved by using an already established micropayment system like Flattr to share donations by users choice! This would make implemetation in a website very easy. One could even set it on top of an already existing blog like jollausers.com by simply having a blogpost for every new released sailfishapp.

mosen ( 2014-04-29 10:30:32 +0300 )edit

About Jolla is not much about apps: Maybe this assertion is indeed not true, but I was hoping it was. For example, Jolla chose to integrate XMPP discussions in the same app than SMS discussions. I think this is the correct way it should be done, and that likewise other communication protocols should be integrated that way. I personally do not want 10 apps for 10 communications systems, I want one app that handles the 10 and unifies them. I just felt the "indie developpers have more power over the base distro thing" was just part of the "We're unlike mentality", and I still fell this way. That's why I said that Jolla is not so much about apps than Android for example.

vbmithr ( 2014-05-09 16:13:49 +0300 )edit

I'm not saying that everything should be integrated to the core OS at all. I should reformulate by saying that there is a whole lot of work to be done on the infrastructure (Mer, etc.), and that this work is as prioritary as writing apps (well, it is complementary anyway, as you said, making apps gives a case to improving the stack, and improvement in the stack will result in providing more possibilities/room for development to apps).

vbmithr ( 2014-05-09 16:16:57 +0300 )edit

I'm not suggesting we should crowdfund some developpers against other. I'm suggesting that all people working on Jolla without being paid by Jolla should be elligible for being crowdfunded. Thanks for the donation link: It is indeed a good way to do crowdfunding!

vbmithr ( 2014-05-09 16:19:29 +0300 )edit

To sum it up, my main idea here was to find a way to crowdfund community people to work on features that was considered important by people that crowdfunded them, but was not necessarily on the official Jolla roadmap.

This could even be managed by Jolla itself: Enough users crowdfund a particular project, and then Jolla can hire someone to make it happen. I agree however that this needs some more thinking. Thanks for your answer that raised many valuable points.

vbmithr ( 2014-05-09 16:23:26 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-04-15 19:53:35 +0300

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Last updated: May 09 '14