Bounty Development

(This might belong to Platform and Desktop categories also)

Have you ever considered the idea of having some kind of dashboard connecting 1. (un)popular issues and popular feature requests, preferably small actionable tasks, 2. people wanting to do the tasks for a small bounty and 3. people interested on paying them to do that? Or some more informal way of putting together offer and demand in such a small market? I know there are platforms specialized in that, and one of them could indeed be used, what I’m talking about is increased visibility of GNOME related stuff in a central, familiar, place, even if it weren’t much more than a recommended marketplace elsewhere. Maybe it was discussed hundreds of times before, maybe there is some ethical concern, maybe nobody cares, I don’t really know. It seems to me that it could be effective for boring bug fixing and small missing features in the app ecosystem. Not that effective for difficult, core tasks that would probably remain as in-review PRs for a long time and could be more burden than relief, there already are top devs for those less menial tasks in the project.

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I think some general points are

  1. The “bounties” rarely reflect the time/work required - the actual code might take 10 mins but associated code reviews, comments, etc may take far longer
  2. Who gets the money - the person writing the patch? the one reviewing it? both?
  3. Money = Legal = Yikes
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  1. In case of features, who will keep it maintained if the original author disappears after receiving the bounty

And, let’s face it: the coding part alone never takes 10 minutes. Otherwise, it would have been done already.

Real “10 minutes of a maintainer’s time” tasks are great for new volunteers, in order to get them acquainted with a project; they are few and far between, and they already require maintainer’s time to identify in the pool of potential issues; to describe a solution in a way that is compatible with inclusion; and to guide a new contributor towards acceptance. They should never be placed under a “bounty system”, because those are the tasks that allow increasing the contributors base, and placing any monetary reward is problematic at best (new contributors don’t stay without compensation), and counterproductive at worst (we lose unpaid contributors).


Ok, interesting, I can see some of the problems you mention, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this.

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