Subject: Re: Bounty for Bugs in Open Source Projects?
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 00:10:10 +0900

>>>>> "Nik" == Nik Cubrilovic <nik@nik.com.au> writes:

    Nik> I am interested to know if there is currently an initiative
    Nik> for commercial organisations to offer a bounty (cash
    Nik> incentive) for bugs or features to be implemented in Open
    Nik> Source projects.

Well, there's sourceXchange (dead) and cosource.com (dead/morphed into
collab.net) and BeOpen.com (dead).  I don't think it is an accident
that Red Hat and SuSE, on the other hand, are thriving by hiring core
developers from various projects, as well as "generic" developers.

    Nik> The company I work for would be interested in paying
    Nik> developers on Open Source projects to implement features, and
    Nik> to fix certain bugs that we require in some software, but the
    Nik> only way to do this at the moment seems to be to contact the
    Nik> project leader, or to post to the corresponding project
    Nik> mailing list with the details.

I don't understand what the problem with this is.  If you're willing
to pay for the whole fix, then either hire somebody you know and trust
(and pay for them to educate themselves about the project), or contact
the people who know the product best (and take the risk they care more
about their project than about your money).  Seems like a no-brainer.

The only case where having a middleman might make sense is if you need
somebody to represent a bunch of buyers or a bunch of sellers, or
both.  But that's hard work; unless the middleman has very good people
skills, you're going to end up with both the buyers and the sellers
mad at him!  As I understand it, that's what happened with cosource/
collab: they realized that they were in the relationship business, and
started focusing on that, rather than trying to build a market (or
even just a bazaar).

-- 
School of Systems and Information Engineering http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.