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Re: [tlug] kickstarter for open source...

I've been following the subsequent discussion. I thought it might be
interesting if I described the exact situation where I wanted to use
Kickstarter (or whatever).

We all know one of the ideas behind open source development is
contributors are scratching an itch.

I'm using PhantomJS, which allows programmatic control of a web browser,
and it can be run headless. However it is based on an old version of
WebKit. To test the things I need to test I need a newer version of
WebKit. But to do this requires upgrading to Qt5. It is a big job.

There are 627 open issues on the github project. At least half of these
would just disappear with a new version of WebKit.

The github project also has 6,456 stars, 856 forks. Over on Google Code,
there have been 1 million downloads (390K for version 1.8, 245K for
version 1.9 so far).

So, we have a relatively large sub-project, reasonably clear
deliverable, with a large demand (300+ open issues), and a large group
of potential donors.

However, the core developers are all overloaded. And have said a
financial incentive will not help. They want the upgrade too, but it
will take a few months to get there.

What I have is an itch. I don't have the knowledge to scratch it myself.
I don't have the time to devote to learning how to scratch it. (It is
not that big an itch, I just want to automate some testing.)

Do you think a Kickstarter campaign would help?

I'm fairly sure a target of say $5000 would be reached. Would that
change the minds of any of the current core developers? Would it be
incentive enough to bring in a new core developer (*)? I.e. we're not
employing them. We're sponsoring the first project that brings them
up-to-speed. After that they are a volunteer just like the rest of the
core team.


*: I just stopped and asked *myself* that question, and realized the
answer is a cautious yes: if the timing fitted in with a quiet time on
other work. But I also wonder if the time it took to get up to speed
might mean the core developers get to the task before me!!

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