Hard to say I like this

(Inspired and based on Goro Fujita‘s artwork: see image below)

There are many ways to appreciate the work of an Open Source developer:

  • at the Eclipse Marketplace you can add a solution to your favorites
  • at SourceForge.net you can “thumb up” or “thumb down” a project
  • at Ohloh you can give kudos to developers or say “I use this” project
  • at …

In addition, you can donate some money, for example via PayPal or via the brand-new social micropayment service Flattr (you can already flattr some Eclipse projects and people). Maybe, some time in future you can not only spend money on a fee but also pay upfront to make a specific feature become true or bug become fixed at Eclipse. I’m dreaming of a bright future when these honor and donate systems will become common and the lion’s share of software will be Open Source. I know that developing Open Source software is more fun and I believe that Open Source is better than commercial software, especially in the long run.

(Rain by Goro Fujita)

Unfortunately, these appreciation systems compete with each other instead of making this dream come true together. Why not use standardized protocols to make these systems talk to each other, similar to OpenID or Diaspora, which aims to replace Facebook? As a first step in this direction I propose to integrate existing Ohloh metrics, SourceForge vote summaries, Flattr and PayPal donate links into the Eclipse Marketplace (see bug 322848 and 324786).

2 Responses to “Hard to say I like this”

  1. Lars Vogel Says:

    I think once of the challenges in the web is to get direct feedback on your actions. Having some kind of voting system is really helpful. I also like dzone (for content) because you get a direct feedback how many people liked or disliked you content.

  2. Marcel Says:

    I agree, having social-payments to support free software would be cool.

    The interesting question is: when would people actually “flattr” your software or make a (Paypal) donation? I could imagine to offer software services for free allowing users to flattr the tools but – would we flattr software? Honestly? How many of us use SVN and made a dontation to SVN Tortoise?

    Some questions I have:
    When would people flattr a software?
    What kind of software would it be?
    How often would you flattr that software? Once a month?

    Are there any experiences about how many people actually support Eclipse projects or software via social payments? Lars, do people use your paypal dontation button?

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