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.
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).