Call For Feature

to be able to build on each other's work
We did Open Source back then a long time before even before we knew what it was called. But the idea was that people ought to be able to build on each other's work. And that's true in academia where you publish your papers and people can learn about what you've done so they can do better. That was the idea of the Open Source. It's become more than that to some people and has a lot of flavors now. It's a whole big movement but the basic idea is that people can stand on the shoulders of each other instead of on each other's toes.
Bill Joy  SUN co-founder


In short, the process can be described as

  • to build process and community of developers for creation of new features
  • features, extensions for wackowiki asked for by certain group, company or individuals
  • frameset for paid ticket system
  • fair and direct distribution of money needed to compensate the community of programmers who share their energy for users benefit


this is a first draft – outlining the idea behind the call-for-feature process supporting the further development of WackoWiki
DaCon /21.01.2006 01:56/

Software creators, Open Source is not about begging for money or working for the whole world, recieving nothing but bug reports and beeing asked for new features. Using a bugtracker is as easy as writing a feature request. Still, there is no easy and trusted way of attaching money to a feature to ensure progress. Don't ask for donations. Accept payment for code created upon request.

On the basic issues of Open Source software development are

  1. the contribution to a project by a large number of software programmers to ensure the further evolution of code
  2. the lead developer(s) – creator of the original code in the first place – should be viewed as conductor (leader) but must not play all the instruments (developer), else he will stumble over his own feet due lack of time.
  3. getting things done given a user centerd priority list

So imagine you have (1) available in general and (2) is true somehow. How do you get to (3)? For the development of new functionality, features and design most of the open source software lacks serious user feedback. For example, if you are a group of some sort, lets say a company using wackowiki, you have no easy way to ask for a feature. You don't know whom to ask. You don't know what its going to cost you. You don't know with whom to collaborate in the case the same or alike feature is needed by someone else. You will end up writing the code yourself and in most of the times (with exceptions) you will be to lazzy or to busy to donate your code to the original source (wackowiki).

In the big picture this is not the idea of open source and its truely uneconomic. So, what to do about? You might find out the developers and ask them for coding your wanted feature. One of the programmers might agree to help you. Then two things happen: First, you recognize they are far away – lets say russia;) – and it takes efford to develop a common language (words and culture). Second, coding your feature is no big deal and 200 dollars will compensate the programmers time and knowledge. A big distance appears: The people to help you are to far away to hand over those 200 dollars. The transfer via paypal, yandex money or moneybookers is an alternative to expensive swift transfer via bank, but you don't feel comfortable in using those services. After a long approach to find the right programmer, it seems impossible to do a 200 dollar transaction yourself. Even if you could ship the money another way, who can handle an agreement that the task will be done somewhat close to your expectations? Something is missing. It's an arrangement within the wackowiki development process that gives you the opportunity to request a special feature and to pay for the creation of code to the programmer(s) who fits the assignment best. We are aiming to create the wackowiki call-for-feature process to fullfill this purpose. This means all the different calls for code creation on the one hand and the compensations on the other, have to be dealed with technicaly and legaly on behalf of your asignment. This needs to be done on a local basis enacted on the common rights and responsibilities of your country and by someone you trust (who hands over your money only if the feature is approved technicaly and working).

Since this is all about open source software development all the code created, even that you paid for, goes back to the community. So others can build upon and improve it. Then you can refactor that code into your own, and so on. Eventually, this comes down to a list of features, extensions and else waiting for everyone. There you can donate a fraction or all of the money needed to compensate the programmers developing on a item by item basis – you buy a ticket for a certain feature. For example think of the bug tracker and some minor bugs which are very important to your usage of wackowiki, but are no important in general. Or think of a feature that happens to be interesting to a few users. They can cost-share the total amount necessary for feature development. If you think about donating money to support further development of wackowiki ... split it across prefered features and prioritise instead of general pledge.

The issue behind this is that we think it's better to pledge money only to people and only for a given task to do. Because you never know. Donating to (anonymous) institutions might end up financing a power house not within your interests. The problem about financing is when to much resources accumulate in one hand. Then structures develop you never wanted to have in the first place. We'd rather allocate the financial flows on a direct basis to many free software creators and establish a common ground of free code.



To Do

of course, anytime, feel free to donate to support the hosting of wackowiki



Referring pages: