Author Topic: Please join discussion: Questions on Bounty System  (Read 4494 times)


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Hi all,

if you are sponsoring or have suggested a bounty in the past, or if you are a developer who is working (or has worked) on a bounty, you are invited to share your thoughts on a couple of questions here.

Q1) Unclaimed bounties
We have a couple of bounties that literally started "years ago" where money is stocked but nothing happened so far.
The general question is: Should this money stay there forever? Shall there be a "timeout" for a bounty (e.g. 24 months)?
Meaning: If during that time, nobody started working on a software and can provide at least a prototype, then the bounty is closed in an "unclaimed" status. ..which leads us to question 2:

Q2) Unclaimed money
If we close bounties and there is already money available... what are the options?
- return the exact amount of money sponsored to the respective people?
- let each of the original sponsors decide on different project(s) that should receive a bounty "top-up" ?
- put the money in a "jackpot" pool that will be equally distributed across the remaiming bounties?

Q3) Claimed bounties
What happens if someone claims a bounty... but none of the original sponsors is available (any longer) to agree and approve the payment? Who takes the decision whether or not to pay?

Q4) Deadlines for work-in-progress
In the case where someone comes up and says "don't cancel that bounty, I am working on it", what is the time he should be allowed to continue working on it? Endless? In other words: Until *when* would he/she have to deliver *what* in order to keep the bounty alive?

The reason for these questions is that when it comes to money, people can get very uncomfortable and upset.
Nobody has money to burn. If people get money which they don't deserve (in other peoples opinion) the whole system becomes counter-productive. Unfortunately, the bounty rules make no statement on what happens in the cases mentioned above.

Also, as you might all be aware, there is a project that made significant process and could use some money to make the last mile.
At the same time, we have bounties with money lying around - as said for quite some time already - where nothing happens.

To get an impression, go to and have a look at the paragraph "Bounty System - Open". Note however that not all of them are inactive, some just need a decision... ;) while others are effectively "dead".

My personal interest here is to see if my "TrueCrypt port" bounty can be cancelled.
(see )
I suggested this bounty and I also sponsored some bucks here. Apparently nobody ever started working on this, therefore I would like to see that money (at least my part) being given to the Qt-porting bounty.

Let me know what you think.
"It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority.
By definition, there are already enough people to do that"
- G.H. Hardy

Dave Palmer

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Re: Please join discussion: Questions on Bounty System
« Reply #1 on: 2009.09.11, 23:06:40 »
Having sponsored a bounty, I'll have a go at answering:

Q1 Unclaimed Bounties:  I am for a time limit or timeout - and I'd recommend 12 months - certainly by then there is no real interest in the bounty
Q2 Unclaimed money:  Return to sponsor - let him/them decide if they want to apply it to something else
Q3 Claimed bounties:  Solicit volunteers to act as stand-ins for absent original sponsors
Q4 Deadlines for work-in-progress:  a) claimant should be able to produce evidence of work-in-process and b) show acceptable progess (to sponsor) in, say, 6 months

Thomas, you did us a favor by uncovering the situation and starting the resolution process.  Thanks,


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Re: Please join discussion: Questions on Bounty System
« Reply #2 on: 2009.09.12, 16:11:08 »
I largely agree with David. Regarding Q3, I'd vote for kind of a committee of knowledgable people.

The thing is: How do you define "not available any more"? If someone happens to be on a vacation for three weeks and finds that in the meantime a developer has claimed the bounty but the committee has approved it where he personally wouldn't, you are bound for trouble.

I've already suggested this in the past:

- The bounty system needs to be more transparent.

- Rules need to be applied correctly. I have the strong impression that this has been handled rather sloppily in the past.


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Re: Please join discussion: Questions on Bounty System
« Reply #3 on: 2009.09.12, 22:41:46 »
Well, can't say that the rules that we applied to the bounty system has been followed sloppily. But, do agree that we need to update the rules and as earlier open for suggestions on what we should change. And as well we should form a group of people around the bounty system; what we've done until now is that we've posted in the forum on how to handle payments for a specific bounty. If there has been a clear majority in favour to pay out a bounty this has then been done.


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Re: Please join discussion: Questions on Bounty System
« Reply #4 on: 2009.09.13, 16:30:45 »
Here are criteria I consider vital:

  • The ported package must provide the same functionality as the original. If this is impossible for technical reasons, the bounty sponsors have to be informed and they have to decide if they want to pay the bounty for an incomplete result. If a sponsor decides not to do so, he must receive a refund.
  • For GPL'ed software, the source code must be made available. There are quite a few ported packages out there that violate the GPL.
  • For open source software, the OS/2 source code must be submitted to the original maintainers. That way OS/2 can become an offcially supported platform and, even more important, the code will remain available even if the current maintainer of the OS/2 version retires. If the original maintainers do not accept the code, that's a different pair of shoes, of course.
  • Others must be able to build the application. That means that the source code has to be available in a suitable form including build instructions. If there are only diffs for the original code, it has to be made crystal clear which version the patch has to be applied to and where to get it.
« Last Edit: 2009.09.13, 16:37:43 by chennecke »


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Re: Please join discussion: Questions on Bounty System
« Reply #5 on: 2009.09.24, 18:14:06 »
right now we are looking at how we could do all the above in a good manner.

all is really vital, and we try our best. that we get all our paches to oss projects is mostly not possible. some maintainer refuse os/2 patches at all, some refuse part of it. but we look how to handle such cases.

eventually we end up with a reporitory of diffs (including version and little readme of course)

so stay tuned about more infos.

the biggest problem i see in the bounty system at all. the gereral idea may be good, but as already stated noone cares really about dead bountys. and i consider that money lost, while other could need it.
i really hope there will be a solution to this dead bountys, but when i look at the amount of replies.....