richard at systemeD.net
Wed Mar 19 11:22:23 GMT 2008
Gervase Markham wrote:
> Paying bounties or other rewards within a volunteer project is a large
> can of worms. Some projects manage it, others go down in flames. Apache
> has refused to pay _anyone_ for years for this reason, although I think
> now they are getting around to employing a sysadmin (who won't code). It
> depends hugely on the dynamics of your project.
I suspect the dynamics may be right for OSM.
We have lots of users who are constantly - rightly - demanding more
features. Some of them are little things that can be ticked off by
individual developers when they get a moment: most of my Potlatch trac
list comes into this category, for example.
But there are a few really big ones. These are reliant on our few
developers being able to take a break from fire-fighting, which we're
doing a lot of the time, and diving into them. It's great when this
happens - TomH is tackling the Export tab right now, I believe
(yay!!), Jon of course recently did mod_tile - but very dependent on a
tiny number of people having free time.
OSM's _primary_ output is its data, not its code, and that's the
difference from Apache. All the other stuff we do is really cool, but
it's essentially there to facilitate the data.  If bounties for
developers means fewer obstacles for mappers, that's a win.
 One of the things I really like about OSM is that the developers
are, almost without exception, mappers too. We really do eat our own
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