KickStarter for Debian packages - crowdfunding/donations for development
I'd like to add a feature to apt that enables people to donate money or
crowdfund a particular project or developer. The inspiration for the
project comes from Gittip.
I've already contacted the APT project and they directed me here, as
they felt it needed to be discussed by the larger Debian community.
My name is Manu Sporny and I'm the current chair of the Web Payments
group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). I'm also the project
leader for the PaySwarm project, which is an initiative to create a
universal payment standard for the Web. We're also currently working
with Mozilla to build payments into the browser. Each of these
initiatives is a patent-free and royalty-free open standard that we'd
like to try and apply to the Debian project.
The general idea with apt-based donations is to enable every package in
Debian to be able to accept funding and/or donations for the project.
Here are some of the ideas we were kicking around:
1. Simple donations. Donate a fixed dollar amount $1, $2.50,
$5, or $10 to a project. This could be opt-in or automatic.
2. Split donations. Donate a fixed dollar amount to a project,
where 50% of the donation goes to the project and 50% of the
donation is split equally among the project dependencies (by
reading the Debian control file).
3. Recurring donations. Same as the first item above, but
happens on a recurring basis.
4. Variable split donations. Same as the second item above, but
the percentages of where the money goes is specified by the
maintainer in the Debian control file or other included file.
5. The ability to donate arbitrary amounts to registered
Debian developers, or registered project goals.
We could add these features to a new command in apt that can be executed
via the command-line:
apt-donate [package] [amount]
A deeper discussion of the social concerns and solutions with
integrating donations and fundraising into Debian packages can be found
There is a series on PaySwarm for developers on the Mozilla Hacks blog,
if you want more background information on how PaySwarm works:
PaySwarm: Identity (part 1 of 3)
PaySwarm: Assets and Listings (part 2 of 3)
PaySwarm: Purchasing (part 3 of 3)
We'd tie donations to the Meritora PaySwarm payment processor. If
there is interest in adding this sort of feature in apt (or apt-utils),
then we'd be happy to do the work on the software and make it happen.
I'd like to understand what the expectations might be for a feature like
this. I'd also like to answer any questions about the Web Payments /
PaySwarm standardization work as well. If it would help, I can jump on a
quick voice chat with someone closely associated with the Debian Project
to discuss in more depth.
My contact info (in preferred order):
G+ Hangout: +Manu Sporny
Is there interest in this feature?
Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Meritora - Web payments commercial launch