2 brainstorm ideas: Crowfunding and Musescore backlog (prioritized list of features to code next)

• Mar 15, 2017 - 11:47

Hello !

I have two ideas at a brainstorm level that are related to each other and that I would like to exchange thoughts about.

If I understand correctly one bottleneck in MuseScore development is the lack of programmers that actively and regularly contribute.

And another impression I got is that the backlog - the list of features to code next - is basically decided by those programmers, based on their own preferences and areas of expertise and time to allocate in the project.

One thing I wonder is if it would be possible to have an online backlog where users can vote which features to implement next. In this way would Musescore always implement the feature that a majority of people are missing at every moment. Maybe each user can vote for his top 5 desired features out of a list of 100.

And coupled to that, I wonder if it would be feasible to group the top...10 features ? 20 ? or so.. in a crowdfunding project so that Musescore can get money to hire extra developers required to code those features. And then repeate the procedure maybe once a year or more often.

The core development team of Musescore could do rough estimates of how many programmings hours a certain feature could take to an experienced senior programmer, and then estimate the cost for the feature.

There are many websites where freelancing programmers offers their services, and maybe the core development team of Musescore already know external consultants that could be hired for a certain feature implementation.

What do you think ? Is such thing realistic? feasible ?


Welcome to the world of open source software!

I think you have answered your own questions really. We have lots of users, and only a few developers. The developers are mainly volunteers, so they are under no obligation to do anything. Naturally, the developers choose to fix the bugs they care about, which might not be the same as the ones the users care about. Most developers fix bugs because they want to use the feature themselves, the fact that other people benefit too is just a nice bonus!

The problem with a voting system is it creates the impression that bugs with lots of votes should get fixed, but it doesn't make it any easier to fix bugs, and it doesn't change the fact that the developers only fix the bugs they care about. However, if there was some kind of bounty placed on popular bugs (it could be points based rather than money based) then I could see it working.

Your crowdfunding idea is a good one. Other open source projects have done this successfully. This would probably work quite well for implementing some major new features, but it wouldn't help with fixing bugs in existing features because it's not easy to get people excited about that.

Hello ArielAr .

I am just a user but it is good to see people being creative in all the ways they trey to help this wonderful project.

Thanks for your input.

FYI, the creator of the popular open source encrypted messaging app "Signal" implemented a system called "BitHub" which is an automated system for paying out bitcoin to contributors for each commit to github: https://whispersystems.org/blog/bithub/

They have a feature request for Feature/Bug Bounties (which hasn't been implemented), but that would allow users to allocate bitcoins to the specific feature they want implemented and then have that payout to the user https://github.com/WhisperSystems/BitHub/issues/4

But anyway, just wanted to throw that out there for people that might be interested!

Also there are some things that may not be popular, but which are still very important, so I worry that chasing after popular feature X while neglecting important stuff not visible to users is a concern.

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