A Fix for Dolphin Bugfixes

Draxxon posted 23rd of March 2011 in Community Voice. 3 comments.

Over the past few years I've noticed that every time Andrew Boon, or anyone else on the Boonex team announces in their blogs an "Exciting New Feature", or mentions anything about working on a new version of Dolphin, that they are immediately bombed with negative comments regarding existing bugs, incomplete features, SEO and security shortcomings, etc...

 

(...and yes, I've been guilty of some of these comments myself.)

 

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I think that I may have come up with a possible solution. (Hopefully someone at Boonex is reading this.)

 

What I suggest is that Boonex starts offering small rewards to 3rd party developers who are willing to fix some of these bugs for them. This would allow the Boonex team to stay focused on development of the new versions (7.1 and 8.0), and would still allow all of us to receive the bugfixes that we so desperately need. After all, isn't part of the whole concept of open-source (supposedly) based on the fact that the project is supposed to benefit from bugfixes and improvements provided by more programmers than the core team?

 

This would also mean that any 3rd-party extension developers who decide to help out with some of these bug fixes would become more familiar with the core code (thereby promoting better extensions), and receive a reward for their efforts.  This isn't a new concept. The Mozilla Foundation and the Google Chromium project have been offering rewards and bounties for security-related bugfixes for some time now. I realize that Boonex may not be willing to offer up cash rewards for every tiny little bugfix, and that more that one bugfix may be offered for the same problem, so obviously there will need to be some things worked out.

 

One way to do this might be to set up an opt-in program for 3rd-party developers to sign up for bugfixes. These bugs could be listed, along with the reward offered for them, and would be assigned to a developer who would have a certain amount of time to fix them. If completed within the time allowed, the fix would be reviewed and, if accepted, the developer would get the reward. If not done in a reasonable amount of time, then the bug would be open for re-assignment. This would probably also mean that at least one Boonex Team member would need to be in charge of organizing the bugs, assigning them, accepting the fixes, checking them for validity, fulfilling the rewards, and consolidating them with the main Dolphin code for release as version upgrades.

 

For some bugs, it may be necessary to offer small cash rewards ($5.00-$50.00 depending on the bug), for others, it may be better to offer certain services such as an Extra month of Premium Membership, free extension certification, or other related service, etc....

 

Boonex also should mention in the "readme.txt" file for the upgrade which developers fixed which issues (and possibly add an icon to their profile to indicate that they have helped make dolphin better). This would also be good to help identify some of the better extension developers who have contributed to Dolphin.

 

...anyway, this is my idea to allow Boonex to continue to develop and enhance Dolphin while not ignoring the many bugs/security issues that the rest of us are concerned about. This might also help to reduce some of the bad feelings among the Unity members who feel that Boonex is ignoring critical issues, and simply wanting to push out the next version. This way, everyone (Boonex, 3rd-party developers, and Dolphin Users) wins.

 

I'd love to hear other opinions on this....

P.S. this is my first blog post so please be nice... ;)

 
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AlexT
Actually we have some experience with 3rd-party developers last time, sometimes it was bad, sometimes pretty good. But always it creates additional load - because every code need to be checked carefully before including it to the version.
HernanL
AlexT, is that all you have to say about such a good idea posted by Draxxon?

Andrew Boon, please comment on this.

Regards,
Hernán
Andrew Boon
Having a hand of 3rd party developers in the core package creation is a wet dream, but it's not a straightforward thing. We have tried, on a number of instances, and it's often counterproductive. We don't lose hope, however, and will eventually lay out a better strategy to employ and reward external developers. Draxxon's suggestions make good sense and will surely help us shape it.
 
 
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