I thought of some framing questions for what I’m interested in running tests on.
The without building a business basically means that the maintainers don’t need to figure out a business model, don’t need to setup a company, or related items.
That is, they get paid time from their supporters to “buy their own time” that they can allocate to maintenance and upgrades to the code.
They CAN also eg do freelance work or consulting even on the codebase — but at a base line they feel like they have enough paid time to work on the software.
This is movement building and alignment.
Can we set up a system where maintainers get paid over time? and the core expectation is “keep this software going”.
For movement building, this is also championing businesses of all kinds to fund their upstreams.
And individuals to support the software they want to use / see in the world.
We’ve been wanting this for projects Fission supports, and also are proposing it for grant funded projects that are bounty style.
That is — a bounty is some functionality and as soon as it is done the bounty is awarded. We are proposing that instead, this should be paid out over a minimum of a year to encourage maintenance, adoption, and usage, where delivered code keeps working.
Our working model is that code is permissively licensed. The code bits are non-rivalrous and there is zero cost to copy the bits, so it’s a public good.
But maintainer time is rivalrous — whether it’s responding to bug reports or feature requests, writing docs, and so on.
And actual maintenance over time, even without new feature additions.
Should community channels — eg an issue queue or feature roadmap — be gated to only supporters?
This would then also be a benefit of what supporters get in exchange for support: maintainer time on their discussions.
Might a maintainer grow support in such a way that more maintainers — and also non code contributions from docs to issue triage to even promotion — can be added to the project?
Should scope start with single maintainer projects? Are there any nuances with multiple maintainers being supported?