Sourceforge to allow project managers to offer paid services

Something that has been mentioned around, but now is official: Sourceforge, a web site that offers free developer services (as in gratis) for free software (as in libre) and open source project, is coming out with a new feature: Sourceforge Marketplace – currently starting public beta – allows developers who host projects on website to offer paid services to people who use their software, through
(the link talk about how this product is going to be as its an old article, and the actual launch was just announced in email to project managers and not yet on Sourceforge’s web site).

This looks like a great idea, one who’s time has definitely come. Up till now, getting paid support from open source developers has been rather difficult – except for some specific large scale projects who have a bounty system (such as KDE’s Kontact) getting in contact with a developer, hoping she has time to work for you and negotiating payment terms is next to impossible (and several times I’ve been in a position to both need this service and have the commercial option to pay for it).

I think for the first time, there will be a generic centralized system where developer can offer their services and for clients to be able to easily find professionals that can help them. I will personally definitely would try to take advantage of this new service – at least as a client.

And now for something completely different:

It is rather well known, that Apple computers have the rather amusing street address: 1 Infinite Loop.

But only recently I’ve found out that UK based Linux company Canonical software, makers of the now much hyped Ubuntu operating system, have a quite similar street address: One Circular Road.

Now, Google maps does not carry street maps for Isle of Man (yet, and the satellite imagery is even worse then for Israel), so I can’t tell if their street is indeed circular, but I doubt that its a coincidence. I don’t know how Apple got Cupertino, CA to build a circular street and name it “Infinite Loop” – but if it is as I suspect and simply a lot of money was involved, then it wouldn’t be much harder for Canonical to convince the many times smaller city of Douglas to name a street specifically for them.

2 Responses to “Sourceforge to allow project managers to offer paid services”

  1. StBarbara2U:

    Have you taken a look at the open Beta? It’s a complete joke. What parts of this come from eBay, I think few to none other than the concept of bringing together buyers and sellers.

    The look and feel is horrid. Try actually going through the process of buying a service. How in the world can such a high profile site like release something so amateurish and call it a beta…I hope they’re not banking the company on this thing in this form.

    Is anyone in that company paying attention to what they’re showing the general public?

    Good luck.

  2. Guss:

    I don’t know – it looks ok to me. The service has the same look and feel as the rest of the SF site (which can be improved, I know), and its working ok. There are some minor issues which is understandable due to the beta nature, and there are several usability issues where its really hard to the buyer – especially the non-technical one – to understand what is offered and what type of service one can get.

    But I think it all comes down to what people expect from beta software – Google is to blame for all of this, I guess, as they make all their on-line services available for extended periods of time as “public betas”: Gmail was in beta for about 5 years or something. People have to come to expect that public beta means “software that works very well, but maybe lacks some features that we want to see so we aren’t saying its a production version yet”. Which is really not what “beta release” meant historically.

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