[LEDE-DEV] [OpenWrt-Devel] MT7620A WiFi issue - with a twist!

Alberto Bursi alberto.bursi at outlook.it
Sun Feb 5 13:58:18 PST 2017

On 02/05/2017 05:37 PM, Daniel Golle wrote:
> Hi Alberto,
> It's the first time I'm trying to get work compensated by the community
> and I'm not sure whether kickstarter is the right way to go -- though
> I've written clearly that the initial goal would cover one night of
> hacking on rt2x00 and additional funds would pay for additional hours,
> I'm not sure whether everyone got that. Maybe I'll just need to stop
> at some point today, because by now, I've been working on MT7620-
> related stuff for more hours than I'd ever work for that amount of
> money. Surely, my motivation isn't purely economic in that case, I
> actually have some idealistic and educational goals as well, which is
> also why I started upstreaming the rt2x00 patches. However, I also
> don't want to leave the impression that I'd work for less than minimum
> wage on stuff which I'm only capable of doing because I've been hacking
> on kernel code for something like a decade by now. And as it looks like
> right now, this can work for a weekend, but cannot become a habbit,
> simply because I can't afford that luxury if it only pays the minimum
> I've been asking for initially -- probably I just need to create new
> projects on kickstarter for each phase of work, but that also seems
> like a lot of overhead given that I'd rather work on code than spending
> time on a rather annoying JavaScript-application running in my browser
> and eating half of the RAM of my machine...
> So if you now any better method or service than kickstarter which
> allows me to follow the street-musician-protocol while hacking on
> FOSS code, that'd be highly appreciated.
> Cheers
> Daniel

IMHO crowd-funding is a good way for FOSS.
It allows people that are unable to actually develop to help out by 
sending money so that those that can develop can do so more freely.
As long as this concept is stated clearly, everything should be fine.
Afaik it's unrealistic to expect top pay out of it, but it will help out 
on things you are probably going to do anyway.

Crowd-funding in general requires you to actually devote some time to 
post somewhat regular updates (with proof of what you did if possible, 
for FOSS it's easy as you just push sources on a public repo so people 
can see them and test them maybe).
The idea is keeping the people informed of what you did with their 
money. You can see this if you look at any other half-decent 
crowdfunding project on Kickstarter or everywhere else.

Kickstarter usually favors projects that drop from the sky and storm the 
place weapons-blazing, so to speak. It isn't for everyone.
Like for example this, the Krita open source painting software (this is 
the third round they get decent founding for yearly development on 
You can see that they posted lots of content about what they would do, 
and also stretch goals and whatever, and used many images too, big 
goals, great hopes, hype everywhere. This helps attract attention and 
donations in a relatively short time.

For example, kickstarter has "stretch goals", goals that unlock more 
features beyond the one for the main goal. You might add that for every 
XXX$ money sent you will be able to devote another weekend or something 
to look at it or whatever. So you can keep people motivated in sending 

For your need to keep the overhead low for a potential next run, I'd 
personally recommend to look at the Patreon site instead. 
It is a crowd-funding site born in 2013 for paying artists (and is quite 
big in this), but is also being used by software developers.

The main difference with kickstarter is that its main concept is 
allowing (many) people to set up a (relatively small) monthly donation 
and become "patrons" of an artist (kinda like in the old times where 
artists were hosts of a single rich patron, notice the similarity with 
"Patreon" name of the site). It thus requires less fanfare than 
Kickstarter, but regular updates are still good.

I'd like to cite as an example of "using Patreon right" Kent Overstreet 
(he made bcache, currently in mainline linux and also in production use) 
that is using it to get some support for his next project, bcachefs 
As you see he is getting around 870$ a month, which isn't that bad, but 
of course it's not anywhere near top pay for his skills.

As a last point, I'd like to repeat what I said in the mail you 
responded to. Every now and then it's good to send a mail to the main 
open source news sites with updates or whatnot so they can post a news 
article about you and attract some attention (and donations/patrons) on 
your project.


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