Author Topic: Call for donations for features.  (Read 7829 times)

tschak909

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Call for donations for features.
« on: August 13, 2009, 07:30:02 pm »
Okay fellas.

Your fearless coder has gotta eat, he's gotta pay bills.

We had success with the Gyration 3101 support, because lots of people wanted it.

Here's the rules of the universe:

I need to be able to pay $2500 a month in expenses. All while also looking for a job. This means, roughly half of my time each day searching for jobs, half of my day working on LinuxMCE.

Most features in LinuxMCE that you guys seem to be wanting take an average of 10 hours to complete. I need 20 hours to be able to pay my expenses at my calculated rate (which takes ALL of this into account.)

Now, knowing this, This means, nominally, that assuming a $100 donation a piece, 20 people need to donate to complete a 20 hour project.

If this can't be met, I can't continue on the project.

So this means, that we need:

(1) features that most people want
(2) and are willing to pay for.

So please, don't just think of yourselves, think of what would be of benefit to most people. In the end we give this away, and in the good times, I would just be doing this for free...But I haven't had a job in 9 months, fellas. and I am at the end of my rope.

This is an honest plea for help.
-Thom

jimbodude

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2009, 08:02:58 pm »
Things I would consider paying for (some of these might be irrelevant, I'm not up to date):
- When displaying media lists, sort titles and performers starting with "The " (not case sensitive, of course) by whatever is after "The "
- When displaying the details of a certain media file with a long "synopsis" field, allow the user to read the entirety of the synopsis with either a scroll or full window.  (Currently it gets truncated)
- When importing a DVD, set the metadata to "DVD" quality.  Allow the user to select if it's a "Movie" or whatever the rest of the choices are.
- Add the ability to have separate scenarios for common media searches. (Examples: "Recorded TV", "James Bond", "Horror Movies", "Blues Tunes", etc)  I've tried to get the right sequence of commands to make this happen, but have been unable.  I'm not sure if this requires code modifications, or just a bit of documentation
- Add functionality to MythTV recorded TV playback remote for commercial skipping (I sent you the work I did on this a while back)

buckle

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2009, 08:20:37 pm »
Maybe this should also be posted in Users or Marketplace.

jimbodude

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2009, 08:28:40 pm »
Agreed - things like this belong under marketplace.

los93sol

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2009, 09:36:54 pm »
I hate to say this because I've donated a lot already to support the cause, but I think the issue with people not donating is you're charging way to much.  At $100/hr. that's quite steep, basically you're asking people to donate to pay your bills for the whole month in half a weeks work.  I don't know what the running rate for an employed programmer is these days, but surely only contract programmers are making that kind of cash and they are typically going to be funded by companies, not by individuals looking to get some support.  Again, don't get me wrong I appreciate all the work you've put in, but as someone who has donated a few times already and plans to continue donating, it is quite a steep price when in a typical month to cover the expenses you'd have in more like 160 hours instead of 25.

The ironic thing is if the rate was lower instead of donating $50 I'd be inclined to donate $100-200 for things since I'd feel like it was actually making a significant dent in the cost of feature x or feature y.  This is just something you may want to take into consideration since you're relying on the users to donate at this point.

tschak909

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2009, 09:48:43 pm »
You miss the point. I was merely citing that as an example. why do you think I made such a point of how much I needed versus how many HOURS I can allocate to working on major features versus finding other employment so that I can work on this in the long term.

I don't care if people donate $5, or $20, or $100, so long as I can make a certain minimum. If I can do that, I CAN CONTINUE WORKING ON THIS PROJECT. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.

-Thom

davegravy

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2009, 10:04:11 pm »
I'd contribute for a native iphone orbiter that works on jailbroken iphones.

I'd contribute for a UI1 orbiter with a continuous volume/lighting control (though I think I read this is a lot of work or even impractical)

I'd contribute for an improved UI for tagging media (with powerful sorting filters) which would streamline the tagging process.


krys

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2009, 10:39:56 pm »


I think projects that would benefit everyone and at the same time bring in more users which will in turn bring more interest and donations are... ( these are also projects that I would personally donate the $100 for)

1. Recompiling- xinelib (or whatever it takes) to take advantage of vdpau. This way all you need is a $30 card to be able to play HD movies flawlessly.
2. HDPVR- whatever it would take to make the HDPVR work, supposedly its functional now with MythTV trunk. In my opinion MythTV is just about useless since the very best quality a person can get is from s-video. The HDPVR encodes in x264 which would workout perfect if we have xinelib with vdpau support.
3. Pick a popular board and make it the LMCE recommended board and make it pnp. For example, the Zotac board has everything that you would need for a great media director (if we have xinelib with vdpau) and can be up and running for about $160. When someone new comes to the project and wants a board that will work right now there are too many hoops to jump through and no clear answer on what will work with LMCE.

I will stop there because we can all drone on about the little things that each of us would like to see implemented, but I think that one of the main things that will initially attract people to this project is the ability to play media, our lives seem to be centered on media now. If our project can't play HD content I think that many people will be turned off before they have a chance to see what all we have to offer.



I hate to say this because I've donated a lot already to support the cause, but I think the issue with people not donating is you're charging way to much.  At $100/hr. that's quite steep, basically you're asking people to donate to pay your bills for the whole month in half a weeks work.  I don't know what the running rate for an employed programmer is these days, but surely only contract programmers are making that kind of cash and they are typically going to be funded by companies, not by individuals looking to get some support.  Again, don't get me wrong I appreciate all the work you've put in, but as someone who has donated a few times already and plans to continue donating, it is quite a steep price when in a typical month to cover the expenses you'd have in more like 160 hours instead of 25.

The ironic thing is if the rate was lower instead of donating $50 I'd be inclined to donate $100-200 for things since I'd feel like it was actually making a significant dent in the cost of feature x or feature y.  This is just something you may want to take into consideration since you're relying on the users to donate at this point.

los93sol,
Don't forget how many hours Tschak spends on this project just as a Dev, i don't think what he charges is out of the question considering he probably does 100 hours a month dev work that most people don't ever hear about.

davegravy

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2009, 11:58:15 pm »
Well said krys. I agree with 1 and 3 especially.

los93sol

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2009, 12:19:46 am »
My point is that there are very few things people will come together for and agree on at the pricepoint of development.  If you drop the rate the total cost comes down making it more feasible for the small handful of us who do donate.  I've seen the numbers in IRC from Thom and he hasn't gotten much from donations.  That's my point, I understand your need to pay bills, but we need a lower hourly rate set ahead of time.  I don't care how many hours are spent on things that go unnoticed, Thom said it himself if it weren't for bad times he'd be doing it for free.  By the logic hours go unnoticed we should all be donating to every person contributing, that basically is Thom, Hari, Posde, JonDecker (when he was around), and a few others.  Something like a job would pay like $30/hr., are any of you making $100-175/hr?  Those are the rates that have been charged in the past here and I think that's downright fucking crazy!  If I'm all alone on this you should all be using Crestron shit and spending money like water lol.

posde

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2009, 12:33:29 am »
los93sol,

just as a price point: At the current exchange rate, people do pay me nearly 200USD an hour
* posde has no idea why, though.

There are lots of people who like LinuxMCE. Lots of people would love to have a working and running LinuxMCE system. Thom has the means to get you going. As he has proven over and over again.

People should start thinking of maybe hiring Tschak to do the full blown installs. The person paying the bill would learn a lot, while at the same time receiving a system that is perfectly tailored to whatever the person wants. I know, for most people OSS and LinuxMCE is about the initial cost. Those people don't need to apply, imho. People have a choice: Do it yourself and invest hours upon hours of time to get *SOMETHING* going, or hire someone who knows the system inside and out for a couple of grands, and get a perfect system. I have priced LinuxMCE in the past. A full blown system incl. media director, wiring, house automation (with lighting and security), phone system, can EASILY reach a price point of around 50EUR a sqm. Adding 20-30EUR a sqm for installation makes sure, that things will work.

EDIT: Note about how things compare.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 12:49:15 am by posde »

colinjones

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2009, 12:37:04 am »
I think we are getting off topic here.

Thom has posed a question/proposal - whatever individuals may think about the rates or prices - the topic is actually about getting feedback from members on what they would like to see and whether they are prepared to pay for it.

Lets stick to that point, please. I would like to see this thread a list of posts on that subject, and as minimal debate about other topics as possible. As always, if an important point comes up, it should be spawned as a new topic.

rlb2

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2009, 01:09:01 am »
Krys has it for me!

2. HDPVR- whatever it would take to make the HDPVR work, supposedly its functional now with MythTV trunk. In my opinion MythTV is just about useless since the very best quality a person can get is from s-video. The HDPVR encodes in x264 which would workout perfect if we have xinelib with vdpau support.
3. Pick a popular board and make it the LinuxMCE recommended board and make it pnp. For example, the Zotac board has everything that you would need for a great media director (if we have xinelib with vdpau) and can be up and running for about $160. When someone new comes to the project and wants a board that will work right now there are too many hoops to jump through and no clear answer on what will work with LinuxMCE.

Maybe even sell the Zotac (+VDPAU) all pre-configured for $250?  Make $40 per unit + shipping (inc Case).  I'd buy 2 at least.
Rob

uplink

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2009, 01:19:06 am »
Now, knowing this, This means, nominally, that assuming a $100 donation a piece, 20 people need to donate to complete a 20 hour project.

This can also be split up like this:
* 200 people giving $10
* 100 people giving $20
* 75 people giving $27
* 67 people giving $30
* 50 people giving $40

How many people do we have that are willing to donate a minimum of $10? How about the other figures? Not tax deductible.

In other words: how much do you spend on a night out? And can you give Thom a "night out" once a month, in cash? :) Or are you all geeks programming computers under the moon light and don't go out more than once or twice a year?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 01:33:12 am by uplink »

davegravy

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Re: Call for donations for features.
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2009, 04:54:07 am »
Quote
how much do you spend on a night out?

What's this thing called a "night out"? Come on, you're talking to a Linux crowd here :P

I'm not sure I'd hire anyone to do a full install, but if Thom is willing to do support work for money I might very well use him. As it stands he is too busy to give a full detailed answer in the IRC channel, but if one could get his undivided attention for a reasonable hourly fee I'd probably make use of that now and then.