LinuxMCE Forums

General => Users => Topic started by: tschak909 on September 04, 2013, 07:15:56 pm

Title: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on September 04, 2013, 07:15:56 pm
Hi.

I am starting this thread to gauge interest, and promote discussion.

If I were to start a KickStarter campaign, to fund $50,000, for me to work wholly on LinuxMCE for a year, would there be enough interest? You know me. You know what I can do. What are your thoughts?

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: davegravy on September 04, 2013, 07:22:36 pm
I'd be interested. Any initial thoughts on how you would structure it? 
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: CentralMedia on September 04, 2013, 07:24:38 pm
Do you have a paypal account, I would give $100, not much but what I can afford at present
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on September 04, 2013, 07:43:22 pm
@centralmedia: Yes, thom.cherryhomes@gmail.com

@davegravy: First thought would be very simple, focus on a triad of three major features, get those implemented. Move onto another three if time allows.

I would be working 8 or more hours a day, to implement these features, with a status report on forum at the end of the week, as well as time sheet.

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: _if_ on September 04, 2013, 08:59:55 pm
good idea, you can count me in as well for say 100€.

still it's hard to find 500 people which want to give 100$ because lmce is pretty much a niche product (somehow). maybe you can get more interest if you offer different stages where you then get LMCE tshirts or things like that.  ???

IF
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on September 04, 2013, 09:01:40 pm
I'll do whatever you guys want, I am looking for something I can stably do for the next year (until certain finances kick in), without having to constantly beg and grovel for contracts.

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: bherbie on September 04, 2013, 09:04:13 pm
A full time developer?  Count me in!  Are you planning on setting up something like kickstarter.com to track the pledges or just have us send money in to your PayPal account?

- herb
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: WhateverFits on September 05, 2013, 07:12:25 pm
I'd support a Kickstarter. I would LOVE to be able to fund a full time developer on this project. I don't have an extra $50K lying around but I'll definitely put up something! :)
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on September 05, 2013, 07:24:07 pm
Yes, I am looking at something like Kickstarter, but I am trying to find out whether it would be possible to meet a goal, and if so, how much, so I could budget the appropriate amount of time...

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: ggmce on September 05, 2013, 10:38:32 pm
Count me in as interested, I think this is a great idea. One thought as you budget this out; money for graphic design of the interface?

Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: ardirtbiker on September 06, 2013, 12:16:32 am
I am willing to contribute to this as well.

Dennis
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: WhateverFits on September 06, 2013, 05:59:21 am
Set a relatively low goal with a bunch of stretch goals. $50k might be hard to reach, but $15K might be easier with $5K stretch goals of specific types of enhancements added in. $15K will give you a few months of full time pay at that rate and each stretch goal gives another month. Configure your features list such that you can break it down into about three weeks worth of work for the $5K giving a bonus week to you to work on items that are necessary but not worth listing as a stretch goal item (bug fixing, refactoring, cleanups, documentation, etc.). Set up some corporate sponsorship levels as well as individual levels.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on September 06, 2013, 06:04:53 am
Thank you. You've given me a lot to think about.

It would be nice to do this for even...6 months... to get off the contractor treadmill, for even a little while (right now, I am getting the very short end of the stick....or the long end, depending on how you look at it...), you guys have no idea just how badly I would love to work on LinuxMCE, 24-7-365! I know precisely what needs to be done, and how, I just need to be able to do so.

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: jamo on September 06, 2013, 10:17:57 am
Hi.

I am starting this thread to gauge interest, and promote discussion.

If I were to start a KickStarter campaign, to fund $50,000, for me to work wholly on LinuxMCE for a year, would there be enough interest? You know me. You know what I can do. What are your thoughts?

-Thom
Thom, I think it's a great idea and I'd like to see it happen.
Also can't add a packet (my currency is fast becoming worthless) but will definitely contribute.

The tricky thing will be deciding what to focus on. You will obviously have ideas yourself but everyone else (esp those contributing) will have lots of input too and it might be tricky getting consensus. Do you only take suggestions from contributors? Does the size of the contribution affect the weight of the suggestion? Tricky, but not impossible I'm sure.
Regarding focus - I would add the high-level and rather generic comment that whatever is focussed on should be something that can broaden the user base as much as possible... because more users equals more potential funding, more pressure we can exert on hardware suppliers to comply etc etc. More clout in general. Identifying those things and agreeing on them is another story ;-)
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Esperanto on September 06, 2013, 09:39:53 pm
My suggestion is to first start a thread here on lmce: make some suggestions with what you would do/make (and an estimate how much time/money each item costs). Then others can add suggestions/requests. Then you can put those on as pledges, do the ones that get fully funded and decide on the rest yourself....

I am not sure what is a normal fee (you probably get more normally) but I would aim lower. There must be a lot of people who would love to make $50k a year, especially coding for lmce. If you don't make a lot and someone else asks more for work they love to do it might prevent them to give. For some it might give the wrong feeling... just my 2c.

good luck!
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on September 07, 2013, 12:38:42 am
I nominally make a lot more than that, per year, yes. This would be a pay cut to do what I love, and to give back to all of you, 24-7.

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Farmboy on September 07, 2013, 01:18:18 am
I'd kick in a $100
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Crumble on September 08, 2013, 10:30:20 am
Maybe you could find people that want extravagant smart home setups.  Let them pay you to build it from the ground up(most rich people love having things they think nobody else does).  Then give it to us for free :)  Then you could have support funding and people asking you questions about stuff all the time and get payed for it(lackies doing most of the work, ME! ME!).  User error is the biggest money maker.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: G.I.R. on September 08, 2013, 05:47:37 pm
+ 100$
great project!
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: davegravy on September 09, 2013, 02:35:16 am
Maybe you could find people that want extravagant smart home setups.  Let them pay you to build it from the ground up(most rich people love having things they think nobody else does).  Then give it to us for free :)  Then you could have support funding and people asking you questions about stuff all the time and get payed for it(lackies doing most of the work, ME! ME!).  User error is the biggest money maker.

Installers who use Crestron and AMX already have the rich market cornered.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on September 09, 2013, 02:39:16 am
Pretty much, and aligning with builders and or architects and or realtors is a no-pass, because "We are never sure what the customer actually wants, so we just punt in that area."

Trust me, I know some of you think you're reeeeallly clever with these thoughts, but I've already been through this over the last 20 or so years. ;)

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Esperanto on September 09, 2013, 10:27:14 am
My suggestion is still aim low to get everybody to support. I don't know how many lmce user there are but you could think of some kind of subscription model also (like here: http://community.ardour.org/community ).

I am sure everybody would love to have you 24/7 on lmce and everybody is willing to spend a few bucks on a better system. However I think it needs to be clear what gets done.

Did you also discuss with dianemo/totallymaxed? I assume they also are willing to pay a few bucks on a regular basis to get you coding 24/7 on lmce. That would also boost their product......
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: davegravy on September 09, 2013, 05:42:56 pm
A couple thoughts:

1) In the ~5 years I've been following this project I've seen a LOT of faces come and go. I don't know if these are mostly people that get their systems running and the cast off until they hit a problem and come back for help, or mostly people who get frustrated and leave. I don't know what the distribution is.

But it's possible that the number of users that would support such a campaign is larger than the active number of users currently on this forum - IF you can somehow reach them.

2) Pitch the campaign not as a list of upgrades to the existing system but as a Full Software Solution. The current LMCE version would be referred to as a "proof of concept" (although internally the team knows it is so much more). This would make the campaign palatable to people that haven't ever HEARD of LMCE (i.e an audience that's orders of magnitude larger than the current community).
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: deepB on September 09, 2013, 06:28:41 pm
I would be happy to chime in.

but I guess it would be a good idea to start by making a roadmap. To see what would really be done. Or am I just to blind to find it?

Best regards
Daniel
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Crumble on September 10, 2013, 12:13:44 pm
One of the things i have noticed with LMCE.  If i mention the distro to someone i do not know, but the topic of linux comes up.  They will ask me right away "you must be a big linux buff?".  That tells me two things.  People who are interested in linux find this distro advanced.  They are aware of it and A. did not have the time or inclination to use it.  B.  found the whole concept too complex.  C. lazy.  Lets face it, if  you know linux and dont use this distro, why!  It is fun, super useful, and can be a great hobby and learning experience.  My reasoning is the documentation is lacking.  I remember when I started using LMCE, there were like 15 articles on each problem that arose for me.  There are WAY fewer issues these days but the documentation is just not there like it used to be. Perfect example, vdpau.  If I am setting up an nvidia card where do i put my vdpau settings.  Was easy to find that vdpau was an option for LMCE but finding where to set it for a newbie would take a while.  Then if you read about nvidia cards the new drivers are made to work best with opengl for hardware acceleration.  So opengl and vdpau for deinterlace seem to work best for me(I will document this, just figured it out).  My point is, us as users need to start documenting everything we learn about LMCE(as you would to a beginner of linux).  I think this will help the community grow tremendously.  Then guru's like tschack can do what they love, and we all benefit.  Tschack I will throw in a hundred bucks.  I will promote this thread around different forums for ya too.  See a lot of LMCE users on forums like smarthome.com and such.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Esperanto on September 10, 2013, 01:44:15 pm
Both davegravy and Crumble make some good points there which makes me wonder:

- How much work would it be to get totally rid of Pluto and have lmce GPLed or is that still lightyears away?

That would be valuable for all parties. I think the clarity will help a lot. We might get more interest from companies and it would be easier to sell complete systems. (you might even consider offering that in the kickstarter). That would actually make sense. If you can supply a relatively cheap out of the box pnp experience the target group would be much larger. The cheaper the hardware (as long as it does properly what it needs to do) the more people can contribute to the software(development).
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: posde on September 10, 2013, 02:11:31 pm
Do I think that having Thom dedicate his worktime on LinuxMCE for a year? Absolutely. Do I think that a kickstarter campaign will attract even 10% of Thom's desired goal? Not in a million years.

Let's face it: The people who are using LinuxMCE these days are mainly cheapskates. They use it cause it is free as in beer. Some are here, cause they think they can make a quick buck out of it for clients.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Esperanto on September 10, 2013, 02:51:22 pm
Let's face it: The people who are using LinuxMCE these days are mainly cheapskates. They use it cause it is free as in beer. Some are here, cause they think they can make a quick buck out of it for clients.

hence my suggestion to attract more people willing to spend some money on the software.

Regarding the current users: how many active installs are there? Is that visible in the statistics somewhere?
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: davegravy on September 11, 2013, 12:04:33 am
Do I think that having Thom dedicate his worktime on LinuxMCE for a year? Absolutely. Do I think that a kickstarter campaign will attract even 10% of Thom's desired goal? Not in a million years.

Let's face it: The people who are using LinuxMCE these days are mainly cheapskates. They use it cause it is free as in beer. Some are here, cause they think they can make a quick buck out of it for clients.

But many of those same cheapskates I bet would pay for a commercial closed source product (IF it existed) with all the polish and finesse that companies with capital could develop. Pluto was ahead of it's time. I think the potential for something like LinuxMCE has grown massively in the last 5 years and none of the major players have stepped in to fill it...yet.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Techstyle on September 13, 2013, 02:20:50 pm
I would love Thom to work for LMCE full time and will contribute.  Somebody mentioned a subscription model.  I would think of it more as a club membership - pledges of $100 sound great (and are) but would anybody miss $5-10 per week?

Equally, Thom has just been working on a contract for my company for the last 6-12 months that has just finished.  He did a great job, if your company has any contract work that can be done remotely, then throw him a line!!
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: purps on September 19, 2013, 09:41:28 am
*** Just playing devil's advocate here, obviously Thom working full-time on LMCE can only be awesome ***

...but speaking on behalf of the cheapskates; how would contributing towards LMCE compare to paying out for a dianemo license?

Cheers,
Matt.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Esperanto on September 19, 2013, 09:50:33 am
...but speaking on behalf of the cheapskates; how would contributing towards LMCE compare to paying out for a dianemo license?

I think the main thing is that dianemo already have a 12.04 release out with latest mythtv etc. Also people expect support when they pay and continuity. When it is clear what people will get I think they are willing to pay. Personally I don't want to pay for a dianemo license and would prefer to pay to the open source variant.....
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: purps on September 19, 2013, 01:25:51 pm
Personally, until now, I wouldn't pay for either, but if everybody was jumping on the "let's get Thom full-time on LMCE" bandwagon I think I would get involved if it were clear what the difference will be between things as they are now and how things will be then (after a year).

I am just curious as to how much it will ultimately cost and what will change exactly, vs paying for a dianemo license, something which until now I would never have considered.

Obviously I COULD just do nothing and continue to freeload while you lot all pay $100 each, but after so long using LMCE, I personally couldn't do that with a clear conscience given what I get out of this project. But there would be many others who would have no problem whatsoever doing this.

(I don't watch television, so the mythtv thing isn't a big issue for me.... THIS IS NOT A WHINGE OR A COMPLAINT, but the only thing I do have an issue with is not being able to use youtube, iPlayer etc on my mini-ITX boxes, I assume because of the 10.04/vdpau thing, and also the slow desktop speed).

I am trying to be completely honest here in the hope that it contributes to this thread.

Cheers,
Matt.

Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: david_a_dawson on September 20, 2013, 05:29:43 pm
My time is tragically limited for anything other than boostrapping a business and looking after family, so I drift in and out at random.
I do, however, have some cash that I can throw in this direction if there is somewhere to throw it and there is some tangible benefit to me doing that.

I'd be happy to commit to $100 with no further information, as I think this is a project that deserves more dev time.  I'd be interested in putting a fair amount more in too if I could have an idea of what the benefits to the roadmap could be if this goes ahead (barring the changes that are always going to happen)

Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on September 20, 2013, 05:43:57 pm
I am putting up a roadmap here:
http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/TSCHAK%27s_Roadmap

As is wiki etiquette, use the talk page, and be sure to suffix your additions to it with a mediawiki signature, please. Thanks.

p.s. a MediaWiki Signature is: --~~~~    that is, two dashes, four tildes.

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: _if_ on September 21, 2013, 11:28:38 am
By that collapse thing, is that meant you can groupe videos in the videosection? Like when I have a lot of simpsons episodes there will only show up "Simpsons" in videos and if I click on that it will show all the episodes?
If so, to me this feature would at least be worth an extra 100€. 
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on September 21, 2013, 06:57:39 pm
Yes. This is actually a _very_ difficult feature to implement properly, due to how the grid is prepared.

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: _if_ on September 22, 2013, 01:20:25 pm
maybe it would help to set up a detailled list of possible features and a rough time how long it would take to implement them. then you can divide the 50000 and you know how much money is needed for each feature.
this way everybody knows what he is spending his money on and knows what exactly he is getting for it. This may help to get people more interested.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Esperanto on September 29, 2013, 01:34:51 pm
- How much work would it be to get totally rid of Pluto and have lmce GPLed or is that still lightyears away?

Anyone?
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on September 29, 2013, 05:05:07 pm
That is at least another 5 years of work, for no benefit other than having it under an open license. That is 5 years of no forward progress. If not more.

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: bushtech on September 29, 2013, 05:13:18 pm
 ::)Thanks for clearing that up Tschak. I have often wondered.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: hari on October 09, 2013, 11:29:12 pm
Anyone?
I'm working on this with agocontrol. Sure, it still lacks a lot of linuxmce's functionality. But it is better in some areas already. We'll see in 5 years how things look like.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: Raul102801 on December 06, 2013, 08:14:11 pm
Are you familiar with GNS3 crowdfunding they just did this past week? they raised over $300K from contributions from users and I really liked the way they structured things. Basically they had a list of goals and said how much they needed to raise to accomplish each of those goals. They aimed for $35K and ended up raising almost ten times more.
I participated with $75 and as a novice Linuxmce user, I would definitely donate $100-$200 to help improve the product. I have donated in the past for developers to purchase some test equipment and would gladly donate again.

Maybe a similar approach to what GNS3 has done to raise funds might work for Linuxmce as well. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: tschak909 on December 21, 2013, 04:31:34 am
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/webee-the-real-smart-home <-- now i feel _really_ depressed :(

-Thom
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: posde on December 21, 2013, 12:26:15 pm
You shouldn't. So much in that video and description is NOT easily achieved. It is a typical HA system promotion video. Basically the same video had been used a gazillion years ago for any other HA system. The only exception is the frontend. But the backend doesn't work like that. My coffee maker doesn't automatically starts making coffee when it receives power. My washing machine doesn't automatically start a washing job when it receives power. What does that mean for HA?

I have to have specific HA-aware home appliances. And, afaik, there are very few appliances that are (btw: most are connected to a KNX system...). What does that mean for weebee and stuff? You will be able to control lights, drapes and send legacy AV devices some control codes.

The place were LinuxMCE is currently (and always has been) lacking is the UI. While it does serve its purpose, things like setting up scenarios is everything but intuitive. You can't use the user UI to setup scenarios. It is one of the major drawbacks of LinuxMCE.

The automatically setup scenarios that we have is a big plus. It would be an even bigger plus, if they could easily be amended, without fear of being reset on the next UpdateEntArea run.

So: Forget the Kleenex, and enjoy what we have. We have a system that is capable of a lot of things, and can be made even better. Let's concentrate on fullfilling Pluto's promise: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/What_Pluto_Promised and enhance it gradually with a better UI.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: _if_ on December 21, 2013, 04:11:39 pm
the best thing about that seems to be the video, all other things don't seem to be new at all. if we had a advertising video like this we could propably collect some big amount of money as well.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: twodogs on January 01, 2014, 08:28:47 pm
Do I think that having Thom dedicate his worktime on LinuxMCE for a year? Absolutely. Do I think that a kickstarter campaign will attract even 10% of Thom's desired goal? Not in a million years.

Let's face it: The people who are using LinuxMCE these days are mainly cheapskates. They use it cause it is free as in beer. Some are here, cause they think they can make a quick buck out of it for clients.

This seems a little harsh. There are many of us who are not expert programmers, but are somewhat tech savvy, who like the idea of home automation, but who can't plunk down $50-100,000 for a Crestron system. A professionally installed system is out of reach for many of us, so that puts us in DIY territory. Does that make us cheapskates? Maybe it does, so we'll go with that name. Just because a cheapskate can't pay thousands of dollars for a professionally installed system, that doesn't mean he won't pry open his wallet and give $100 to help support his DIY community. But a cheapskate expects a return on his investment, so let's discus this in a little more depth.

The LMCE community is shaped like a pyramid, with the ignorant freeloading masses at the bottom and Thom up there at the top. If we want our community to thrive, we have to reach as far down the pyramid as possible and get those freeloading cheapskates (like me) to contribute their time and money. But here's the rub. LMCE doesn't have much value to the guys at the bottom of the pyramid because they can't get it to work right. Crumble hit it right on the head when he pointed the finger at documentation.

documentation is lacking.  I remember when I started using LMCE, there were like 15 articles on each problem that arose for me.  There are WAY fewer issues these days but the documentation is just not there like it used to be. Perfect example, vdpau.  If I am setting up an nvidia card where do i put my vdpau settings.  Was easy to find that vdpau was an option for LMCE but finding where to set it for a newbie would take a while.  Then if you read about nvidia cards the new drivers are made to work best with opengl for hardware acceleration.  So opengl and vdpau for deinterlace seem to work best for me(I will document this, just figured it out).  My point is, us as users need to start documenting everything we learn about LMCE(as you would to a beginner of linux).  I think this will help the community grow tremendously.  Then guru's like tschack can do what they love, and we all benefit.

Instead of belittling the cheapskates, we should value them and try our best to educate them. Then they stick around, they use the program, they become developers, they contribute money, and we build a thriving community. This is a cultural shift that requires the guys farther up the pyramid to put some time into documentation and making sure that the most important features are easy to use. Just sayin.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: iberium on January 01, 2014, 11:25:33 pm
Definitely the UI is the worst thing.  At least it can be edited,  although with quite a bit of work and a lot of know how.  qOrbiter will improve this exponentially.  I think the worst thing about the UI is that it doesnt support feedback or any type of advanced controls (such as sliders).  I install the expensive stuff like crestron, savant, and control4.  Thats really the only plus they have.  Crestron has an easy to use screen editor but everything has to be done from scratch (no automatic scenarios or screens),  control4 doesnt allow you to edit the screens,  and savant is just a pita to make changes to anything that was automatic and you better hope that a change you make doesn't require you to have to start over (no undo).  But even for devices that have been supported from the beginning such as HVAC,  it doesn't give you a nice UI to actually control your ac,  they are still just scenarios.  I might go ahead and attempt to make this screen,  its just coming up with an xp machine again that i can install the editor on again.
Title: Re: Kickstarter Campaign to fund a programmer?
Post by: posde on January 01, 2014, 11:41:04 pm
iberium,

why don't you go ahead and help golgoj4 with qOrbiter screens?! He has already done the hard part, now it is about filling out the blanks and getting nice screens out there.