FOSSFactory: Collaborative Free Open Source Design, Development & Funding Community

31 Aug, 2010

There is no doubt that open source movement is taking over the world, 72% web sites run on open source server Apache, wordpress the open source blogging platform based on PHP/MYSQL is the #1 blogging platform in the world. Major sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google on open source software such as PHP, Python, Ruby and Java.

FOSS stands for Free and open source software software that is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to use, study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code.

Ontario, Canada based FOSS Factory comes to help accelerate open source and FOSS development by providing a social platform for people to collaborate on design, funding, and development of new open source software.

The open source development community site helps anyone who wants get a certain software or plugg-in to be developed as an open source to post their ideas or sponsor a project/s with a certain amount of money while helping open source developers earn Cash for the open source work they do.

FOSSFactory  lists current open source projects that users added, each project has its requirements, bugs/Subprojects where developers can report bugs that can be marked completed after solving them, Sponsors a table of the current project sponsors and how much they are welling to pay. Activity: a timeline with what is happing to the project, Submissions:  where developers and designers can submit solutions.

The project view also displays current project lead, bounty, funding goal, related projects, and offers users to create subprojects, file a complaint, report a bug. And each project has a Git Repository. Users can vote projects up and “watch them” this adds them to  ”My Projects” section of the users personal workplace on FoSSFactory called “My Factory.”

My Factory includes, the users duties, his projects submitted or followed, setting and the ability to add monthly sponsorship.

Here how it works how FOSSFACTORY works:


  • Submit an idea or project:

You can submit an idea and project, specify its functional requirements and if you want you can sponsor it by offering cash bounty in return for its development. Each project can also be divided into smaller projects sub-projects with their own own requirement. This helps make the project managed by smaller tasks, anyone can submit subprojects and they can be any of type: function, class, module, library, or even a completely separate executable program.

  • Each project has a “project lead”:

The user who is responsible for keeping the project moving. his/her responsibilities include accepting/ rejecting requirements changes, review submissions and decide if they satisfy all project requirements. By default the project creator is the project lead, if that position is left vacant, any of the site members can become that person. perorate goes to members who hold the largest number of project credits.

  • Sponsorship:

You can sponsor your project or any project, by using funds in your “reserver” a virtual currency that you can transfer money using PayPal. With Each dollar you contribute you get one credit, which helps you use inorder to become a project lead or to transfer credits to other members to help them become project leads of other projects. Our suggestion is that developers should get also credits for submitting complete projects. As they can also be good project leads.

  • Payments:

In order for a developer to win the project allocated funds he/she must be the first person to provide a complete solution to the project as a single submission. The submission must satisfy all of the project requirements at the time of submission.

But there is a”cool-off period” between the submission approval and the actual payment this could be between 24 hours to 2 weeks. The purpose of this delay is to give community members a chance to assess whether the project lead has made a mistake, or even acted in bad faith. During this interval, members can file a complaint if they believe there is a problem.

As for completing a subproject, When a subproject is solved, the solver is paid the sum of any funds contributed directly to that subproject, plus its share of its parent project’s funds

FOSSFactory implemented several methods to help solve disputes in case they arise between project submissions and its approvals/dispoovales and that can be found here.

The site makes money from deducting a certain percentage from the transaction fees from all bounty payments, also a community deduction is a must whenever a project is successfully completed, as a certain % will be distributed among the top ten featured projects, or can be sent one of several open source charitable organizations.

At ArabCrunch we are big fans of open source, we would not be able to be here without it. So kudos to FOSSFactory, however we would suggest a better visual display with arrows of how the open source community development works and if it is possible to make  the process less complex.

FOSSFactory is founded by John-Paul Gignac, and Abdullah Bakhach, the startup lead investor is Steve Sutherland. The site source code is distributed under the GNU Affero General Public License and can be found here.

You can follow FOSSFACTORY on arabcrunch.net here.


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