Donations are not simplified and not enough emphasized

Posted on 2009-07-24 19:56 UTC by Sébastien Gendre. Status: Under consideration, Categories: Other.

I think the donation system is not enough put forward for Free Software (Free and Open Source Software).

With some software (Free (FOSS) or no-Free), we can't propose customized features or services, in exchange for remuneration, for businesses. And some developers (principally those are not customary with philosophy of Free Software) are not make free software of this type because with their software, principally for the general public, they want to earn a little money.

Nokia will propose a service that allows users to make, with very little click, donations to the developers / teams they wish to support.

Discussion thread:


Solutions for this brainstorm


Solution #1: Propose a simple system for the user.

Posted on 2009-07-25 14:52 UTC by Sébastien Gendre.

Propose a simple system for the user.

For the user:

When the user wishes to donate to a Free Software (FOSS), they can simply click on "Donate" in the software concerned. The "Manager of donation" of Maemo start and reminder the name of the software concerned (to avoid errors). The user specifies the amount, his user name and password (probably that of and click to "Donate". It's simple ^_^.

The user can save the user name and, in addition to donations, he can write a little message of thanks to the developer.

The money has come from a virtual wallet, managed by Nokia or a non-profit association (to avoid abuse), the user can recharge in several way (credit-card, paypal, bank transfer, payment unique to his country (exemple: postfinance for Switzerland), etc ...).  As simply and quickly as possible.

Donate which will return karma points, like any other contribution.

For the developer:

To use this service for his Free Software, the developer must register with those who manage the service (Nokia for exemple) and follow the instructions to allow his software to start "Manager of donation" for Maemo with good informations.

In addition, the developer can send a message of thanks to the donor.

For Nokia:

To promote this system and to accustom users to the principle of donation, Nokia will offer a prepaid card for about 20$ with each MID (like the N900).

May also, maybe, promote the message: "No pay for obtain, but pay for support the software and thus for it continued".

Solution #2: AppStore done the Open Source way

Posted on 2009-09-03 08:33 UTC by Attila Csipa.

How about a very-cheap donation/subscription service (or maybe even a slight Nokia subvention) which lands money in a big melting pot. Now, as we know extras is centralized and we have stats about it, the money from the pot can be split across the projects proportionally (or with a predetermined formula) to their popularity in that month. That way, more serious projects get more money, there is actually an incentive to make polished end-user software. All this withoutneeding to make license or DRM compromises. Sure, given the GPL you could mirror and install from other places, but considering the extra effort I don't think it will be a significant drain if the cost to the end user is low enough (and it's made clear this is a donation to reward the best developers/projects).



- Does not influence Open Source licensing

- Encourages quality/appealing software

- More users actually mean more money

- Relatively immune to abuse

- Self-regulating



- $1 a month is still infinitely more that $0 a month

- Not 100% immune to abuse (but then, what is)



Solution #3: work together with Flattr

Posted on 2009-09-21 21:19 UTC by thomas p.

Peter Sunde is working on Flattr, a system for "social micropayments". Perhaps this would be worth looking into?

edit 13.2.2010: Flattr just entered beta stage: the concept is to pay a monthly fee by your own choosing, which gets redistributed to those that you choose as recipents. you choose to donate by clicking on a flattr button, where such is implemented. (kind of like the digg button). so the solution would be to implement flattr into maemo.


Solution #4: Put donation button into the App Manager

Posted on 2009-10-22 08:17 UTC by Martin Grimme.

People can donate simply via the application manager if the package supports it.

The application manager shows a [Donate if you like this app] button for these packages and clicking this button opens the donation website (usually paypal) in the browser.

To support donating the package maintainer simply adds the line

X-Donate-URL: https://...

to the debian control file, as we're already doing it with the Maemo-specific package icon.



Solution #5: Facilitate PayPal donations from the application's "About" dialog

Posted on 2009-10-22 08:29 UTC by Roger Browne.

Develop a standard text for use in an application's "About" dialog, and design a button to link to the developer's PayPal account for donations. Foster a culture where users of free software "expect" to see a donation button in every "About" dialog. Development teams can make their own private arrangements "behind the scenes" to share donations, to avoid the bureaucratic overheads of centralized donation management. Facilitate the use by developers of this standard solution, in a standard style, by making it available as a library (even though it's fairly trivial to implement).


Solution #6: Use the existing infrastructure.

Posted on 2009-10-22 17:50 UTC by Joseph Pingenot.

This solution has 3 parts:

1) All packages in Extras automatically get put into Ovi Store as well.

2) In the Ovi Store, applications may have a "Donate" button instead of "Purchase" for apps that so choose (Extras apps get this), and allow the user to specify an amount (common denominations, e.g. USD5, USD10, etc. in a drop-down?) when getting the software.

3) In the About: dialog, have a link to the respective Ovi page for the app where the user can donate.


(Of course, auto-syndication also means that the extras upload invite requires also setting up an Ovi Store dev account, or whatever it is. So this solution has 4 parts.)

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