Frequently Asked Questions

If you are new to FOSS Factory, please read the System Overview.
For a high-level introduction, see Why we need FOSS Factory.

1. If the project is fulfilled, who can download the solution?

All final solutions on FOSS Factory are free/open source software (FOSS), and freely downloadable by anyone.

2. Why should I sponsor projects?

There are many good reasons to sponsor projects. Here are a few:

  1. Free software development is a noble cause, worthy of your support.
  2. Due to developer competition, higher bounties encourage your favourite projects to be completed more quickly.
  3. Dividing your funds across subprojects gives you a degree of control over project direction.
  4. Every dollar you contribute buys you a vote for which projects should be featured on the home page.
  5. If you don't like the way a project is being run, you can use your project credits to supplant the project lead!
  6. Just for signing up as a monthly sponsor, your project credits and votes are automatically doubled.

3. How does FOSS Factory make money?

FOSS Factory deducts a 0% transaction fee whenever a bounty is paid. In the future, we may also put advertisements on the site.

4. What's up with the PayPal fees?

When transferring money into or out of our system, FOSS Factory must charge any PayPal fees to our users since the money is not part of our revenue. We do not add any fee of our own. The charge we apply is exactly what PayPal charges us.

PayPal's fees are difficult to summarize since they can vary based on the payment type, the payer or payee's account types, their volume or transaction history, and the currency of the payment. In general, we have found the rates to be quite reasonable.

PayPal's official pricing can be found on their website. The website provides a calculator that may help you estimate the fees that may apply to your transaction.

5. What is the role of the project lead?

  1. To passively direct the project by dividing up the bounty among subprojects.
  2. To maintain the official project requirements by accepting or rejecting change proposals.
  3. To decide when the project has been completed, and trigger the payout.

Note that every action of the project lead is subject to scrutiny and possibly arbitration.

6. Why is there a cool-off period before bounties are paid out?

There are two important reasons. First, it gives participants time to assess the situation and to decide whether they think the payout is fair. During this period, participants can file complaints if necessary.

The second reason is that it provides a little bit more time for users to assess the stability of the code. If any major bugs are reported, the project lead can halt the pay-out.

7. If a solution is submitted, then a better one is submitted a few minutes later, shouldn't the second submission get the bounty?

That wouldn't be fair to the first submitter. The decision of which code is "better" can be extremely subjective; such a decision in the hands of the project lead would leave far too much room for abuse.

To avoid shoddy code, it's important to outline quality standards in the project requirements. That way, low-quality submissions will fail to satisfy the requirements, and can be rejected on that basis.

8. I'm not happy with the project lead. What are my options?

You have several options.

  1. You can file a complaint. The decision of the arbiters is final. This will only do you good if you have a genuine case.
  2. If you (or you and your friends collectively) have more project credits than the project lead, then you may supplant the project lead.
  3. You can fork the project. Note that the forked project will start off with no bounty. But if you have enough support, you might convince some of the sponsors to move their bounty over to the forked project.

9. Isn't it overkill to remove the project lead after a single missed deadline?

Removal of the project lead is intended as a way of keeping the project moving, not as a way of punishing the lead. It means that if the lead becomes busy with other things in life, somebody else can quickly step in and fill the role. In many cases, the original lead can reclaim the position later.

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