Bountysource Campaign and Development Update

Jul 22, 2015 • Michael Spencer

As many of you may have noticed, our Bountysource campaign disappeared recently. This was because our campaign unfortunately received a large amount of continuing fraudulent funding, and Bountysource had to close the campaign while they investigated the issue. At the time of closing the campaign, we 77 supporters funding us with over $3000 per month, including both real supporters and fraudulent activity. After investigating the issue, Bountsource found that of the 77 supporters, only 15 of them were real supporters funding us with real money. This brings our monthly funding down to $134 per month, in addition to direct funding on Bountsource and bug bounties on specific bugs. According to the person I spoke with at Bountysource, Papyros is the only Salt campaign that has had fraudulent activity on it.

So, why did this happen? Honestly, I don’t know. All that this has done is hurt Papyros and Bountysource. However, I suspect that this was a twisted attempt (and an illegal one) to help Papyros by making it look popular and well funding, with the hopes that that would cause more people to help fund it with real money. Even if this is the case, it doesn’t make what was done right; the end never justifies using wrong means to achieve that end, and this fraudulent activity was both morally and legally wrong.

While this news had been very disappointing, I want to say thank you so much to the 15 monthly supporters who actually were real sponsors, and to the many people who have contributed funding via Paypal and one-time donations on Bountysource. You support has been much appreciated!

The person I spoke to at Bountysource said we can open up the campaign again as long as this doesn’t happen again, but this event has left me with a bad taste in my mouth, so for now, we won’t be reopening the campaign or pursuing similar options such as Patreon, though we may try again in the future to fund the development of Papyros with continual funding.

Development Update

In addition to the news about our Bountysource campaign, I’d also like to give a brief update of where we are with progress on Papyros and the desktop shell.

Our goal for the first release of the Papyros desktop shell was July 1st. As is obvious, we did not meet that goal. There are some issues remaining in the desktop shell as well as several major bugs in Green Island that we are waiting on. We also were waiting for Qt 5.5 to land in the Arch repository, which it did within the past week or so.

I found out about the fraudulent activity on Bountysource Salt at about the time of our intended release date for the desktop shell, and after hearing the bad news and after working hard for close to six months on Papyros, I needed a break to prevent getting burned out and to focus on college studies for a while. So I’ve taken a break from most of Papyros-related stuff since then. As a result, there has been no progress since the start of the month on finishing the remaining issues in the desktop shell or on working on any of the other projects of Papyros. However, other developers have continued to work on Papyros and there are many new merge requests waiting for me to review.

I am beginning to pick up development again, though it will continue to only be a spare-time activity, with an hour or two in the evenings and time on Saturday. I’ll review all the open pull requests, update our packages in the Papyros repository, and jump back into finishing up the remaining bugs before the first release of the desktop shell.