Unified decentralized donation framework

I’m sorry about the pretentious title, but it somehow reflects something I lack since I started donating to foss devs here and there.
This title came to my mind as I watched the following video about a new feature on Brave browser:

In summary, what this new feature brings to Brave users is the possibility of

  1. earn some money by choosing what adds you may want to see;
  2. spend that money on sites you want to contribute.

What I’m interested in is #2.
This concept could be well adapted into an app that would track all software you’re using and at what rate, then automatically donate to their respective devs based on the use rate, from a wallet that should be filled in by me from time to time.
On the dev side, he/she would have to opt in the app to be able to receive donations from people through that app.
The whole point in my mind is that 1) today it’s rather confusing to me to keep track of all donations I do and, 2) it’s kind of unfair that I choose one, two or three devs to send money, when I profit from software from so many other people.
With this concept / app in place, the app would coordinate the donations and all I would have to do is fill in the bucket from time to time.
What do you think?

Unified because it centralizes all apps I use.
Decentralized because it’s done locally on my computer, and the match between the apps with devs could be done in a p2p way, to avoid the need of a central server.

Sending money to dedicated develpors imho is suboptimal. Donate to projects (software) you use is the right way. Just my two cents.


The motivation for your idea is very nice. However, I have to say that the idea of adding anything that tracks the software I use gets a hard no from me.

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Tracking is taboo nowadays. It won’t stick. Patreon (subscription) and Humble Bundle (pay what / who you want) forms of donations are more acceptable.

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Check the wikipedia page on the brave browser for some problems with their model. They also “collect” money for people who dont want to do business with them. so they might indirectly monetize your content even though you dont want it.

Maybe I rang the wrong bell when I used the word tracking instead of application collection or inventory, something that is already given when, for example, you go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs in WIndows, or issue apt list --installed in Debian. This doesn’t sound like a potential breach or a privacy issue to me.
@darix I really didn’t get excited about this new browser, I just forked the concept :slightly_smiling_face: Before reading the Wiki entry (thanks for bringing that, though), I had already decided to not giving it a try

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This is just my uninformed opinion. I haven’t tried any of this before.

I guess with this hypothetical app, you could keep the time spent private and have it only determine how much to put into your favourite dev’s coffers.

I am still iffy about it since you would still be exchanging info one way or another to complete the transaction. Pulls out my favourite self-made tag #blockchain.

Personally, I would use one of the apps that keep track of your productivity, note the time spent every month and go through the regular donation or e-transfer channels.


I wouldn’t be exchanging info with anyone. The only thing I would be exchanging with the outside world would be currency transfers to the projects/devs, where the amount each one receives would have been previously (and locally) determined by the program running in my computer. In my case where I run Ubuntu, the monthly payment would be split among
Linux Foundation (?), Canonical (?), The Gnome Foundation, Apache Software Foundation, The Internet Systems Foundation (bind9), Chromium.org, curl, darktable, dcraw, python.org, enblend, ffmpeg Project, Mozilla Foundation, gimp Project, gmic, imagemagick.org, kdenlive.org, keepassx.org, gstreamer.org, gtk project, QT Project, The Document Foundation (LibreOffice), openssh Project, VideoLan Organization (vlc), Luminance HDR Project, minidlna (ReadyMedia) developer, nmap.org, nodejs.org, perl.org, php development team, pidgin Project, python.org, remmina Project, samba.org, Siril, tcpdump.org, transmission Project, ruby.org, zenmap.org, Rawtherapee, Photoflow to name a few.

Considering the list of developers/projects I listed above and that I would like to donate to, it would be a task impossible to manage. Thus the need for a tool that does the inventory and manages donation rules, like how much each one will receive, from what monthly amount.

I fully agree on this - that way the project can develop a consensus on what to optimally spend the money on.

The reality is that the chances of donations amounting to anything that can remotely compete with the salary of employment (e.g. a living wage) are slim to none. As a result, they’re most effectively used for infrastructure:

  1. Hosting costs - this is the #1 cost for most open source projects. It’s a bit better given how generous github is, but it’s still an issue.
  2. Possibly equipment costs. I have mixed feelings on this, I’ve seen it abused too many times by unscrupulous developers. It also often causes donators to have expectations that the equipment be used a certain amount, when in reality the developer’s free time is the bottleneck. At least in this community, I’d see calibration/profiling equipment likely being the best candidate here.

By far, in many cases, the best donation a user can make is time - working on the documentation, spending more time collecting data and providing detailed bug reports that don’t require a huge amount of time on the developer’s part to understand, etc.

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