Announcing the ECF Web 3.0 Infrastructure Fund Pilot Program
The most overlooked yet perennially difficult part of any open-source software lifecycle is maintenance.
This is described in more colorful terms in the excellent A Bitter Guide To Open Source — in case you haven’t yet come across the article, please take a moment to dig in. It does a great job of explaining in the best way possible, and important since we should all be more mindfully aware of the state of open-source.
The software maintenance issue holds true even still for the web3 ecosystem, where great new projects are started every day, yet existing projects that are popular in the community often don’t get the attention they deserve.
This should come as no surprise. Maintenance work of responding to the community, squashing new bugs, and building out requested features is a lot of hard work, and often a task that goes unnoticed.
In fact, when you think about it, it’s almost outrageous we’re not more aware of this issue and not encouraging devs to continue with maintenance tasks. So the ECF + Gitcoin, as a community, decided to help contribute in order to tackle this issue, together.
The ECF + Gitcoin Pilot Study
ECF + Gitcoin will conduct a pilot study to help address this issue through the ECF Web 3.0 Infrastructure Fund Pilot Program. 5,000 Dai (equivalent to $5,000 USD) has been allocated for Gitcoin bounties on Ethereum projects, specifically for GitHub maintenance issues appropriate for external contribution across the ecosystem.
This is a mechanism to speed up development in existing projects in web3, and bring new developers into the fold. The Gitcoin platform is a perfect fit for this initiative, as it has an active development community, with new bounties, on average, getting picked up in around 2 hours and completed in about 2 weeks.
This pilot study is intended to use incentives to tip the balance in the web3 community, from requesting new functionality on existing projects via feature requests, to delivering more functionality by valued contributors via pull requests. Here are some examples.
Examples of Successful Bounties
Some ideal GitHub issues to incentivize include well-documented:
- Long-standing features requested by a large portion of the community. Some successful features funded via Gitcoin include SSS-Wasm Project, uPort, the Balance + Dharma Integration, and the Augur + TREZOR Integration.
- Bugs of any and all kinds. Some great squashed bug examples can be found on Ethereum’s Solidity repo, Ethereum’s Sharding, or CPP Ethereum.
- Increasing test coverage of the project on GiraffeTools and Bounties Network.
- And finally, documentation, as shown on Solidity and Metamask.
Are you a repo maintainer interested in being a part of this pilot study?
To apply, please submit your project here with a link to your web3 repo, a short description of the project, and a few GitHub issues that you think would be good candidates to incentivize. Bonus points will go to repos that also include what they consider appropriate pricing for these issues (here’s a guide on how to price these bounties).
All repos within the web3 are encouraged to apply, but special consideration will be given to those most actively used by the community and do not currently have more established funding. This is an initial pilot study, and the results here will help determine further efforts in this area.
If the pilot study is successful, ECF will allocate more funds to this program for further support. Good luck, we’ll be following closely ;)
What about documentation?
Ah, the big pink elephant in the room. We are also considering this, since it’s one of our most pressing needs. Stay tuned!