I am planning to set up a simple web site where people can offer bounties for work on FLOSS projects. Unfortunately I have no experience at web development (I am a C/C++ developer), so I was hoping someone might be able to suggest out-of-the-box packages (preferably Debian ones) I could use to build the site from.

My idea of how the site would work is to keep things as simple as possible. The person proposing a bounty would enter a description with relevant links (particularly to a bugtracker entry with the project the work is to be done on, where the real discussion and work would take place) and information and place an initial contribution. Other people would be able to add (donate, not pledge) contributions, but any discussion would take place on the project's bugtracker. I am also planning to run a mailing list rather than a forum (at least initially), so that is not a requirement. Paypal seems to me to be the handiest payment mechanism. So overall what I need is probably a simple interface with Paypal integration and a simple database backend.

I hope this is the right place for my question, if not I would be grateful for pointers to somewhere better. And of course, this is purely about the technical side, though I am more than happy to discuss other aspects of the project elsewhere.

  • I think this question deserves split attention from both stackoverflow and webmasters. I'll add my answer from webmasters pov. – Mahesh Oct 4 '11 at 10:34
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    If you want to have fun and learn a new language I would recommend looking at Rails (Ruby) or Django (Python). They are both easy to get started with and you can be productive in no time despite not knowing the programming language before. – froderik Nov 21 '11 at 21:28

I would recommend setting this up with Google Sites, and use Google Docs to handle requests, forms and lists. It requires virtually no web programming knowledge and you can set up at least a working model very quickly and easily.

  • Create a Google site. Set up some basic pages for the different tasks you want to handle.
  • Create a Google Docs Spreadsheet to handle lists of requests. You can just plug this into the homepage of your site.
  • Create a Google Docs form for people to submit requests.
  • Get yourself a Paypal account and grab a "Donate" button. Paypal offers donation buttons... not sure how you want to handle the money, but that is another issue altogether.

Once your site gets off the ground you can get more involved by programming your own apps (Google App Engine is pretty powerful and easy to learn).

  • Thanks, that looks interesting too. (So far I haven't got much done since posting this question due to a chronic lack of time. Other than investigating Wordpress and then Ruby on Rails as suggested by @froderik .) I think that the Paypal bit may prove trickiest, as I need a way of associating donations with projects, and of querying the running total. So I will probably still have to get to grips with their APIs and IPN. – michaeljt Jan 4 '12 at 9:38
  • Update: IPN seems to work with simple "Donate" buttons, and the button can have a donation ID. – michaeljt Jan 4 '12 at 9:58

I am not aware of anything that is currently in existence that would do this, which surely makes it an ideal candidate for what you are proposed - why not create one, using the model you have described but maybe just using a mailing list for everything (until the system is complete enough to support itself).

It seems like the perfect test of the model and if you can get a couple of hackers together they could fire out a minimum viable product in no time.

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