Nepomuk Tasks – Sponsor a Bug or Feature


Thanks to a very successful fundraiser in 2011 I was able to continue working on Nepomuk and searching for new enterprise sponsoring. Sadly that search was not fruitful and in 2012 Nepomuk has become a hobby. Several people proposed to start another fundraiser or try to raise money on a monthly basis. I, however, will try to get sponsoring for specific bugs or features. Depending on their size the sponsoring goal will differ. This would allow me to keep working on Nepomuk as more than a hobby.

The Nepomuk Tasks page lists the current tasks that can be sponsored. Of course you can propose new tasks but I will try to keep the list of current tasks small. Donate to the tasks you would like to see finished, ignore the ones you do not deem important. I will simply remove tasks if there is no activity within a certain period of time. So please have a look at


The Nepomuk Tasks Page

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60 thoughts on “Nepomuk Tasks – Sponsor a Bug or Feature

  1. It strikes to me how you are the only developer in KDE trying to make money out of his hobby by fixing bugs and implementing tasks.

    If this is the way to go then kde should either get new people involved in Nepomuk or stop using it.

    • I am certainly not the only one trying to do that. There are a lot of people trying to live off KDE development. It is true that there are not many trying the donation way. This is an experiment. If it does not work then that is fine, too. The fact of the matter is simply that Nepomuk is too big a project to handle in my spare time alone.

      • Well then I guess it is just me that feels that asking money for fixing bugs is kinda sad.

        If we were talking about big features I could understand but bugs? it feels like if you sold me a broken car and now you are asking for more money to make it work, I know this is your hobby (now) but still.

        Anyway, good luck.

        • On the contrary. Big New Features are fun to program, so it usually is less of a problem to find an enthousiastic volunteer for that. Especially if you see what Nepomuk based stuff in pre-alpha has been presented on the Planet lately.

          Bug fixing, code maintainance, getting though the painful process to get stuff from almost working to it Just Works, that’s where it is much harder to work for free. IIRC, Calligra hired one of their own for some time as well – on the condition that he spent his paid time on bug fixing.

          There are definitely issues with this kind of fundraising (like if Trueg would be going to calculate his hourly wage, and get demotivated from that), but I’m wholeheartedly in favor of paying a bit for a bug fixing effort in KDE.

        • Asking money is not sad. The sad thing is that there are no other developers working on Nepomuk (such an ambitious project should have a whole bunch of developers). The sad truth about free software in general nowadays is that it is damn hard to find new developers (I see this on my own projects and on many other projects). There are plenty of happy users out there and they are nice enough to give comments and suggestions, but when you tell them that patches are welcome then the answer is always “sorry, i’m a noob, i cannot program”.

          • I’m not (majorly) interested about programming, but I got close to Free Software because of its principles and the future it can hold. I live in a “Second World” country (Chile), where the levels of IT investment are pathetic. So, I’m not interested in getting enough programming skills to directly take on Nepomuk development.

            My area of interest is completely different. I’ll get a LL.B. soon (it’s quite hard to obtain it in Chile, it can take up to 9 years, and yes, university courses are ridiculously long here) and I plan to develop myself in politics, and government areas. I think I’m not the only one here.

            So, if I won’t contribute with programming, I think giving money to the guys who CAN and ARE WILLING TO DO the work for me is the right answer. So, please, Sebastian, I, we, want to see more of this.

          • «but when you tell them that patches are welcome then the answer is always “sorry, i’m a noob, i cannot program”.»

            Oh, excuse us, mortal users who have a life and a profession appart from informatics and just can help reporting bugs, helping other users, spreading the word and sometimes suggesting ideas. I know our little contribution is nothing compared with all that hard work developers do, but guess what: persons can’t know everything about everything.
            We, doctors, should ask our patients if they are FLOSS developers and next time you come to our offices we should tell you «Hey, if you can’t provide me a better treatment you have created nor want to learn how to heal your pneumothorax by yourself, STFU and stop whining, damn “user”.»

            • Excuse me, mortal spare-time developer who has a life and a profession apart from informatics and has little time to develop. If no other mortal who has a life and a profession apart from informatics is willing to help me develop my programs, then you shouldn’t be surprised that it takes 5 years or more before the bugs that I do not see or that don’t bother me are fixed. I am very happy that users submit feature requests and bug reports (this has improved my software in several cases), but I am tired of having to program everything alone and having users who do not understand that my time is as limited as theirs.

              Your medical example is wrong: doctors have a full-time job treating people and doing research to improve their treatment and are paid heavily for that job; most FLOSS developers do the programming (and the research to improve their programming skills) in their free time and are not paid a single penny. So don’t whine when someone asks money for fixing bugs.

        • Well, to be fair, it’s more like if someone gave you an old car *for free*, and you complain that you’re the one having to pay for fixing it :-)

          I know that even though they’re often mistaken one for the other, do not forget that free software means free for the user to do (pretty much) what he pleases with it, not free to develop. You still need time and lots of efforts to do that. And usually, time is a resource that people do not have so much of…

        • Nothing sad about it. I consider it a privilige to be able to show my appriciation by donating. It appears I am not alone. What is sad is that 90% of the PC users of this world is more or less forced to pay Microsoft, or an even heftier premium to Apple, only to get inferior software. Around my parts it is almost impossible to get a PC with linux pre-installed and supported. I am willing to dig deep in my pockets to avoid a world without a vibrant free desktop available.

      • We could do this not only about nepomuk but whole KDE! There is so much little annoyances and yet no one wants to fix them – because developers are more thrilled by new features than bugs or pixel perfect layout or making things consistent across DE…

        Wikipedia is doing it so we can also but we need good webiste where people can post their ideas, vote for them and conscious dev/moderators who will accept only worthy tasks that will match master plan.

      • The only thing I’d be careful about is that, if I was in Vishesh’s shoes, I’d probably be a bit pissed off at you earning money for bug fixing and him not for other fixes.

        I work on a project where we’re volunteers but the library we use has a paid upstream, and it can be (at times) incredibly frustrating to the point that I have a lot more resentment towards helping fix upstreams bugs than if they were all volunteers too to the point that often I’m not motivated enough to bother. The same goes for some of the Plasma Active work I need to do. In a sense it’s stupid of me to get affected, but I do.

        In a sense what you’re doing is no different from other KDE devs who are paid full or part time on their jobs, if anything you probably get a lot less from it, you’re just getting more flak simply because blog posts put it a lot more “in your face” than employment.

        I just wanted to make a point that from first hand experience money (even small amounts) anywhere can have a negative effect on community.

      • Yes… Some people thinks that people doesn’t need money to eat, or something. We are Grass-folks. Go @Trueg, I sponsored last time, will do that again.

    • +500 from me. Sometimes you don’t even know where to start, or have 0 docs. Not to say that e.g. KDE code, esp. kdelibs, is heavily modularized and layered, which means that to get down to the code that actually does the job, you need to dig down a few tiers.

    • +500 from me. Sometimes you don’t even know where to start, or have 0 docs. Some bugs are unreproducible or outright “mysterious” (like those based on race conditions or uninit vars.. and so on). Though I wouldn’t necessarily say that all the bugs are 5x as difficult to fix as writing 1 feature, it’s absolutely true that you need to spend a lot of time studying unknown code, which indeed takes a lot of time.

  2. I like this way very much and its not that much that a community can not pay for something that is really good.

  3. Would you consider also adding flattr buttons to the tasks page? The only reason I haven’t deleted my PayPal account yet, is because I had a (very) small amount on it. Now I’ve used that on one of the tasks, but I would like to be able to keep on supporting your Nepomuk work – even though I can only use a small amount a month.

  4. I don’t get it (ok, I somehow do, but…) – Nepomuk/akonadi is relatively useless (IMHO) and introduces a looot of overhead to the resources yet it’s used, often it’s a hard dependency so it’s not easy to get rid of it and the funny part? it seems like you are the only one trying to make it work – bottomline: why oh why it has to be tied to the KDE so much?

    • 1) Nepomuk itself can be disabled very easily, in the System Settings.

      2) Akonadi is a completely different beast, it is an integral (non-optional) part of KDE’s PIM solution, and it needs Nepomuk as a dependency. If you don’t want it, don’t use KDE’s PIM software (Kontact, Kmail, KAddressbook…). Most distros let you easily uninstall kde-pim while keeping the rest of KDE, so you can easily have a KDE system where Akonadi won’t even be installed.

      3) What you say about Sebastian being “the only one trying to make it work” is wrong as well. There are a few other people working on Nepomuk itself,
      and many more developers who are adding Nepomuk support to their applications. And the PIM/Akonadi team is a completely separate team, afaik Sebastian Trueg is not involved there in any way.

      • “Most distros let you easily uninstall kde-pim while keeping the rest of KDE, so you can easily have a KDE system where Akonadi won’t even be installed.”

        It’s lie. Plasma clock nids Akonadi. For most distros it is not possible to uninstall Akonadi.

        “And the PIM/Akonadi team is a completely separate team, afaik Sebastian Trueg is not involved there in any way.”

        This separation is main problem. Please read Trueg topic from 2009. Three years and no visible progress.

        • “For most distros it is not possible to uninstall Akonadi.”

          Ah you’re right, it seems this has changed, it’s now also like this with my distro.

          But you should still be able to disable Akonadi by following these instructions:

          http://userbase.kde.org/Akonadi#Disabling_the_Akonadi_subsystem

          and then making sure that you never use any application (e.g. KMail) or plasmoid (e.g. the Digital Clock plasmoid) that will force Akonadi to start.

          • Simply uncheck the “show events” in clock. ;) Problem is “resource hog”. Why the idea from 2009 can’t become a reality? I hope Amarok from this year GSOC will have Nepomuk backend. The first step to unite. And no one will think to turn off Nepomuk, because it will finally be useful.

            • Have a look at bangarang.
              Amarok does not rock anymore, for me.

          • In openSUSE, “zypper rm kdebase4-workspace-plasma-calendar, kdebase4-workspace-plasma-engine-akonadi”.

            We are taking care to split our binary packages along where practical and no hard runtime dependency exists.

            • OpenSUSE and propably Gentoo is not most. ;) The main task is not to give the user the ability to remove akonadi/nepomuk, but give him good product, that user would not even think about the resignation from it. Nepomuk has history only be a burden and continuous promises that it will soon be superduper. Probably now most turn off Nepomuk, from habit. And it will be hard to convince user to try new realese.

    • @wewewe – By all means continue to use Kfind to crawl through thousands of files over 20+ minutes, one at a time by having to read from the disk directly every single time.

      Personally I find having my results pop up in seconds of huge value.

      • oh dear, poor you, having to search because you live in a mess… I don’t remember when I had to look for something on my own system – everything is perfectly organized.

      • In this case maybe _big_ fundraiser? Try to understand… yours and pim squad software is a showstopper to kde adoption in the world. Do not hesitate, we will donate. Nobody wants to wait for kde5… Tell us what should be done and stop feeding us promises.

  5. I tried to donate 40€ to the kativitymanager crashes, unfortunately this pledgie thingie tells me my credit card, which I use all the time, from paypal is not valid … any idea or other methods?

  6. I’m amazed that you are the only one trying this. This is what every FOSS developer should be trying.

    1. Identify problems.
    2. Value the work needed to solve them, and set a price for it.
    3. Let donations flow in.

    So we, users, have a clear feedback about where our money goes. Developers can live off fixing bugs on Free software and, since this, after all, is Software Libre, everyone benefits.

    BTW, how much will it cost to have fixed a pet bug of mine (when I look for a mail in KRunner, I get only the Nepomuk plain ontology page, and I can’t open the mail, a regression introduced with the KDE 4.8 line)?

  7. Good luck Sebastian! Over at the Krita project we had a fundraiser to get a dev (LukasT) fulltime bug fixing. From what I saw there was no jealousy from other devs at all, because:

    a) He was fixing stuff that no one else wanted to work on
    b) It made Krita more stable which brought more artists to Krita, so we saw sexier artwork being created and everyone got more kudo’s. (warm fuzzies all around)
    c) It meant that other devs had more time to just work on fun stuff

    I think we were all quite sad when Lukas’ paid development finished.

    Personally the one I would love to see that isn’t there is having a multiple redundant system for keeping metadata intact when files are moved outside of Nepomuk’s reach (ie transferred to a usb stick, another machine or a new install of your distro). I don’t tag my photo collection because it would be a huge amount of work that would be lost if I ever copied the files to another location. If there was something to implement sidecar files and embedding metadata in files, where possible alongside the current db storage (and sync between them), to me it would be the last piece of the puzzle that really opened Nepomuk to it’s full potential. Just an idea (that I know you’ve thought about before!) ;)

    • +1

      In a real “pledge” system, money would only be transfered to the beneficiary once the predetermined pledge goal has been reached and the beneficiary has agreed to fulfill the task associated with it — if that doesn’t happen, all pledged money would stay with its owners (or be transfered back to them from the intermediary agency that was holding it), and the pledges would expire.

      But it seems that all that this “pledgie.com” platform you’re using enables, is direct donations to the beneficiary.

      So, what will happen to tasks for which some money has been donated, but the pledgie.com goal is never reached?
      Will you discard the task and transfer back the money?
      Or discard the task and simply keep the money, i.e. interpret the system more as a free donation system (with the sponsors bearing the risk of sunken cost) rather than a regulated pledge system?
      Or do you intend to do all tasks for which at least *some* money was donated anyways, and just give the ones with less money a lesser priority?

      I guess all options are fine, I’d just like to know…

      (Personally, I think a real pledge system would be cool, but if pledgie.com does not support that, I guess there’s nothing to be done as setting up a manual solution would most likely be too much trouble…)

  8. Pingback: KDE: da miet ich mir nen “Löcherstopfer” …. ! | Lisufa' s Blog

  9. I have donated to many OSS pledges already but it’s kind of strange to do this on a single-bug level. I like the idea of donating money to fix bugs but you should do this on a larger scale, maybe on a KDE level.

    Imagine a pledge where N developers are paid for a month to fix as many KDE bugs as they can. You would get huge news coverage and looking at the pledges done by i.e. Krita or kdenlive, this would probably be a big success. Now more than ever as many people are not satisfied with the current direction Gnome and Unity are taking.

    KDE is great software but it still has many bugs in basic components (i.e. Panel) which should not exist 4 years after the release of 4.0.

    • One does not exclude the other I believe, there is nothing preventing you from organizing a more wide range KDE fundraiser. Personally, I appreciate seeing where my money goes.

  10. Pingback: Nepomuk Tasks: Let The Virtuoso Inferencing Begin | Trueg's Blog

      • Nepomuk has nothing to do with “better desktop”. Its useless feature nobody wants and everybody turns off.

        • Nobody? Everybody turns it off? That’s you, and you only.

          In the meantime, I would suggest you to upgrade your KDE. Nepomuk in 4.4 has nothing to do with Nepomuk in KDE 4.8.

          • Nepomuk in KDE 4.8 does not work at all, just like Nepomuk in KDE 4.4. So these two versions do have something in common.

    • YES!
      It would be the best action.
      nepomuk, akonadi, strigi, the whole holy shit must be in REMOVABLE packages, OPTIONAL features. If absolutely must be existing at all. Maybe the policykit crap, too…
      The system must be fast AND stable, THEN least have eyecandy, bigbrother things.

  11. Why Nepomuk (or Strigi?) indixes my external USB harddrive, though I have explicitely excluded external drives from indexing in Nepomuk settings? My USB drive is accessed hours and I only want to have indexed my build-in harddisk. I use KDE 4.11.1 with Kernel 3.11.1 now.

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