Recently @paul said in a comment on Hacker News:
[…] we’ve built an “escrow” account […] and we hope to pay for more development work next year
So, in order to match demand and supply, what about building a bounty program on this website which funds the implementation of new features and bugfixes? I think that many freelance programmers would rather work on Ardour than other stuff. Of course, they should be paid only once the work is delivered. The bounties could be voted by the community and vetoed by the Ardour devs, who would also set the amount by estimating how many hours it would take to implement it.
So pretty much everything you mentioned was already put in place in the bug tracker for Ardour (tracker.ardour.org) and was rarely supported financially, much less actually utilized by programmers looking for work.
Technically I believe it still exists, but is pretty much abandoned at this point. A few people were paid out bounties through it, but almost never a reasonable amount for the amount of work done, and really it didn’t support things in general.
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