What would a full-time developer do for F-Droid?

Wishful Thinking

I’m wholly dependent on F-Droid for all my mobile app needs. I also have the not-so-secret desire to push F-Droid as a more viable alternative to Google/Apple “app stores”. This is the gateway “drug”, so to speak, to get the wider population into using free mobile software.

In order to scope out viability of this thought, I need to gather some requirements.


Assume one contract, full-time developer. My thought is to point a dev at a few gitlab repos and have them write code, resolve issues, review merge requests, and generally further the project along. For example, crank away on fdroidclient, fdroidserver, or “packaging requests”.

Assume all remote work, they could live anywhere in the world, and a fair market rate for the skill set. Also assume payment in local currency and I carry the currency risk, unless you want to be paid in USD.

The Questions

  1. what would they work on?
  2. is there full-time (40h/wk) dev work?
  3. is this what F-Droid needs?
  4. How much would such a person cost weekly or monthly?

Open to thoughts and suggestions for making something like this work over the next 3-12 months. Thanks for reading and responding.


What would a full-time developer do for F-Droid?

They would blow the budget, unless they work for much less pay than “first world” averages. If you look at the F-Droid donation sites, and the couple documented labor payments, you see this operation is nothing like Archive dot org or Wikipedia, or Guardian/Tor Projects, or CalyxOS, FSF, or … in terms of budget, fundraising or payroll.

is this what F-Droid needs?

Other, more “successful” semi-volunteer, “non-profit” operations put more emphasis on fundraising and professional operation, so maybe so.

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Probably what F-Droid needs to succeed is desireable exclusive content. So, in that respect, F-Droid needs app developers that make good content so people can say to their friends “hey where’d you get that sweet app?” and their friends can say “F-Droid of course.”

That’s how the Epic Game Store nudged their way into Steam’s market territory; they offered game studios truck loads of cash to make their games exclusive to the Epic Game Store for a period of time. I think some developers even delisted on Steam in favor of being Epic exclusives. Worked pretty well too.

Like Epic we could try offering apps for free from time to time, too.


I think we should go the other way, sell I Am Rich through F-droid! :wink:

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Yeah, but unlike Steam most of the apps on Google Play are also free.

Exclusive “Open Source” content? It will be available through Play-Store very soon, I guess. A compromise can be Open Source software, that is free in F-Droid and costs some bucks in Play Store.


This is the model for OsmAnd+ and Privacy Browser, and probably more.

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As well as the applications that are part of the Simple Mobile Tools.

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I suppose if you feel that content is the wrong direction for F-Droid then you should find a different direction and take it.

Perhaps a full time programmer would be better utilized fixing that screenshot bug. Or maybe UX, F-Droid’s look and feel does seem a bit dated. The Aurora Store has a more modern look to it in my opinion.

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And Conversations.

The UI is an ever changing race. Aurora takes inspiration from Play, right?

I feel that, while evolving the UI is a good thing, we should not fret upon it continously. There are users that still like the old UI (eg. F-Droid Classic or Foxy) and you can’t ever win when the rabbit you chase has billions to lose/invest in the next UI change.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Seems rather off topic. I don’t appreciate watching to Jordan Racist Peele either.

I’m old enough to recognize all 4 icons LOL


As an F-Droid user I would appreciate if there was funding for the following:

  • Update the code of the F-Droid app to be more up-to-date with latest standards and API’s for android. Squash functionality bugs and improve security (both in apps and in server/build infrastructure).
  • I don’t know much about F-Droid’s infrastructure but I m guessing some help there may be needed (meaning resources or sys admin time).
  • New features. I m not close enough for the community to know what the core team would like. Hence go easy to me if you think the two above are too bad.
    1. As a user I 'd like to see the API level an app targets (because F-droid has some really old apps). It’s not more technical than looking at where the source code is but it is useful information regarding which of the Android OS security guarantees the app uses.
    2. Try something like what the elementary OS team uses for their app store to get revenue? It would need some research first but that would be help make the ecosystem more healthy if it could happen.
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https://f-droid.org/en/donate/ is always open :slight_smile:

I know, this was more of a reply to @deimos

P.S. I also forgot about reproducible builds which I remember being a focus on older updates.

As a prerequisite step, you might inquire with the principals (owners, operators) of the f-droid.org infrastructure to determine whether a contracted “outsider” can, or would, be entrusted to tinker with the infrastructure. Is a staging server available? Would a testbed “sans signing keys” be available for use by the contractor?

desire to push F-Droid as a more viable alternative

Realistically, based on the track record (pace of incremental improvements to date) for this project… are you facing the task of “attempting to PUSH a string”?