Don't get me wrong, in general i think the gnome bounties idea is great, but i do have some concerns when it comes to ui. Take for instance bug 127522, contact search applet. According to the bounty the goal is to design "A panel applet where you can type in a search term and get matching contact cards." First of all this is a great desktop integration idea. However it is shortsighted. What the desktop really needs is a general "Open Applet". One such example is the applet that comes with the storage project. This applet aims to be a general search applet and this is what the more general goal should be. We should have one applet and only one applet to search your files, your bookmarks, your web history, your recent documents, YOUR CONTACTS, your email, your whatever. By being short sighted we are giving rise to bloat in the applet category. All of these tasks require the same ui, a text entry in which to enter a search query, and an autocompletion drop down of results.
We can even expand this ui to allow users to type in web address, or file system paths making opening web pages and folders faster. Why should you ever need to start a web browser to surf the web.