'"Let's abandon the notion that open source is exclusively charity,"
writes Havoc Pennington, a free software engineer (and former Red Hat
engineer) who's now a co-founder of Tidelift:
Look around. We do have a problem, and it's time we do something about
it.... The lack of compensation isn't just bad for individual
developers -- it also creates social problems, by amplifying existing
privilege.... The narrative around open source is that it's completely
OK -- even an expectation -- that we're all doing this for fun and
exposure; and that giant companies should get huge publicity credit
for throwing peanuts-to-them donations at a small subset of open
There's nothing wrong with doing stuff for fun and exposure, or making
donations, as an option. It becomes a problem when the free work is
expected and the donations are seen as enough... What would open
source be like if we had a professional class of independent
maintainers, constantly improving the code we all rely on?
The essay suggests some things consider, including asking people to pay for:
* Support requests
* Security audits/hardening and extremely good test coverage
* Supporting old releases
* License-metadata-annotation practices that are helpful for big
companies trying to audit the code they use, but sort of a pain in the
ass and nobody cares other than these big companies.
"Right now many users expect, and demand, that all of this will be
free. As an industry, perhaps we should push back harder on that
expectation. It's OK to set some boundaries..."
"Of course this relates to what we do at Tidelift -- the company came
out of discussions about this problem, among others... In our
day-to-day right now we're specifically striving to give subscribers a
way to pay maintainers of their application dependencies for
additional value, through the Tidelift Subscription. But we hope to
see many more efforts and discussions in this area.... [I]n between a
virtual tip jar and $100 million in funding, there's a vast solution
space to explore."'
-- source: https://news.slashdot.org/story/19/04/28/0459236
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 858-5174