Sustainable open source will stay a dream

  • Sean Tilley@lemmy.ml
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    3 months ago

    Honestly, this really resonated with me. Running an open source project on its own can be hard, running a popular one that gets used by tons of people and companies, while giving free labor, is extremely hard. Acting as free tech support to a large company, for nothing in return, is ass. Full stop.

    I’ve seen some people make the statement that “maintainers owe you nothing”, and I’ve seen people state that “your supporters owe you nothing.”

    While I believe there’s nothing wrong in a person willingly running a project on their own terms, just as there’s nothing wrong with refusing donations and doing the work out of some kind of passion… there’s only so many hours in the day, and developers need to feed themselves and pay rent.

    I think a lot of people would love to be able to work on open source full-time. I’d devote all of my energy and focus to it, if I could. But, that’s a reality only for a privileged few, and many of them still have to make compromises. The CEO and founder of Mastodon, for example, makes a pittance compared to what a corporate junior developer makes.

    • Captain Aggravated@sh.itjust.works
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      3 months ago

      This is why I’m thinking the almost religious ideal of “free to everyone for anything” is probably a mistake, because there’s a lot of FOSS software being used by corporations for evil things like shareholder profits.

      We need to start licensing things under a “free for humans, insultingly expensive for corporations” model. “My code is free for private citizens, sole proprietorships, small businesses, charities, students, etc. and $900,000,000,000 per minute per seat for any organization with stock that is traded on an exchange.”

      • Landless2029@lemmy.world
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        3 months ago

        The problem with this is loopholes.

        What’s to stop a parent company from starting a private sub company for IT needs and contract out the work?

        BAM there goes the anti stock thing.

        I say free for personal/private use but not for commercial would be a better license.

        Costs are dumb cheap for single seat but increases as seats goes up.