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Sustainability

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Adam Jacob Medium

We need sustainable free and open source communities

Adam Jacob (co-founder and creator of Chef) tldr’d his ideas to create sustainable free and open source communities by saying, “we should stop focusing on how to protect the revenue models of open source companies, and instead focus on how to create sustainable communities.” He says this will lead to better software, and that it’s also better for business. In addition to this post, Adam also wrote a short book. When I say “Sustainable Open Source Community”, I mean the following: A unified body of individuals, scattered throughout a larger society, who work in support of the creation, evolution, use, and extension of free and open source software; while ensuring its longevity through meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the community of the future to meet its own needs.

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.NET github.com

It is expected that all developers become a Patron to use Fody

Here’s an interesting twist on open source funding: require all users to back the project on Open Collective, but only enforce that rule via social pressure. In other words, use an honesty policy: It is an honesty system with no code or legal enforcement. When raising an issue or a pull request, the user may be checked to ensure they are a patron, and that issue/PR may be closed without further examination. If a individual or organization has no interest in the long term sustainability of Fody, then they are legally free to ignore the honesty system. The software is MIT-licensed, so all of those liberal rules apply, but don’t expect to get your PR merged or your issue taken seriously unless you’re a patron. You must be a Patron to be a user of Fody. Contributing Pull Requests does not cancel this out. It may seem unfair to expect people both contribute PRs and also financially back this project. However it is important to remember the effort in reviewing and merging a PR is often similar to that of creating the PR. Also the project maintainers are committing to support that added code (feature or bug fix) for the life of the project. The project currently has 4 organizations and 10 individuals supporting it. What do you think those numbers will look like in 6 months or a year?

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Medium Icon Medium

Crowdsourcing the evolution of text parsing with unified

unified –for the uninitiated– is an interface for processing text with syntax trees and transforming between them. Maybe you’ve never heard of it, but you’ve probably relied on it as part of your software infrastructure: [unified] has been OSS for years, but has recently gotten more traction. It’s used in fancy technology such as MDX, Gatsby, and Prettier, and used to build things like Node’s docs, freeCodeCamp, and GitHub’s open source guide. Project’s like unified are crucial to the JavaScript ecosystem, but they’re difficult to fund and support toward sustainability. Hence, the unified collective. Today, we are pleased to announce the creation of the unified collective. It’s an effort to bring together like-minded organisations to collaboratively work on the innovation of content through seamless, interchangeable, and extendible tooling. We build parsers, transformers, and utilities so that others don’t have to worry about syntax. We make it easier for developers to develop. Let’s show these maintainers some 💚 and share this around to those who should be supporting it.

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Away from Keyboard Away from Keyboard #9

Jeremy Fuksa is a unicorn

Jeremy Fuksa has had a rough few years. After deciding to go out on his own, his third year in business was filled with anxiety. Going back to working a full-time job may sound like a failure to some, but Jeremy doesn’t look at it that way. He talks to me about his unique skill set, dealing with anxiety and depression, and how his recent experience has taught him some great lessons.

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The Changelog The Changelog #326

The insider perspective on the event-stream compromise

Adam and Jerod talk with Dominic Tarr, creator of event-stream, the IO library that made recent news as the latest malicious package in the npm registry. event-stream was turned malware, designed to target a very specific development environment and harvest account details and private keys from Bitcoin accounts. They talk through Dominic’s backstory as a prolific contributor to open source, his stance on this package, his work in open source, the sequence of events around the hack, how we can and should handle maintainer-ship of open source infrastructure over the full life-cycle of the code’s usefulness, and what some best practices are for moving forward from this kind of attack.

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Twitter Icon Twitter

"Corporate purchasing and policies make funding open source literally impossible"

This is an epic open source funding thread by @SwiftOnSecurity: Corporate purchasing and policies make funding open source Literally Impossible. Nothing’s going to change until you make them pay you.Someone filed a bug?Support contract.Someone wants a feature?Support contract.It’s literally easier to pay you $1500/yr than $25 once. Followed by: I want to donate $150 to this open source project.“Do I look like a communist? Is that what you think of me?”We need a $1.5k support contract rather than pay an on-staff developer $180k.“Okay submit their IRS W-9 and Point Of Contact for vendor management to reach out to.” That’s just the beginning. Lots to ponder if you have corporate users and you’re currently using donations as your primary source of funding.

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TechCrunch Icon TechCrunch

VMware acquires Heptio

Heptio is the startup founded by 2 of the co-founders of Kubernetes. We had been working on getting some time planned with the CEO Craig McLucki and CTO Joe Beda, but both were “unavailable” to speak. This acquisition might be one of the reasons why. From Ingrid Lunden’s coverage on TechCrunch: VMware acquires Heptio — a startup out of Seattle that was co-founded by Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie (two of the three people who co-created Kubernetes back at Google in 2014) Beda and McLuckie and their team will all be joining VMware in the transaction. More details can be found on the Heptio blog announcement. As for the terms of the deal, they “are not being disclosed.” For reference, when Heptio last raised money ($25M Series B in 2017) it was valued at $117M post-money. So, I’m estimating this deal to be in the $300M-$500M range. To Craig and Joe — first, congrats. Second, we’re still interested in talking with you. Maybe now is a better time and the details you couldn’t share before can now be more freely shared. This is an open invite, to you both! Congrats also to the team at Heptio for all the hard at work you’re doing to advance Kubernetes and cloud orchestration! What a ride the past few weeks for commercial open source in this recent wave of acquisitions.

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Business Insider Icon Business Insider

IBM is acquiring Red Hat for $34 Billion

That’s a lot of Billions attached to a company built on the back of open source Linux. To give a quick reminder, we JUST DID A SHOW with special guest Joseph Jacks titled “Venture capital meets commercial OSS” and, of course, Red Hat was mentioned several times. They’re also on the $100M+ revenue commercial open source software company index we talked about. We’ll dig into this and keep you updated on this breaking news that’s just days off the heels of Microsoft’s official acquisition announcement of GitHub. Needless to say, this has been a BIG WEEK for commercial open source software companies.

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The Changelog The Changelog #320

Venture capital meets commercial OSS

Joseph Jacks, the Founder and General Partner of OSS Capital joined the show to share his plans for funding the future generation of commercial open source software based companies. This is a growing landscape of $100M+ revenue companies ~13 years in the making that’s just now getting serious early attention and institutional backing — and we talk through many of those details with Joseph. We cover the whys and hows, why OSS now, deep details around licensing implications, and we speculate the types of open source software that makes sense for the types of investing Joseph and other plan to do.

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Away from Keyboard Away from Keyboard #8

Eryn O'Neil isn't afraid to speak her mind

Eryn O’Neil grew up in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago. When it came time for college, it was easy for her to move a few states over and go to college in a small town in Iowa. She now lives in Minneapolis, and after years of being self-employed, she just finished a months-long journey to find her next job. Eryn talks to me about being the first female engineering manager at her new company, what excites her about technology, the hurdles of married life, and staying healthy in a demanding industry.

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The Changelog The Changelog #318

A call for kindness in open source

Adam and Jerod talk to Brett Cannon, core contributor to Python and a fantastic representative of the Python community. They talked through various details surrounding a talk and blog post he wrote titled “Setting expectations for open source participation” and covered questions like: What is the the purpose of open source? How do you sustain open source? And what’s the goal? They even talked through typical scenarios in open source and how kindness and recognizing that there’s a human on the other end of every action can really go a long way.

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Brenna Heaps Tidelift

How should you use funding for your open source project?

I think the consensus agrees that sustaining open source software takes more than just money. And yet money often remains a crucial part of a larger need for open source to sustain AND thrive. So, if that’s the case…how should you use funding for your open source project? Brenna Heaps writes on the Tidelift blog: We’ve been speaking with a lot of open source maintainers about how to get paid and what that might mean for their project, and the same question keeps popping up: What do I do with the money? The tldr? Fund the project, community engagement, and pay it forward… But, it’s a short read and worth it — so go read this and then share it with your fellow maintainers.

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Joseph Jacks docs.google.com

The $100M+ revenue commercial open source software company index

Have you seen this spreadsheet of open source software companies from Joseph Jacks? The criteria to be added to the sheet is; the company generates $100M+ revenue (recurring or not) OR generate the equivalent of $25M of revenue per quarter. These companies have found a way to build a very large business around one or many open source software projects. Anyone on this index surprise you?

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Stephen O'Grady redmonk.com

Tragedy of the Commons Clause

We’ve been tracking the community’s concerns and feedback about Commons Clause fairly well. In this post, Stephen O’Grady basically writes a book on the subject and the impact of this controversial software license. …the Commons Clause turns open source software into non-open source software, according to the industry’s accepted definition of that term. Specifically it says that the terms of the original open source license notwithstanding, you may not sell software “whose value derives, entirely or substantially, from the functionality of the Software.” …there are several logical questions to explore regarding the Commons Clause. What are the drivers behind it? What does it mean for the companies that employ it and the wider industry? And lastly, is it a good idea? Set aside 20 minutes and read this if you care about how this license is becoming popular among those (Redis as of recent) who are protecting their right to generate revenue from their open source code, while removing that ability for everyone else.

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Away from Keyboard Away from Keyboard #6

Mahdi Yusuf knows being healthy is a constant struggle

Mahdi Yusuf worked a startup in his twenties and wasn’t worried too much about his health. When he quit that job, he decided to take better care of himself and lost fifty pounds. Now, he’s the CTO of Gyroscope, a startup that aims to be the operating system for the human body, but ever since joining, has gained weight back. Mahdi talks to me about how Gyroscope is trying to help people understand their bodies better, growing up with a love for computers, and trying to be healthy with a busy life.

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Away from Keyboard Away from Keyboard #5

Justin Dorfman’s passion is advocating for developers

After a very difficult 2014 that put Justin Dorfman in the hospital, he vowed to never go back. Justin has Bipolar I disorder, so coming to terms with his limitations and the sacrifices he needs to make to stay healthy hasn’t been easy. He talks to me about his early BMX dreams, his transition from engineering to marketing, and the stigma around mental health.

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Matt Klein Medium

The (broken) economics of OSS

In response to the post from Paul Dix on the misunderstandings going on around Redis and the Common Clause license — Matt Klein tweeted: Won’t defend Redis Labs, this is a dead end move, but there needs to be more recognition that the economics of OSS are fundamentally broken. In his post he starts by saying… I want to provide a long form discussion of my two Twitter threads as this topic is nuanced and quite interesting. Note: this post is heavy on opinion and light on facts/references backing up those opinions. Thus, preface everything that follows with “IMO.” Matt goes on to share some history of open source software and his opinions on modern expectations of software being free and open, startups and open source, and who pays…

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols zdnet.com

Will Commons Clause destroy open source?

There is a big debate underway over Commons Clause and its recent application to certain Redis enterprise add-ons. The Commons Clause license is open source and was drafted by Heather Meeker — whom you might remember from Request for Commits #9. This language from the license forbids the ability to sell the software (similar to the the Elastic License discussed on The Changelog #292). …the grant of rights under the License will not include, and the License does not grant to you, the right to Sell the Software. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes for ZDNet: Redis Labs has been unsuccessful in monetizing Redis, or at least not as successful as they’d like. Their executives were discovering, like the far more well-known Docker, that having a great open-source technology did not mean you’d be making millions. Redis’ solution was to embrace Commons Clause. This license forbids you from selling the software. It also states you may not host or offer consulting or support services as “a product or service whose value derives, entirely or substantially, from the functionality of the software”. I’m really curious to see how this tread plays out as more and more organizations see service providers (cloud hosting, SaaS, etc.) and consultants (support contracts, etc.) “getting rich” off of the projects they work so hard to maintain as open source, while they struggle to find a sustainable model for funding the efforts to keep the open source ship afloat.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #56

Eric Berry is funding open source with CodeFund

Eric Berry started Code Sponsor a year ago because of his passion for finding ways to sustain and fund open source developers. He ultimately had to shutdown due to potential legal issues with GitHub, but was given new life as CodeFund when he went to work for ConsenSys and Gitcoin. We talked through the backstory of this idea, why he’s so passionate about funding open source, ethical advertising, being unapologetically focused on your mission, the value of honesty and openness, and the future direction of CodeFund.

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Paul Dix InfluxData Blog

It’s time for the open source community to get real

Paul Dix shared his thoughts on the subject of Redis and the misunderstandings going on around Redis Common Clause Licensing. Paul writes on the InfluxData blog: The accusation that RedisLabs did a bait and switch is entirely unfair. They’ve been funding open source Redis development for years and that work is now and will be in the future under the liberal BSD license. It’s not like they tricked a bunch of people into using Redis and pulled the rug out from under them. I’m sure that more than 99.99% of the Redis users are completely unaffected by this. And for those others, it’s not like the code that’s already out there is unusable. To my knowledge they can’t retroactively apply the license. So we’re really only talking about forward development to specific modules (not Redis core). Paul also shares how he favors open core, and the issues he has with other models to sustain the development of open source at scale. Open core is a fairly honest way to go about developing open source software. As long as you’re clear about what is open and what is closed. Bradley Kuhn, Executive Director and President of Software Freedom Conservancy, also shared some thoughts on “Commons Clause” style licenses. Update 2018/08/24 @ 15:09 — this Twitter thread is a nice read too.

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link Icon blog.marcgravell.com

Having a serious conversation about open source

Marc Gravell: I absolutely love open source and the open source community. I love sharing ideas, being challenged by requirements and perspectives outside of my own horizon, benefitting from the contributions and wisdom of like-minded folks etc. … But: the consumers of open source (and I very much include myself in this) have become… for want of a better word: entitled. We’ve essentially reinforced that software is free (edit: I mean in the “beer” sense, not in the “Stallman” sense). That our efforts - as an open source community: have no value beyond the occasional pat on a back. I’m glad to see that as our industry matures, we’re addressing topics like these. I don’t know where to begin addressing this problem though. How do you shift the mentality of people who should start paying for things that have always been free? One thing is for sure, this isn’t sustainable. And let’s not forget, that this problem also further exacerbates the lack of developers of color who contribute to open source. Marc asks if this is a problem, and I say hell yes it is.

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Salvatore Sanfilippo antirez.com

Redis will remain BSD licensed

The rumors of Redis taking on a new Creative Common license ARE NOT true. Antirez (Salvatore Sanfilippo) writes on his personal blog: Redis is, and will remain, BSD licensed. However in the era of uncontrollable spreading of information, my attempts to provide the correct information failed, and I’m still seeing everywhere “Redis is no longer open source”. The reality is that Redis remains BSD, and actually Redis Labs did the right thing supporting my effort to keep Redis core open. Here’s what IS happening… What is happening instead is that certain Redis modules, developed inside Redis Labs, are now released under the Common Clause (using Apache license as a base license). This means that basically certain enterprise add-ons, instead of being completely closed source as they could be, will be available with a more permissive license. Here’s how Redis is licensed.

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Mike McQuaid mikemcquaid.com

"This is why people don’t contribute to your open source project"

Do you want more contributors and maintainers on your project? Mike McQuaid, maintainer of Homebrew (macOS package manager), writes on his personal blog: Here are a a few guidelines in thinking about this: Most contributors were users first (“scratching your own itch”: most people start contributing to an open source project to solve a problem they are experiencing) Most maintainers were a contributor and user first (people don’t just jump into maintaining a project without helping to build it first) Maintainers cannot do a good job without remaining a user (to maintain context, passion and empathy) Combined, these start to look a bit like a sales funnel. People have to travel through each stage and there’s a fairly hefty drop-off at each one. Also check out ~> Open source maintainers owe you nothing

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