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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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