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Mike McQuaid mikemcquaid.com

Getting financial support from your users

Mike McQuaid shared some background on the approaches they’ve taken (and their pros and cons) to make Homebrew financially sustainable.

For predictable donations we set up the standard (at the time at least): a Patreon account. We offered nothing in exchange for donations but to told people we were an entirely volunteer-run project.

… We show users a one-time message on first install or on a Homebrew update to tell them we needed donations and where and how to do so. As soon as this message rolled out we saw a huge jump on donations eventually settling between $2500-$3000 a month on Patreon…

freeCodeCamp Icon freeCodeCamp

So long Meetup, and thanks for all the pizza

Meetup hiked their prices in a way that shifts the burden off the organizers and on to the participants. They’ve received enough blow back from this change that it wouldn’t surprise me if they adjust (or revert) course, but it may be too late. The open source community is already on the move.

This will be a self-hosted Docker image that you can one-click deploy to the cloud, then configure through an admin panel. No coding required.

Quincy and the freeCodeCamp team don’t have much more than a README and a schema right now, but objects in motion tend to stay in motion. It’s a great time to jump in and contribute. ✊

Daniele Scasciafratte daniele.tech

Contribute to open source: the right way (Free 📘)

There’s probably nothing life-changing in here for those of us deep in the open source world, but I thought this was worth sharing just in case someone in your life could use a primer on what open source is all about and how to get involved.

Have you ever wondered how the open source world exists thanks to the contribution of thousands of people all over the world? Is there a way to learn the skills to contribute at maximum, or to improve it?

Vue.js n8n.io

An "open source" alternative to Zapier

n8n (a numeronym for “nodemation”) is a node-based workflow automation tool. The reason for the square quotes around “open source” is because it has a Commons Clause attached to its Apache 2.0 license, which means you can do anything you want with the source code except make money with it. Since n8n itself is built on open source tech such as TypeScript and Vue.js, this is a nice touch by the author in the FAQ:

As n8n itself depends on and uses a lot of other Open Source projects it is only fair and in our interest to also help them. So it is planed to contribute a certain percentage of revenue/profit every month to these projects. How much exactly is not decided yet.

An "open source" alternative to Zapier

Matt Mullenweg ma.tt

Debating OSS with DHH

Want to hear two of the top leaders in open source talk about their differing philosophies on open source and the modern web?

The other week I ended up going back and forth in tweets with David Heinemeier Hansson, it wasn’t going anywhere but he graciously invited me to their podcast and we were able to expand the discussion in a way I found really refreshing and mind-opening. DHH and I have philosophies around work and open source that I believe overlap 95% or more, so…

Here’s the Twitter conversation that started this debate on the Rework podcast.

The Changelog The Changelog #364

Maintainer spotlight! Valeri Karpov

In this episode we’re shining our maintainer spotlight on Valeri Karpov. Val has been the solo maintainer of Mongoose since 2014. This episode with Val continues our maintainer spotlight series where we dig deep into the life of an open source software maintainer. We’re producing this series in partnership with Tidelift. Huge thanks to Tidelift for making this series possible.

The Changelog The Changelog #363

Nushell for the GitHub era

Jonathan Turner, Andrés Robalino, and Yehuda Katz joined the show to talk about Nushell, or just Nu for short. It’s a modern shell for the GitHub era. It’s written in Rust, and it has the backing of some of the greatest minds in open source. We talk through what it is, how it works and cool things you can do with it, why Rust, ideas for the future, and ways for the community to get involved and contribute.

TechCrunch Icon TechCrunch

Automattic raises $300 million at $3 billion valuation

This raise comes from Salesforce Ventures — and it’s another clear win for commercial open source and the future of the open web.

Funding rounds are something special for Automattic. While the company has been around for nearly 15 years, it hasn’t raised a ton of money. It closed a $160 million Series C round back in 2014 and raised little money before that.

Automattic and the WordPress open-source project have a shared history. Many people are familiar with WordPress, the most popular content management system on the planet. The company contributes to the open-source project and also runs some of the most popular services on top of that project, such as WordPress.com and the Jetpack plugin, WordPress.com VIP (which TechCrunch uses) and WooCommerce.

Here’s an interesting quote from Matt Mullenweg (Founder and CEO of Automattic)…

What we want to do is to become the operating system for the open web. We want every website, whether it’s e-commerce or anything to be powered by WordPress. And by doing so, we’ll make sure that the web can go back to being more open, more integrated and more user-centric than it would be if proprietary platforms become dominant…

Donald Fischer Opensource.com

The community-led renaissance of open source

Tidelift CEO, Donald Fischer:

Today’s generation of entrepreneurial open source creators is leaving behind the scarcity mindset that bore open core and its brethren. Instead, they’re advancing an optimistic, additive, and still practical model that adds missing commercial value on top of raw open source.

(Tidelift is a frequent sponsor of ours here at Changelog)

The Changelog The Changelog #360

Modern software is built on APIs

Abhinav Asthana (founder of Postman) joined the show to talk about Postman, an ADE — API Development Environment — that began as open source and is now a full-fledged company that just announced a $50 million dollar Series B. We talk about why Postman has grown so successfully, APIs and their impact to core business factors, what it means to be an API Development Environment (ADE), and how they created one of the most popular API platforms and community.

Bryan Bogensberger blog.npmjs.org

npm announced plans to launch an open source funding platform

Bryan Bogensberger (CEO of npm) writes on npm blog:

Over the past couple of years, we’ve observed a number of models emerging that enable a path towards sustainability for Open Source maintainers. Most notably: OpenCollective & GitHub Sponsors. We at npm are in full support of both these initiatives, and intend to collaborate further with these organizations.

Now we are ready to invite the community’s most active contributors and the biggest enterprise consumers of public open source code to a working group to finalize the platform’s definition.

Send questions/comments to funding-contributors@npmjs.com, or discuss your thoughts right here.

The Changelog The Changelog #359

Maintainer spotlight! Feross Aboukhadijeh

In this episode we’re shining our maintainer spotlight on Feross Aboukhadijeh. Feross is the creator and maintainer of 100’s of open source projects which have been downloaded 100’s of million of times each month — projects like StandardJS, BitMidi, and WebTorrent to name a few. This episode with Feross continues our maintainer spotlight series where we dig deep into the life of an open source software maintainer. We’re producing this series in partnership with Tidelift. Huge thanks to Tidelift for making this series possible.

The Changelog The Changelog #358

OSCON 2019 anthology

We’re on the expo hall floor of OSCON 2019 talking with Eric Holscher, Ali Spittel, and Hong Phuc Dang. First up, we talk to Eric about his work at Write the Docs, ethical advertising, and the Pac-Man rule at conferences. Second, we talk with Ali about her passion for teaching developers, her passion for writing, and her new found love for podcasting. Last, we talk with Hong about her work at FOSSASIA, the disconnect between America and Asia in open source, and several of the cool open source projects they have on GitHub.

Kitze Medium

GitHub stars won’t pay your rent

Kitze shared this somewhat controversial story of Sizzy — from struggling open source project to successful product launch and charging money. It’s important to hear more stories like this because not all of the roads of open source are paved with gold.

Honestly, it felt kind of shitty to delete the repository and unpin the project from my profile. I hated the feeling but I had to shrug it off. I had to convince myself that I’m not doing anything wrong. The app was serving a lot of people for 2.5 years, and I rarely got any contributions. It was time to get real and think about what matters.

Oh, here we go… I’m gonna mention the M word and lose a ton of readers at this point. Money. Money matters.

Kitze also made an appearance on JS Party #72: LIVE from React Amsterdam.

The Changelog The Changelog #355

Federating JavaScript's language commons with Entropic

We’re joined by C J Silverio, aka ceejbot on Twitter, aka 2nd hire and former CTO at npm Inc. We talk with Ceej about her recent JS Conf EU talk titled “The Economies of Open Source” where she laid our her concerns with the JavaScript language commons being owned by venture capitalists. Currently the JavaScript language commons is controlled by the npm registery, and as you may know, npm is a VC backed for profit start up. Of course we also talk with Ceej about the bomb she dropped, Entropic, at the end of that talk — a federated package registry for JavaScript C J hopes will unseat npm and free the JavaScript language commons.

Smashing Magazine Icon Smashing Magazine

Improve your JavaScript knowledge by reading source code

One of the most amazing things about Open Source is how much it enables you to learn from the best. Just open up the source for your favorite library or framework and you can start learning from the best in the business. But that can feel intimidating. This article breaks down some approaches you can use to make it easier. As author Carl Mungazi says:

Reading source code is difficult at first but as with anything, it becomes easier with time. The goal is not to understand everything but to come away with a different perspective and new knowledge. The key is to be deliberate about the entire process and intensely curious about everything.

The Changelog The Changelog #353

The war for the soul of open source

Adam Jacob (co-founder and board member of Chef) joins the show to talk about the keynote he’s giving at OSCON this week. The keynote is titled “The war for the soul of open source.” We talked about what made open source great in the first place, what went wrong, the pitfalls of open core models, licensing, and more.

By the way, we’re at OSCON this week so if you make your way to the expo hall, make sure you come by our booth and say hi.

The Changelog The Changelog #351

Maintainer spotlight! Ned Batchelder

In this episode we’re shinning our maintainer spotlight on Ned Batchelder. Ned is one of the lucky ones out there that gets to double-dip — his day job is working on open source at edX, working on the Open edX community team. Ned is also a “single maintainer” of coverage.py - a tool for measuring code coverage of Python programs. This episode with Ned kicks off the first of many in our maintainer spotlight series where we dig deep into the life of an open source software maintainer. We’re producing this series in partnership with Tidelift. Huge thanks to Tidelift for making this series possible.

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