This week we’re talking with Pia Mancini about the latest updates to the mission of Open Collective. Earlier this year Open Collective announced “Funds for Open Source.” The idea is simple, make it easy for companies to invest in open source, and they will. Also, since recording this episode, Pia and the team at Open Collective along with Gitcoin announced fundoss.org as part of Maintainer Week announcements. And right now, they have a matching fund of $75,000 dollars funding open source that you can support.
Ryan Dahl and Bert Belder announcing the Deno Company:
In order to vigorously pursue these ideas, we have raised 4.9 million dollars of seed capital… This investment means we will have a staff of full-time expert engineers working to improving Deno. We will ensure that issues are addressed, bugs are fixed, timely releases are made; we will ensure Deno is a platform others can build on with trust.
Deno will remain MIT licensed: no open core. It appears they will commercialize through infrastructure and other offerings. Maybe deploy is the first of these?
We are on a mission to make working for an open source project a legitimate alternative to a career working for a for-profit corporation. To achieve our goal, we must remove friction between projects, the communities who support them, and the corporations who depend on their work (and can fund them)
Their entire premise is that companies would invest more in open source if it were easier for them to do so. So, they’re making it easier by introducing “funds”, which companies can set up and then give to one place instead of a dozen (or more) projects separately. And they’ve already gotten the ball rolling:
Over the last year, we’ve been quietly establishing a number of Funds, which have turned into great examples of what happens when you solve the barriers between corporations and open source projects.
Tailwind CSS creator Adam Wathan joins Jerod, Nick, & Feross for an in-depth discussion of his trending utility-first CSS framework. We cover why everyone complains about CSS, how Tailwind began and how it gained popularity, how developers use with Tailwind and integrate it into their workflows, and how Adam has managed to build a business around the project. Thanks, Bette Midler!
Until yesterday, I was still clinging to a few shreds of romantic optimism about open source software businesses. Mapbox is the protagonist of a story I’ve told myself and others countless times. It’s a seductive tale about the incredible, counterintuitive concept of the “open core” business model for software companies.
We’ve discussed the challenges with open core on many occasions (this episode of The Changelog on Nextcloud immediately comes to mind), but most of those conversations center around the tension of balancing commercial and open source interests. This Mapbox open core story, on the other hand, has a different villain:
Today, we’re gathered here on the internet to mourn the death of the open core business model. We’re here to tell stories of the before-times, to reminisce about how smart we thought we were. We went against consensus, and we were wrong. Because, open core is dead.
Cloud killed open core.
A sad, but unsurprising day:
Growl is being retired after surviving for 17 years. With the announcement of Apple’s new hardware platform, a general shift of developers to Apple’s notification system, and a lack of obvious ways to improve Growl beyond what it is and has been, we’re announcing the retirement of Growl as of today.
Growl is one of the reasons I originally fell in love with the Mac. It belongs in the pantheon of open source projects that don’t merely cease to exist, but are so influential that they change the very platform they are built on.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this amazing project over the years. 💚
The Servo Project is excited to announce that it has found a new home with the Linux Foundation. Servo was incubated inside Mozilla, and served as the proof that important web components such as CSS and rendering could be implemented in Rust, with all its safety, concurrency and speed. Now it’s time for Servo to leave the nest!
The project’s governance has also changed. It now has a board and a TSC (technical steering committee). They’ve also set up their community/chat on Zulip, which is new to me and looks… interesting.
There are plenty of metrics you can track—stars, forks, pull requests (PRs), merge requests (MRs), contributor counts, etc.—but more data doesn’t necessarily mean clearer insights. I’ve previously shared my skepticism about the value of these surface-level metrics, especially when assessing an open source project’s health and sustainability.
In this article, I propose two second-order metrics to track, measure, and continually optimize to build a strong, self-sustaining open source community
Those two metrics? Breakdowns of code reviewers and leaderboards of different community interactions. (He also explains why. Worth a read.)
Anaconda CEO (and Practical AI guest) Peter Wang:
I am excited to announce the Anaconda Dividend Program, which formalizes our commitment to direct a portion of our revenue to open-source projects that help advance innovation in data science. We are launching the program in partnership with NumFOCUS, and will kick off with a seed donation of $10,000, as well as an additional 10% of single-user Commercial Edition subscription revenue through the end of this year. Going forward, we will fund the dividend with at least 1% of our revenue in 2021, with a minimum of $25,000 committed for the year.
We’ve been beating the successful-businesses-that-thrive-in-large-part-due-to-open-source-software-should-set-aside-revenues-to-support-those-projects drum for years now, so it’s exciting to see forward-looking companies like Anaconda step up and do just that. More like this! 🙏
We asked Devon about where bounties might fit in to GitHub Sponsors when we had her on The Changelog and most of what she said then is reflected in this post, but fleshed out and explained in greater detail.
A solid, brief Q&A with a couple of Redis’ core team members about what’s next for the project now that its BDFL is no more.
GitHub Sponsors is a step forward, but is far from a panacea. I propose “sponsorship pools”, an alternative approach to OSS sustainability.
So, dear Redis community, today I’m stepping back as the Redis maintainer. My new position will be, on one side, an “ideas” person at Redis Labs, in order to provide inputs for new Redis possibilities: I’ll continue to be part of the Redis Labs advisory board. On the other hand however my hands will be free, and I’ll do something else, that could be writing code or not, who knows, I don’t want to make plans for now. However I’m very skeptical about me not writing more code in the future. It’s just too much fun :D
Thank you, Salvatore, for your many years of work on one of my favorite pieces of software.
I am now making more money than I’ve ever made while developing open-source software for a community that I adore. Pinch me, I’m dreaming.
Was it luck? there’s certainly been a lot of that.
Was it fate? Let’s leave religion out of this mmkay?…
Was it that the software I built was so incredibly compelling that it forced 535 people to give me at least $14/mo. to keep working on it? …I wish.
It’s more than that though. There were some key things I did along the way to get here. Let me tell you all about them.
An interview with Ewa Jodlowska on how the Python Software Foundation is responding to the cancelation of in-person events.
Turns out ~63% of the PSF’s 2020 revenue was projected to come from PyCon. That’s a massive hit to take. Read the entire interview to learn what they’re doing to diversify, some silver linings that have come from this, and how you can pitch in.
Caleb Porzio is the creator & maintainer of Livewire, AlpineJS, and more. His latest open source endeavor was announced as “sponsorware”, which means it lived in a private repo (only available to Caleb’s GitHub Sponsors) until he hit a set sponsorship threshold, at which point it was open sourced.
On this episode, we talk through this sponsorware experiment in-depth. We learn how he dreamt it up, how it went (spoiler: very well), and how he had to change his mindset on 2 things in order to make sustainability possible.
Here’s a heartwarming tale of how Backblaze broke libcurl’s copyright, then fixed it, then donated a hefty $15,600 to the project. Why that particular amount?
Backblaze was started in my living room on Jan 15, 2007 (13 years ago tomorrow) and that represents $100/month for every month Backblaze has depended on libcurl back to the beginning. / Brian Wilson, CTO of Backblaze
More like this!
David Cramer joined the show to talk about the recent license change of Sentry to the Business Source License from a BSD 3-clause license. We talk about the details that triggered this change, the specifics of the BSL license and its required parameters, the threat to commercial open source products like Sentry, his concerns for the “open core” model, and what the future of open source might look like in light of protections-oriented source-available licenses like the BSL becoming more common.
Devon Zuegel is an Open Source Product Manager at GitHub. She’s also one of the key people responsible for making GitHub Sponsors a thing. We talk with Devon about how she came to GitHub to develop GitHub Sponsors, the months of research she did to learn how to best solve the sustainability problem of open source, why GitHub is now addressing this issue, the various ways and models of addressing maintainers’ financial needs, and Devon also shared what’s in store for the future of GitHub Sponsors.
Earlier this week GitHub Sponsors came out of beta to general availability for developers with bank accounts in 30 countries (and growing). Also, check out the companion video celebrating some of the developers of GitHub Sponsors. Next steps?
This is just the beginning for native sponsorships on GitHub. We’re working hard to build out great sponsorship experiences around the world.
As of npm 6.13, maintainers can add a funding field to their
package.json (which works very much like GitHub’s
FUNDING.yml) and users can run
npm fund to see how they can support their dependency authors.
Darcy Clarke had this to say about the feature on npm’s blog:
Post install you will now see output that describes the number of packages that have defined funding information. You can opt-out of this prompt by using the –no-fund flag if you so choose.
At the end of August, we made a promise to the community to invest time & effort to better support package maintainers. This work is just the first, small step toward creating a means/mechanism for a more sustainable open source development ecosystem.
In just a few short months, Python 2 will officially reach the end of its supported life. 💀 This means that anyone building applications in Python will need to have moved to Python 3 if they want to keep getting updates including, importantly, fixes for any security vulnerabilities in the core of Python or in the standard library.
With over 200k Python libraries extant, I have a feeling it’ll be awhile before Python 2 is put out to pasture…
Grafana Labs has raised a Series A and wrote up on their blog what it all means for the open source world.
With this fund raise, we are committed to investing even more in the open source community. That goes hand-in-hand with pushing forward with our vision of building an open, composable observability platform that brings together the three pillars of observability – logs, metrics, and traces – in a single experience, with Grafana at the center. This will allow users to choose their favorite combinations of observability tooling and bring them all together in one UX – an industry first.
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…