The Future of Open Source: Appropriation and Indifference

March 1, 2023

Big companies love open source software. There are zero or minimal license fees and other people fix the bugs. Not surprisingly the individuals who create open source software face some challenges.

The essay “Open Source Is Broken: The Sad Story of Denis Pushkarev (Core-js)” explains how one developer got the shaft. What’s the fix? Here’s part of the conclusion to the essay:

We often hear that open-source is great, good, ethical compared to close-source and all the typical woo-woo. But in the real world, this isn’t enough. You don’t live and pay bills by doing good things: you need to have some business skills. This doesn’t make you a bad person: if you don’t have enough motivation to work on your open-source project, it simply won’t last.  You need to promote yourself and your open-source project.

I read this as saying, “More, better marketing.”

Why not suggest non-profit consortia able to fund certain projects? Why not suggest commercial enterprises embrace a kinder, gentler approach to code appropriation? Why not suggest a healthier balance between profit seeking and ethical behavior?

I know.

No one cares. Makes one proud to incorporate open source software into a commercial environment and charge people to use the work of an individual or team who wanted to do “good,” doesn’t it.  Blindspot? I think it depends on whom one asks.

Stephen E Arnold,March 1, 2023


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta