Monday, September 2, 2019

Ending the “npm Install Funding” Experiment

Feross Aboukhadijeh (via Yan Zhu):

The idea was this: whenever users install open source software, the funding package would display a message from a company that supports open source. The sponsorship would pay directly for maintainer time. That is, writing new features, fixing bugs, answering user questions, and improving documentation.


Right now, the status quo is that maintainers create massive amounts of value and then for-profit companies and SaaS startups capture almost all of it.


As long as significant personal sacrifice is a prerequisite for open source participation, we’ll continue to exclude a lot of smart and talented folks. This isn’t good for anyone.

And we’re forcing the folks who are able to participate to make extreme sacrifices that inevitably lead to burnout.

The Changelog:

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.


Update (2019-09-03): See also: Simon Cropp.

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