Industry Analyst & Strategist

Open Source Support Is Not Just Money

I follow a lot of folk on social media, well Twitter, and one of them is Michael Babker. He is an amazing supporter of open source projects. Like his time to actually make things work. Here’s his tweet from this week:

I’m having one of those mornings where I’m annoyed with how everyone will pile on to an issue about something not working right in an OSS project, but nobody will give feedback on a proposed solution. It’s as if people think OSS is a one-way street.

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Why is this important? This isn’t just a random code submitter, Michael is a core contributor. He wants to code. And while I’m sure he would appreciate greater remuneration (you can sponsor him on GitHub), the issue he brings up is more common than you may think.

The problem, among the others I’ve written about, is that everyone seems to feel that an open source developer is at their beck and call for anything from support to new features to complaints. This sucks, since as we know, much of open source development is done on a volunteer basis – because a problem needs to be solved or for the love of the code.

While payment for ongoing work should happen somewhere, the day-to-day can be much worse of an issue. Who needs the Twitter mob when struggling through a complex issue? It’s open, so anyone who can should not just sit on the sideline but if they care enough to spend time complaining, they’d be better off getting involved.

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