Open source, closed wallets, big profits – Paid-for software is not magically sustainable, any more than OSS is uniquely vulnerable

There’s much talk of the Open Source Sustainability Problem. From individual developers to Google’s White House lobbying, the issue seems simple but intractable. Is the willingness of volunteer coders a solid enough basis for the long-term health of essential infrastructure?

This is, of course, balderdash. It’s not an open source problem, it’s a software problem. All software needs resources to adapt as the working environment changes, resources the changed environment may not provide. Look how many out-of-support versions of Windows still limp on like superannuated footy players in the Sunday leagues.

Paid-for software is not magically sustainable, any more than OSS is uniquely vulnerable. If anything, it’s the other way around. If you really need it, you can pick up a dropped OSS ball and run with it. Try doing that with commercial abandonware.

An interesting article to read. The proposal motivates a sort of contribution system to developers based around payments being made based on OSS usage stats. The thing is there needs to be a more middle-ground solution found, especially where successful businesses are making their profits off the back of open source software, whilst not contributing anything to those same projects which are being used. The code still remains open and anyone can fork it if they wish.

See https://www.theregister.com/2022/01/17/open_source_closed_wallets_big/

#technology #opensource #sustainability #OSS