This article aims to give everyone more insight into why open source is not Free.
Depending on which track got you into open source, we all know one thing in common “collaboration.” It is important because this makes the open source model great. Some people go as much as to create sustainability models and build extraordinary communities around projects, converting users from potential beta testers into actual contributors.
While all this is great, there is still a gap to what keeps open source alive. Now you may ask? open source is excellent, great support system from communities, more diverse people coming in, significant events, fantastic programs, and people installing things for FREE.
So, what is missing?
Well, we forgot one thing. Funding for the tools, what happens to the people maintaining these tools individuals and companies rely on. Simple, they need money to pay bills, and responsibilities to take care of, even infrastructure to sustain, and the less money they have from open source means, the more time they’ll have to spend doing other things to make ends meet.
How does one support OSS financially? How do I even know what open source packages I use frequently? How do I even know the dependencies my project relies on that I need to support? Most of the time, it’s so overwhelming that it’s easy to give up and not support any Open Source maintainers, even though we know they’re humans who need support.
Flossbank is a package manager wrapper that compensates authors and maintainers of the open source packages you install as you install them. It solves the How for you, and you don’t even need to care about it.
In addition to having all of the packages you use supported automatically, Flossbank gives you the option to do that for free. What? How is that possible? If users want, Flossbank allows users to see ethical ads in their terminal during the installation of open source packages. This is a free alternative to donating. That might sound scary, but you can check out a demo of how friendly they are at flossbank.com/how-it-works. If you hate ads, well, of course, donate instead! All this to say, everyone should be supporting open source, even if you aren’t rich.
With Flossbank, everyone can now fund the open source sustainers we all love and rely on. Segun Adebayo, Henry Zhou, Sindre Sorhus, Quincy Larson. These are people who spend countless hours creating the packages and tools we use to learn development and launch projects. Now that’s it’s easy to support them. I think it’s time we should!
What I love about Flossbank is that if I find a new package I like using, the package will automatically start getting paid. I don’t have to go and find someone to donate to or buy a beer for. It just happens. I’ve installed Flossbank and kind of forgotten about it, knowing that everyone maintainer I use is getting supported in the background.
This has an enormous impact on the maintainers themselves. This means they don’t need to advertise themselves or build a personal network to get financial support. Working on their packages is enough, meaning anyone worldwide should easily be able to be paid for their open source work proportionally to the number of people who use it.