The recent experiment of a software developer with ads delivered to the command line through packages hosted at npm, a testament to the old concerns about workers' compensation and exploitation in the open source community, NPM said that It intends to develop a financing platform for open source developers by the end of the year. The announcement comes when the business reviewed its policies to ban packages that "show ads at runtime, at installation or at other stages of the software development life cycle …"
In a blog post on Friday, CEO Brian Bogensberger said in the past Some months, the company's engineers have been working on the registration infrastructure so that the business can support services of this type. This week, he said, company leaders "will approach to get the experience around the table in order to share the framework at the end of September."
The project, carried out at a strapped time biz is trying to build its business business, it seems that it is not very advanced.
The entry of NPM into a market already served by Patreon, GitHub Sponsors, OpenCollective and Librapay caused mixed reactions. While at least one NPM employee has said, obviously without authorization, that he is " excited " about the project, those outside the company seem a bit more skeptical.
"Since [forbade] also requests for financing on installation by policy (if I remember correctly), even if the intention was good, it emerges as an attempt by NPM, Inc. to use its power over the Node ecosystem. js to keep income seekers who make money with their packages, "software developer Linus Lee wrote in a tweet .
The Register asked NPM when it started working on its financing platform and if it intends to generate revenue from it, but the company has not answered our questions since mid-June when we reported on The company's initial refusal to resolve labor complaints filed by three employees.
CJ Silverio, principal engineer at Eaze, former CTO at NPM and one of the first expelled Bogensberger took the helm last year, dismissed the funding initiative.
"The NPM announcement is a great hamburger: we are supposed to be attentive to some later proposal of & # 39; E & # 39; Enterprise & # 39; E-capital," Silverio said in a message to The Register . "I will pay more attention if they ever announce something concrete."
"The company faces a problem that they have been dancing since its foundation, which is how to make people pay for something the industry taught them. Wait for free," he explained. "NPM taught everyone that you can use a package manager to download and install free software, so why would you pay for that?"
Silverio noted the emergence of Linux as a warning, and noted that it has survived all versions of Unix that cost money. "The freedom of Linux killed them all," he said. "Does the industry ever go back from free to paid?"
As long as software developers improve open source projects at no cost and allow companies to exploit their work without compensation, maybe not. But the problem, which has diminished since the development of open source, has reached a peak during the past year or so as the companies that joined around open source projects such as MongoDB and Redis have expressed his resentment about how giants of cloud platforms like Amazon, Google and Microsoft capitalize on their code without compensating the developers who created it.
The developer reconsiders the warning of the npm command line after the protest
The injustice of all this has not been lost on those in charge of individual open source projects that face demands to continue code improvements without monetary recognition.
On Tuesday, Kat Marchán, former technology director / architect at NPM CLI, who now works for Microsoft in the NuGet package manager, offered her vision of a more equitable and humane system that combines payment mechanisms with alternative software licenses such as the Parity License to address what she calls an open source sustainability crisis.
In an explanatory publication on development, Marchán wrote, "Maintainers are running out, overwhelmed by the demands of a larger and larger community in one. Usually, they are only allowed to work in their time & # 39; free & # 39 ;, while being punished simultaneously for any attempt to implement more sustainable models, such as t The recent advertising-based funding controversy. "
Through Twitter she explained:" I want to see a world where taxpayers and collaborators of free software, as well as those in charge of maintenance, receive a payment for the labor they put into these projects that help boost a large part of our economies. The current system of & # 39; code open & # 39; has to end and must be replaced by a more fair one. " ®