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All about open source! Feel free to ask questions, and share news, and interesting stuff!
I think all closed sources apps uses important libraries that are open source. No one is going to build SSH from zero… and more security libs they use but don’t tell you.
I use to do some work on open source paid by mu customers, but they never know about it :-) For example, if I need to translate some strings (l10n) I translate a bunch of strings, more than required, for community profits. The same if I’m helping to solve an issue…
But it’s always a way to help open source projects just make a personal donation, as a developer, because our money is, in fact, the money our customers pay us (freelancers, for example).
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xe sure knows a lot about open source software, xe surely has contributed a lot of useful things to the community…
Karl Marx analyzed how explotation is inherent in wage labor by pointing out how the use-value of something is different than the value/exchange value of something. You show up to work and make your boss thousands of dollars, and that’s the use-value of your labor. But the exchange-value is just about enough to keep you showing up day after day. Your boss knows they’d be a terrible capitalist if they paid you more than enough to keep you showing up day after day. Their job is to maximize profits, and that means they have to pay you the bare minimum regardless of how valuable you are to the firm.
A lot of volunteer open-source development is exactly like this except the volunteer is being exploited by about 40 firms none of whom owe this dev anything on paper, so you end up with these absurdities like the corejs person having to beg for a job in NPM while providing core infra for huge swathes of the web.
A lot of open source is way more exploitative than traditional software development if you actually factor in how much money is being made off projects volunteers do in their spare time.
And this is dysfunctional and exploitative as hell, but it actually makes sense. Open-source was an effort to rebrand free software to appeal to companies on depoliticized grounds. We should completely expect that companies who embraced open source because it saves them money and no other reason would freeload. That’s what they were sold on – you can just show up and take it, no questions asked, no price tag attached. So they do.
TBH how we need to think about open source as a whole is as a referendum on capitalism. Free Software as a movement had critiques of capitalism but was ambivalent. Eric Raymond and company explicitly gambled that if you depoliticized free software and got the corporations on board, you could fix the problems free software was facing.
Well, open source depoliticized free software, Microsoft <3’s Linux now, and open source devs are afraid to even try calculating how much money basically all of Silicon Valley would owe them if there was a shred of justice on this Earth.
That’s an excellent observation!
I always try to convince clients I work for to donate a fixed amount, like 5% project budget, to underlying open source projects.
responses are quite sobering, there is this open source is just for free mentality all around.
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It truly is a system with no redeeming qualities.
I think one could argue that technological progression is incentivized more in a capitalistic system (at least until oligarchies are established and start indirect collusion), and I tend to agree. However, the cost of extreme exploitation of not only the employees, but the customers and the environment is 100% not worth an increased rate of “progress” if that even is the case, in my opinion.
There’s a pretty good argument to be made that the opposite happens in practice especially in terms of any meaningful innovation. It’s also worth noting that a lot the innovation is outright harmful. For example, stuff like planned obsolescence, adware, and user tracking are all examples of harmful innovation driven by capitalism.
It’s also worth noting that USSR managed to go from being an agrarian society to first in space without any need for capitalism. It was consistently innovative and had many world firsts under its belt.
Nothing is worse and more risky than OpenSource disattended. But also OpenSource can be paid soft, if the dev won’t work for free, with more reason, when the OSS also implied an infrastructure, like servers. A good example is the Proton Mail and Proton VPN, both OSS but only freeware with premium account, if the user want the full features. But all of the OSS needs a regular maintance and security updates, because also bad people have easy access to the source to find backdoors and security holes, not so easy in closed source. OSS is very usefull and important for developing new soft or use it as base for other projects, but it’s important also a good attention by the devs and better with a strong community behind, without this, it turned very fast in obsolete or direct in trash or worse. Bad experiences in the past.
I dont think this is accidental as the article makes it sound. If companies actually had to pay a living wage to maintainers of all the open source software they use, they couldnt make a profit (and go bankrupt). Exploiting open source developers is essentially part of the business model of any software company.
The solution for developers is to make projects which companies cant use. For example by picking a license like AGPL.
Yeah absolutely, and this is precisely why there has been such a crusade against GPL to convince devs to use permissive licenses so that the corps could just leech off all that work with no strings attached.
exactly, there’s insane exploitation going on… yet the headline is “opensource is broken”???
how about “fathomless corporate greed is breaking everything”?
I do like this meme they linked that perfectly describes digital enclosure of the commons / primitive accumulation: