This is where the supply chain metaphor — and it is just that, a metaphor — breaks down. If a microchip vendor enters an agreement and fails to uphold it, the vendor’s customers have recourse. If an open source maintainer leaves a project unmaintained for whatever reason, that’s not the maintainer’s fault, and the companies that relied on their work are the ones who get to solve their problems in the future. Using the term “supply chain” here dehumanizes the labor involved in developing and maintaining software as a hobby.

@brombek
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I see many of articles and blog posts were people use commercial metaphors when describing free software. These simply do not apply to free software and use of them will just confuse everybody and make them to render incorrect conclusions. Free software is sufficiently different from anything that capitalism produces and requires use of its own metaphors to be understood correctly.

@federico3
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Nonetheless, the concept of supply chain applies perfectly.

@hfkldjbuq@beehaw.org
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Free software is sufficiently different from anything that capitalism produces and requires use of its own metaphors to be understood correctly.

Hm

Actually, we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If a license does not permit users to make copies and sell them, it is a nonfree license.

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.en.html

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html.en#four-freedoms

Charging an amount for your labor or services is not capitalism

@pingveno
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From what I understand, the GNU philosophy around selling dates from when distribution costs were substantial. Picture manufacturing and distributing CD’s full of packages. It’s just a totally different world now in terms of how software is distributed, free or otherwise.

@hfkldjbuq@beehaw.org
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It’s because rms needed money for remaining relatively independent from influence to implement the free operating system. Sending tapes for some bucks was just a means to that

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/rms-nyu-2001-transcript.html

it is not a different world. capitalism is still here, and it influences everything including developers ability to maintain their projects, with or without profit-driven influence.

Ephera
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Yeah, I’ve noticed that I’ll occasionally hesitate to click on that “Publish” button for a new software project, because I’ll think to myself, if someone starts using this, they’re fucked.

At the same time, I don’t want to put a disclaimer into every README stating that it’s hot garbage. Like, it’s a repo. Of course, it could contain software which is still in early development or unmaintained or whatever. And I’d rather tell what I’d like it to do someday rather than what ridiculous requirements it won’t fulfill.

I’ve kind of started to revel in my previously-not-really-strong decision to put my code up:

  1. as AGPL, which for example deters Google from ever using it, and
  2. on Codeberg, where it won’t get seen as much and it’s more at the heart of the open-source community rather than on this commercialized platform where most people only go to download released software.

If supply chain in crass then labor chain, but a supply chain is always a labor chain. Microchips and silicon don’t produce themselves. I fail to see how a chain of dependencies is uniquely dehumanizing.

Ephera
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I think, the point is that people work on this stuff as a hobby. You can only expect people to provide you with labor, if you pay them. And “supply chain” does imply to me that updates keep coming, which fosters that expectation.

@hfkldjbuq@beehaw.org
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Seems like just a way to criticise companies using free software without contributing anything back. Could be just that instead of going around on terminology which distracts from the main point.

Call it the transitive dependency tree instead of supply chain then.

The Linux foundation is full of major Capitalists who mutually agree to help maintain software they are dependent on. You would think that they would help in part to maintain their dependencies but why would they if it’s being maintained for free. Either way they’ll have to maintain them or find an alternative which likely doesn’t exist.

The Cobra
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deleted by creator

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