Hard work and poor pay stresses out open-source maintainers | ZDNet
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Maintaining open-source code is a vital but stressful job. Despite that, a recent Tidelift survey found that almost half of code maintainers aren't paid at all.
soronixa
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46% of open-source project maintainers aren’t paid at all. And of those who are paid, only 26% earn more than $1,000 per year for their work.

this is just terrible. it makes me mad, just imagine developers working on projects because it’s their passion, and then companies like google and apple get to capitalize on their work. fuck it.

I guess it’s capitalism in action though, such a beautiful system! those who make everything transparent, make software open source, respect user freedom, put it out there for free will struggle and don’t get rewarded, while some motherfucker companies who close source their software, fill it with spyware, design it to be addictive so they can show more ads, get to have all the money. totally fair!

reasons they keep working on the software:

Making a positive impact on the world" (71%), “Allowing me to fulfill a need for creative, challenging, and/or enjoyable work” (63%) “Getting to work on projects that matter to me” (59%)

a system that rewards some of its most benevolent members the least is just doomed.

it makes me ask if foss that is also free of chrage can even be sustainable in the current system. i don’t know. I should stop rambling.

Dessalines
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Under capitalism, the more unethical you are, the more money you make. And that doesn’t just go for capitalists, but for skilled labor like programmers too; the highest paid programmers right now are the most unethical, spending their time either doing quant analysis for hedge funds, or working with psychologists trying to figure out how to get people to click on ads, or working for defense companies like BAE or northrop grumman or lockheed martin, or insurance companies (another pointless industry), etc. Things that not only add absolutely nothing to society, but harm it too.

Us open source devs don’t even want that much money, we’ve already decided that devoting our time to something that can better humanity is worth more than a paycheck. Enough to pay rent and live on would be nice enough… yet youtube streamers make more than most open source devs. Its a really sad state of affairs, and there’s not much hope in sight.

soronixa
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what can I say, when the ultimate and only value is money, it’s no surprise that people who don’t care about anything but money will get the most of it. FOSS may be not compatible with capitalism and therefore not economically sustainable right now, but I would say (or at least try to make myself feel better by saying) a system that rewards people not based on their contributions to society, but based on some perverted distribution of wealth that benefits those that take away the most from others and give back the least in return, “democracies” that favor those who manage to manipulate and deceive the largest number of people, it isn’t sustainable either.

Us open source devs don’t even want that much money, we’ve already decided that devoting our time to something that can better humanity is worth more than a paycheck. Enough to pay rent and live on would be nice enough… yet youtube streamers make more than most open source devs.

honestly I’d say programmers who dedicated their lives to making FOSS, the scientists, engineers and mathematicians who publish their work for the whole world to benefit from and some activists are the only people to look up to, to find some hope. thank you.

Its a really sad state of affairs, and there’s not much hope in sight.

it’s just sad. feels paralyzing.

@AlmaemberTheGreat
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Ephera
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Yep, and as an added bonus, many companies react very allergic to the AGPL. As in, use of code under AGPL may very well be prohibited.

@AlmaemberTheGreat
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Ephera
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To be honest, the “many” might be wrong. I also only really know of Google and the company that I work at, which is a larger non-IT company.

I sort of just assume that it would be common, because in these larger companies no one cares enough about individual IT projects to generally accept the risk of a license violation.
It’s also just a pain in the ass for such a larger company to keep track of all the different licenses that end up in one product, so completely banning the most dangerous licenses may simply be a sane business decision.

I’ve unfortunately never had the time to contribute to an open source project, but I have the utmost respect for those who do! It makes me sad to see how entitled some people are when they donate their time to make the world a better place.

I have to admit that I’m part of the problem too, since I tend to use only free (as in beer) software. Really the only software I pay for is games, which is kind of hypocritical being a FOSS advocate. For some reason I’m willing to drop $60 on a game that I’ll play for 20 hours, but I won’t pay a cent for, say, Emacs that I use 8+ hours a day every day. I guess getting a new game gets you that endorphin hit, but an editor isn’t that exciting.

This is a good time for me to check myself and donate to some software I use.

grtcdr
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I think you actively using the program and recommending it to people, goes a long way and warms the heart of developers to see people using the code they spent hours upon hours on.

Enjoying, and spreading the word about great software is another form of donation, and they all count :)

@HMH
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The article concludes with:

A lot more needs to be done to make a maintainer’s life easier, but paying them real wages for their real work would be a great place to start.

Which leaves the obvious question, who is going to do the paying. It certainly is not feasible to expect end users to pay the devs directly, especially considering how most projects are built on top of many libraries. That leaves companies, but this can’t really work either as even though a few projects may find a fitting company as sponsor (i.e. said company uses the project as library), there are certainly tons of projects that can’t be tied to some company for sponsorship. And this is not even mentioning that for the most part there is no incentive for companies to sponsor a library even though it’s heavily used internally.

What does this leave? Well, the state, the taxpayers money. The way I see it open source software in today’s society is necessary infrastructure, just like streets or electricity. Open source software is a public good and so the public should fund it. I’d love to see states spending more money on it but I doubt it’s ever going to happen unless our society changes drastically.

But I guess a good first step is to inform non IT people and increase awareness on just how much our world relies on open source.

@gun
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I appreciate you two @nutomic@lemmy.ml and @dessalines@lemmy.ml and everyone else who contributes. Not sure you guys hear that enough.

Dessalines
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Thanks ☺

@DrBenjamin1@lemmy.ca
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removed by mod

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