Web development is based on free software by developers like you and me, isn’t it? At first glance, this seems to be the case. Let’s take a look at the main tools modern web is mainly developed with nowadays:
- Visual Studio Code
Most of the tools are Open Source projects (VS Code only in parts, npm is proprietary). So where are the big companies? Well, all six tools and sites are owned by Big Tech:
The tools we use all day rise and fall with the benevolence of companies typically seen as enemies of Free Software by the majority of Open Source developers.
Especially GitHub and npm are irreplaceable because of their large data collection. If Microsoft decides to pull the plug from one moment to the next, the access to the vast collection of free code will be gone at least for some time and the build processes of millions of programs will break.
Of course, these services can and would be replaced by others, but it would take some time until dominant services will emerge and web developers would need to find an interim way of accessing their externalized source code.