DEV Community

Discussion on: The Need For Open Source Infrastructure To Be Open

victorb profile image
Victor Bjelkholm Author

One reason why more people are speaking up is the obvious misalignment between running GitHub as it's own company with it's own priorities, vs running it as a loss-leader in Microsofts suite of tools to attract developers.

But, with that said. The issue is not that GitHub is owned by Microsoft. The issue is that most open source developers depend on a for-profit entity for their core infrastructure. It doesn't matter if it's GitHub or someone else, something that we depend on should not be closed-source and run with a motive of profits.

frothandjava profile image
Scot McSweeney-Roberts

I'm not seeing how what GitHub was doing before the acquisition was any less of a loss leader for its paid for products than it is under Microsoft. To think that startup GitHub was hosting open source projects for free out of the kindness of its own heart is delusional.

It's for-profit companies that make the servers. It's for-profit companies that make the network hardware. It's for-profit companies that run the networks. It's for-profit companies that run the servers. It's for-profit companies who will be doing the payment processing for monentary donations (even Bitcoin and other Blockchain transactions will run into this once things need to be paid for in real world currency). All open source projects are going to be depending on for-profit companies one way or another.

Where do you draw the line on where it's OK for open source projects to depend on for-profit companies and where is not OK? If it's not OK for small projects to take advantage of for-profit companies largesse, is it OK for the foundations to depend directly on donations from for-profit companies? If for-profit involvement is never OK, then where is the funding for all things that are only provided by for-profit companies supposed to come from? Sorry, but I much prefer having Microsoft pay for my projects hosting than having to pay for it myself, no matter what Microsoft's true intentions may be.

Why are for-profit companies even an issue, seeing as open source is not the same thing as not-for-profit?

Thread Thread
nukleos profile image

While I agree that it would be hard to avoid the financial input of for-profit companies in the development of open source software in general, I do wonder: why aren't you prepared to pay for your own project hosting?