What if money isn’t the only way to create sustainable free and open source software projects? What if it turns out that sustainability is actually a multi-faceted concept that can’t truly be successful if people focus on only one of its many elements?
In 2016 Nadia Eghbal released “Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure,” which shines a light on how few people maintain the software that underpins a large amount of the internet and the services that run on it.
The software world has rallied around Open Source Sustainability. Going with what they know, folks mostly focus on paying FOSS developers. Funding drives were funded. Foundations were founded. Startups started up. Venture capitalists ventured that capital.
What these efforts don’t acknowledge is that money isn’t the only ingredient for sustainable FOSS projects. As the corporate world has learned, and published in the Brundtland Report, sustainability is a multi-faceted concept and success isn’t possible without attention to several different variables. We in FOSS can and should learn a great deal from this unexpected source.
This talk will:
- Review literature around the concept of sustainability
- Propose a definition that more accurately details what “sustainable” means to FOSS
- Provide tips for starting with your FOSS sustainability efforts