I think what bothers me so much about the "open source sustainability crisis" is that most of the companies who build billion dollar businesses on these projects could easily afford to hire multiple full-timers to do whatever they wanted on these projects, but: accounting.

I think it's so needlessly complicated for every single open source maintainer to have to repeatedly justify their business value, while embedded in teams whose core competency is not upstream.

When projects are understaffed, this adds more stress to triaging an endless backlog.

Triage is for emergencies, when you don't have enough resources for reasonable care! It's not healthy or sustainable to exist in a constant state of resource deprecation! And yet, I have a backlog of 200+ valid issues and PRs that I can't make headway on as a single FT dev!

Consider if your business is possible without the project, and if not, figure out reasonable opex for that business value and hire it full-time.

When you have multiple FT heads worth of open source work, it is so inefficient to try to piece this together from part-timers

I know how organizational budgets work. I have a hard time believing that in organizations that hire hundreds, even thousands, of developers, can't afford senior heads for these projects that the entire businesses are built on.

It's management's job to sell this value! Not devs!


This is a particular dysfunction of American corporate culture that has forgotten the long-term value of R&D, and I'm not sure what incentives there are to fix it so long as "broken" is "good enough to sell" ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Thinking of danluu.com/nothing-works/

It's difficult when I don't even have enough time to work on business priorities, let alone the rest of the maintenance needed.

And given limited time, focusing work on business priorities means that my employer won't even get to benefit from community-reported business risks!

@ehashman finding new ways to make peoples lives better has been replaced with finding cheaper things to make corporate owners wealthier. The US is a dead society.

@ehashman One quick solution would be for companies to file their five and ten year plans with the SEC and have long-term-sustainability as part of those goals.

Once we went on a quarter-to-quarter "performance review" by way of reporting quarterly earnings we doomed ourselves to never having R&D ever. R&D is a cost center (much like IT) so why would you optimize for long-term research / sustainability?

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