Open Source Responsibilities

en in code • 2 min read
Mind the age! Most likely, its content is outdated. Especially if it’s technical.

I see two opinions.

One: The author of the open-source project is God and should be treated accordingly. People should be very thankful and very polite. If they want something, they should try as hard as possible. Dive into the code and provide at least tests of the new feature or found bug. Even better, create pull/merge request!

Or: User is God. The author should be happy that someone even uses his project and do his best to fix the bug or add the wanted new feature quickly.

Well, welcome to open source. No one is God.

There is no guarantee at all. That’s why I already stated that open source sucks, kind of. Open source is great. I do open sources, but all of them are just side projects. When I need some tool that isn’t available, I will create one and share it with others.

You can do an open-source if you have free time. Either at home or work. At work, it’s more about open source community; your employer needs to like to contribute to upstream.

I will say it differently: open source is free. It’s free because we do it in our spare free time.

That’s why there is no responsibility in open source. The user can come and ask for a new feature without anything else. The author cannot be angry about missing details, tests, or more time involved. The same is valid for the user; the user cannot be angry when an author takes time or is not doing it at all.

Because of that, I think it’s good not to use all open source projects you can find. You can never be sure when the author has no free time to continue to support it. Sometimes it’s just better to write it by yourself than use some, even tiny library.

No one has a responsibility not to break your dependencies.

No one has a responsibility to do anything for you.

This is open-source.

2 responses

Well written. I think this can be extended to free software in general. Some users act like it's developer's privilege to have them and they don't ask for new features, they demand them. It's quite similar to have haters in comments. @mikiqex Yes, you are right, it could be extended to free software, or even hardware or content, in general. :-)

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