Open Source Responsibilities

en in code • 2 min read

I see two opinions.

One: 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 very glad someone even uses his project and do his best to quickly fix the bug or add the wanted new feature.

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 which isn’t available, I will create one and share it with others.

You can do open source if you have free time. Either at home or at 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 a time or is not doing that at all.

Because of that, I think it’s good to not 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 to not break your dependencies.

No one has a responsibility to do anything for you.

This is open source.

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