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Rebuilding the cathedral
@nayafia for Strange Loop 2017
@nayafia
@nayafia
@nayafia
@nayafia
@nayafia
“There’s a perverse effect where, the more successful you
are, the more you get “punished” with GitHub notifications.”
@no...
@nayafia
What’s going on here?
@nayafia
SourceForge (2001) GitHub (2017)
Total number of registered users
20M208K
@nayafia
Netscape browser (1998) lodash (2017)
Downloads in 2 weeks, 20 years apart
21M180K
@nayafia
2017: Two-thirds of popular projects
have just 1-2 maintainers
@nayafia
2010 2015
% surveyed companies who say they use open source to
run their business (BlackDuck)
78%42%
@nayafia
2017: 94% say they use open source at
least sometimes at work
opensourcesurvey.org
* employed respondents
@nayafia
@nayafiaSource: Married to the Sea
@nayafia
Why do we need maintainers, anyway?
@nayafia
Maintainers do more than write code
(ex. triage, code review, support,
community management)
Maintainers are the “keystone species”
of software development
Maintainers
Users Contributors
@nayafia
When maintainers are happy,
everybody benefits
● Secure software
● Software is
easier to use
● Questions
answered
● PRs me...
Conversely, when they’re
overwhelmed, everybody suffers
Maintainers
Users Contributors● Dead/stagnant
projects
● Less secu...
@nayafia
Maintainers are trying to cope
@nayafia
Being a maintainer is voluntary, too
@nayafia
But wait!
@nayafia
Why aren’t users becoming
contributors?
@nayafia
Open source is cool now
2001 2016
@nayafia
The challenge in 2001:
getting people to use open source
@nayafia
“I think the future of open-source software will
increasingly belong to...people who leave behind the
cathedral a...
@nayafia
Open source “won” in a world with
much less information
@nayafia
@nayafia
93% of npm packages have one maintainer
@nayafia
Today’s challenge:
scalability of production
@nayafia
@nayafia
More developers today
(esp. new developers)
@nayafia
“An observation after having reviewed 10k+ pull requests on
GitHub is that ~80% of contributors doesn't know how ...
@nayafia
Software is getting smaller
@nayafia
Less than 3% of widely-used projects
are “bazaars”
@nayafia
1/2 of contributors only contribute
once
@nayafia
They account for <2% of commits
@nayafia
Not all contributors want to come back
(and that’s ok!)
@nayafia
The “2nd time contributor” problem
@nayafia
Volunteers are not paid staff
@nayafia
“Adding manpower to a late software
project makes it later” - Brooks’ Law
@nayafia
What does it cost us to pursue the
wrong strategy?
@nayafia
Despite being worth over $30bn and $65bn, there are only 15
meaningful contributors to Ethereum and Bitcoin respe...
@nayafia
“The best minds of my generation are
thinking about how to make people click ads.”
Jeff Hammerbacher, Cloudera
@nayafia
“The best minds of my generation are
thinking about how to make people
click ads.” checking email
@nayafia
So how do we support maintainers?
@nayafia
Indirect: Dedicated employer time
@nayafia
“Shoutout to my team at Behance for allowing me to work on
Babel part-time at work; we’re still basically the onl...
@nayafia
https://opensourcefriday.com
@nayafia
Independent: Raise money for open
source work
@nayafia
@nayafia
@nayafia
github.com/nayafia/lemonade-stand
@nayafia
Infrastructure: Treat open source like
digital infrastructure
@nayafia
How do we get there?
@nayafia
“They are annoyed by the noise, and language with
which the discussions are carried on, and feel
themselves place...
@nayafia
“...the freest, the easiest, and the least expensive
communication between all the different parts of
the country...
@nayafia
...but digital infrastructure is
decentralized and global
@nayafia
What is the economic value
of open source?
@nayafia
(This is a brand new world!)
@nayafia
Open source is an ecosystem
@nayafia
To survive, it must evolve
Thanks!
@nayafia
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Rebuilding the cathedral

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Revisiting the cathedral/bazaar 20 years later, what's changed, and what the future might hold for producers of open source software.

From a Strange Loop keynote, September 30 2017. (Video of talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS6IpvTWwkQ)

FOOTNOTES:
Slide 7: https://nolanlawson.com/2017/03/05/what-it-feels-like-to-be-an-open-source-maintainer/
Slide 9: SourceForge stat, The Success of Open Source (book). GitHub stat, https://github.com/blog/2345-celebrating-nine-years-of-github-with-an-anniversary-sale
Slide 10: Netscape stat, The Success of Open Source (book). lodash stat, npm.
Slide 11: https://peerj.com/preprints/1233.pdf
Slide 12: https://www.blackducksoftware.com/about/news-events/releases/78-companies-run-open-source-yet-lack-formal-policies
Slide 13: https://opensourcesurvey.org
Slide 14: http://www.zdnet.com/article/equifax-blames-open-source-software-for-its-record-breaking-security-breach/
Slide 15: http://marriedtotheseacomics.com/post/103884129802/stop-hitting-yourself-from-married-to-the-sea
Slide 25: Headlines: http://www.zdnet.com/article/ballmer-i-may-have-called-linux-a-cancer-but-now-i-love-it/ and
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/06/02/ballmer_linux_is_a_cancer/
Slide 27: https://archive.org/stream/CathedralAndTheBazaar/cathedral-bazaar_djvu.txt
Slide 29: http://www.commitstrip.com/en/2014/05/07/the-truth-behind-open-source-apps/
Slide 30: http://npmbynumbers.bocoup.com/
Slide 34: https://twitter.com/sindresorhus/status/806937150575017984
Slides 36, 37, 38: http://gustavopinto.org/lost+found/saner2016.pdf
Slide 44: https://medium.com/@FEhrsam/funding-the-evolution-of-blockchains-87d160988481
Slide 45: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2011-04-14/this-tech-bubble-is-different
Slide 49: https://babeljs.io/blog/2017/09/12/planning-for-7.0

Published in: Software
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Rebuilding the cathedral

  1. 1. Rebuilding the cathedral @nayafia for Strange Loop 2017
  2. 2. @nayafia
  3. 3. @nayafia
  4. 4. @nayafia
  5. 5. @nayafia
  6. 6. @nayafia
  7. 7. “There’s a perverse effect where, the more successful you are, the more you get “punished” with GitHub notifications.” @nolanlawson, “What it Feels Like to be an Open Source Maintainer” @nayafia
  8. 8. @nayafia What’s going on here?
  9. 9. @nayafia SourceForge (2001) GitHub (2017) Total number of registered users 20M208K
  10. 10. @nayafia Netscape browser (1998) lodash (2017) Downloads in 2 weeks, 20 years apart 21M180K
  11. 11. @nayafia 2017: Two-thirds of popular projects have just 1-2 maintainers
  12. 12. @nayafia 2010 2015 % surveyed companies who say they use open source to run their business (BlackDuck) 78%42%
  13. 13. @nayafia 2017: 94% say they use open source at least sometimes at work opensourcesurvey.org * employed respondents
  14. 14. @nayafia
  15. 15. @nayafiaSource: Married to the Sea
  16. 16. @nayafia Why do we need maintainers, anyway?
  17. 17. @nayafia Maintainers do more than write code (ex. triage, code review, support, community management)
  18. 18. Maintainers are the “keystone species” of software development Maintainers Users Contributors @nayafia
  19. 19. When maintainers are happy, everybody benefits ● Secure software ● Software is easier to use ● Questions answered ● PRs merged ● Issues answered ● Code reviewed ● Mentorship Maintainers Users Contributors @nayafia
  20. 20. Conversely, when they’re overwhelmed, everybody suffers Maintainers Users Contributors● Dead/stagnant projects ● Less secure software ● Bad docs ● Questions unanswered ● Unmerged PRs ● Unanswered issues ● Contributors don’t come back @nayafia
  21. 21. @nayafia Maintainers are trying to cope
  22. 22. @nayafia Being a maintainer is voluntary, too
  23. 23. @nayafia But wait!
  24. 24. @nayafia Why aren’t users becoming contributors?
  25. 25. @nayafia Open source is cool now 2001 2016
  26. 26. @nayafia The challenge in 2001: getting people to use open source
  27. 27. @nayafia “I think the future of open-source software will increasingly belong to...people who leave behind the cathedral and embrace the bazaar.” Eric Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”
  28. 28. @nayafia Open source “won” in a world with much less information
  29. 29. @nayafia
  30. 30. @nayafia 93% of npm packages have one maintainer
  31. 31. @nayafia Today’s challenge: scalability of production
  32. 32. @nayafia
  33. 33. @nayafia More developers today (esp. new developers)
  34. 34. @nayafia “An observation after having reviewed 10k+ pull requests on GitHub is that ~80% of contributors doesn't know how to resolve a merge conflict.” @sindresorhus
  35. 35. @nayafia Software is getting smaller
  36. 36. @nayafia Less than 3% of widely-used projects are “bazaars”
  37. 37. @nayafia 1/2 of contributors only contribute once
  38. 38. @nayafia They account for <2% of commits
  39. 39. @nayafia Not all contributors want to come back (and that’s ok!)
  40. 40. @nayafia The “2nd time contributor” problem
  41. 41. @nayafia Volunteers are not paid staff
  42. 42. @nayafia “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later” - Brooks’ Law
  43. 43. @nayafia What does it cost us to pursue the wrong strategy?
  44. 44. @nayafia Despite being worth over $30bn and $65bn, there are only 15 meaningful contributors to Ethereum and Bitcoin respectively, and the rate of contribution isn’t going up much with their rise in popularity. Fred Ehrsam, “Funding the Evolution of Blockchains”
  45. 45. @nayafia “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.” Jeff Hammerbacher, Cloudera
  46. 46. @nayafia “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.” checking email
  47. 47. @nayafia So how do we support maintainers?
  48. 48. @nayafia Indirect: Dedicated employer time
  49. 49. @nayafia “Shoutout to my team at Behance for allowing me to work on Babel part-time at work; we’re still basically the only company working to sustain Babel in any capacity on work time.” Henry Zhu, “Planning for 7.0”
  50. 50. @nayafia https://opensourcefriday.com
  51. 51. @nayafia Independent: Raise money for open source work
  52. 52. @nayafia
  53. 53. @nayafia
  54. 54. @nayafia github.com/nayafia/lemonade-stand
  55. 55. @nayafia Infrastructure: Treat open source like digital infrastructure
  56. 56. @nayafia How do we get there?
  57. 57. @nayafia “They are annoyed by the noise, and language with which the discussions are carried on, and feel themselves placed in a situation in which they are exposed to insult and ill usage.” Henry Parnell, Treatise on Roads
  58. 58. @nayafia “...the freest, the easiest, and the least expensive communication between all the different parts of the country, which can be done only [with] the best roads…” Adam Smith, Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
  59. 59. @nayafia ...but digital infrastructure is decentralized and global
  60. 60. @nayafia What is the economic value of open source?
  61. 61. @nayafia (This is a brand new world!)
  62. 62. @nayafia Open source is an ecosystem
  63. 63. @nayafia To survive, it must evolve
  64. 64. Thanks! @nayafia

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