Jan 22, 2021

Please welcome Neal Gompa, @Det_Conan_Kudo Developer in @Fedora, @Mageia_org and @openSUSE DevOps Engineer at @datto

Jan 22 to 27 on @imakefoss


@imakefoss is a Twitter rotation curation account, an interview blog and a YouTube channel.

Jan 26, 2021

I want to take the opportunity to discuss something we don’t talk much about with FOSS: the guarantee of freedom vs the option of freedom.

This shows up in all kinds of interesting ways, most directly in how projects are set up, licensed, and governed.

Jan 26, 2021

If you work with a lot of ‘cloud-native" software, you often wind up seeing projects in a foundation, requiring CLAs, employment disclosures, but most importantly: the projects are always under licenses like Apache-2.0.

These projects offer freedom but do not guarantee it.

Jan 26, 2021

This is contrast to a lot of software outside that space (e.g. desktop and regular server stuff). Projects tend to be more organic and often use licenses like LGPL or GPL.

These projects guarantee freedom to sustain themselves because they cannot rely commercial interest.

Jan 26, 2021

Lately, it’s become in vogue for small projects to favor the ‘option" of freedom for adoption instead of the “guarantee” of freedom.

If your project isn’t complex enough to motivate consumers to contribute back and help sustain it, this can backfire.

Jan 26, 2021

If it’s easy for consumers to make and maintain private changes without sharing them under the terms they were granted, they often will, especially corporate consumers.

Often this is because it’s too hard to get grants to release improvements for permissively licensed projects.

Jan 26, 2021

Most folks these days have a decent understanding of their rights and obligations, and generally if they’re consuming a useful project, they will exploit their privileges to the furthest extent they can. This is how we get debacles like the one with Elastic, Redis, and others.

Jan 26, 2021

If your goal is to guarantee the long-term existence and advancement of a project, carefully consider whether you want to forego the requirement of guaranteeing freedom.

If you look at the longest-lasting projects with real stamina, most are set up to guarantee freedom.

Jan 26, 2021

While there are obvious exceptions, those are often due to extenuating factors (outsized complexity, charity ownership with strict governance, etc.).

Most that don’t have those (like desktop Linux projects, for example) are deliberately set up to guarantee freedom to all.

Jan 26, 2021

In the end, it’s obviously about which trade-offs matter to you.

But, in order for FOSS to be long-term sustainable, we need to make choices to encourage the code to live on, no matter who works on it at any given time.

So please think of this carefully.

— @Det_Conan_Kudo

Jan 27, 2021

RT @peripateticacad: Recorded an @imakefoss video chat tonight with @Det_Conan_Kudo about his journey in FOSS that all started at a library…

Jan 27, 2021

I (@Det_Conan_Kudo) virtually sat down with @peripateticacad and talked about how I got started in FOSS (including how I discovered Linux), my vision for FOSS and community empowerment, and how that relates to my becoming a member of the @openSUSE board.

Jan 27, 2021

Well, today marks the end of my time running @imakefoss. It was short and sweet, but I’m pleased to have been part of it!

At this point, it’s time to hand over the reigns to @damonlynch!

If you want to continue to follow my ramblings, you can follow me at @Det_Conan_Kudo.