9/21/2018 9:02:50 AM
Tidelift surpasses $1M to pay open source software maintainers
Open Source Management,Open Source Projects,Open Source Components
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App Developer Magazine

Tidelift surpasses $1M to pay open source software maintainers



Christian Hargrave Christian Hargrave in Open Source Friday, September 21, 2018
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Open source software management company, Tidelift, hits over $1M committed on their platform.

Tidelift announced that it has surpassed one million dollars committed via its platform to pay open source software maintainers to provide professional assurances for their projects, as momentum behind this new approach to professional open source continues to build. Over 100 packages are already on the Tidelift platform, with maintainers getting paid to provide support for their packages through the Tidelift Subscription. Top packages featured include Vue, Material-UI, Babel, Gulp, Fabric, Active Admin, Doctrine, and StandardJS.

With Tidelift, software development teams receive assurances around maintenance, security, and licensing from a single source. By bringing together maintainers with a global market of customers, Tidelift is helping make open source work better for everyone.

“Reaching the one million dollar milestone for paying maintainers at scale shifts us into a whole new gear for open source,” said Tidelift Co-founder and CEO Donald Fischer. “And it is only the beginning. We’re creating a balanced model that rewards maintainers financially for their hard work, while solving real and immediate problems for professional development teams, speeding up the rate of innovation and increasing the reliability of the software that society depends on.”

Tidelift invites all open source project maintainers to start earning by signing up to offer professional assurances as part of the Tidelift Subscription. The company also has pre-approved a select group of open source packages for guaranteed minimum payments of $10,000 each. There is no cap on earnings. As these packages add subscribers through the Tidelift Subscription, payouts will increase.

Participating maintainers keep full control of their packages and technical roadmaps, and provide maintenance for their software, not helpdesk or consulting services. Tidelift pays participating maintainers when subscribers use their packages. Maintainers can also get referral bonuses for each subscriber signup, with no cap on referral income.

Professional development teams need assurances, maintainers get the incentive to provide them

Most of the hundreds of thousands of open source components that software development teams in corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions rely on lack any form of professional support. Meanwhile, the maintainers who work on these projects are rarely paid directly for their efforts. This can limit the time they devote to critical maintenance and innovation.

Tidelift surveyed over 1,200 developers and users to understand current and predicted demand for professional support for open source software. Based on that feedback, Tidelift is initially focusing on support for packages in the JavaScript, Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby programming language ecosystems. Most packages in these ecosystems have no other professional support options available. Tidelift will continually add support for new ecosystems in response to customer demand.

“While open source has made dramatic gains in share within the enterprise, and is used heavily at all layers of the stack, a relative minority of that open source software is commercially supported and professionally maintained,” said Stephen O’Grady, Co-founder, and Principal Analyst at RedMonk. “To date, most efforts at funding development outside single ecosystem models have been inconsistent and difficult to scale. What enterprises and open source alike would benefit from is a model which provides businesses with high quality, dependable support for a much wider range of products and developers with the incentive to provide it. This is exactly the opportunity Tidelift is focused on.”



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