It's been 45 or so years since the free software movement started and hardly 1% of professional programmers make a living by developing free software.

And of those being able to make a living, most are developing "enterprise open-source software" (like Kubernetes, Prometheus etc.) which the general public is never going to use.

@njoseph is this surprising? Free software is by it's nature free and thus difficult to monetize.

@njoseph when general public start paying for the free software they need, we will get more developers jumping in.

@alcinnz @tshrinivasan @njoseph @elementary @federico3 tagging #ElementaryOS was a good hint. I run Debian, and always need to recommend to non-techies what I don't run: Ubuntu. Not ElementaryOS. Secondly, it would need persuasion that paying for it is a good thing. Firstly, its a bad start that I don't run what I recommend.

Maybe techies have to pay for a non-techie distribution and develop on it, to get othwrs to.

Was this about Elementary, or Patreon backers? Options on both fronts would be better, of course.


@tshrinivasan True. That's why, despite some issues I have with the project, I still pretty much advocate people to use @elementary and still do that on my own (desktop) machines exclusively at the moment, as they so far seem the only distribution working trying to solve this problem.


@z428 @tshrinivasan @elementary @njoseph yeah, between Blender Cloud and Elementary (and others too I don't yet know about), there is some evidence that it is a workable idea. Maybe Patreon backers of desktop software could instead pay for apps off the Elementary app store ...
@tshrinivasan @njoseph actually, what could be tried for Linux adoption is to advocate Debian/Devuan derivatives (that are dist-upgradable, not MX which needs reinstallation sometimes), and maintain a repository personally that they subscribe to - that way, we can curate different meta-packages tailored to use-cases, test them and publish them.
@njoseph the vast majority of programmers overall works on software that the general public will never use

@lain @njoseph this tbh, games and general-purpose office applications are a miniscule part of the software developed, even software with a user interface or that gets run on any personal computing device probably isn’t actually the larger part of what is developed overall

@hardbass2k8 @lain @njoseph and even among software with a user interface, a vast majority of programmers are working on the nth copy of a PHP website editing configuration files, or making minor tweaks to code from elsewhere that only applies to their specific situation. Among those who create original software worth sharing, the share of FOSS programmers looks a lot more decent than 1%

@njoseph I think this generation is more technically capable than ever, and I feel hopeful that people of the future will be building the software they use every day. I say this as someone developing the Fediverse.

@njoseph the commercial development model is unable to support Free Software. #FLOSS benefits society as a whole. If only there was a way to collect a bit of money from everybody to fund public needs...

@njoseph To be fair, we may also need less developers if we use free software. (Or could do more.)

My impression is that Mastodon was build with much less resources than Twitter.

@njoseph ... and worst: A lot of "FLOSS" projects are sponsored and backed nowadays by large industry donors who possibly don't care much about "free" / libre ideas (looking at you, GSoC). 😐


They don't just not care about libre, they don't care about personal computing either.

@njoseph General public uses Kubernetes every time they run one of those "apps" on their hand-held computers.
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