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Roads and Bridges: the unseen labor behind our digital infrastructure [pdf] (windows.net)
19 points by steveklabnik on July 15, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 4 comments

The first seven pages of "me, me, me" can be skipped. Then comes the important part - that the number of people behind some major open source tools is very small. Everybody on Github knows this - once you get past the top 50 or so open source projects, the number of active developers is very small, often 1. This paper just presents this for a popular audience.

It goes off in too many directions at once, though. This needs to be tightened up to about 5-10 pages.

(At one time, Python's SSL support was maintained by a World of Warcraft guild. They had security problems organizing raids.)

It really flies in the face of the common assumption that someone smarter than [present company] is in charge of [difficult domain or problem] that we solve with a library.

Development time could be treated as a sunk cost, and given that open sourcing it would improve the quality and maybe also get people working on it for free. You should open source as much as possible. But only if you are confident about your business plan.

The problem I think is that all the one man shops don't have a business plan.

I liked the story format and hope it brings more attention to the need for support of open source projects to folks who would otherwise not know anything about it.

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