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I think its very interesting to think about this article in the context on the open source projects that relied upon by the vast majority of major applications and companies. Specifically OpenSSL comes to mind here. That library has been used/leveraged in so many ways to build empires. Yet it's currently struggling to find dedicated engineers that will work on its core logic. It's an unfortunate situation and while yes there is LibreSSL and BoringSSL its non-trivial to move to their implementations (I have tried, its wrought with peril). OpenSSL isn't on its own either, there are many open source libraries/applications that are struggling to find "owners". None of which can be "easily" replaced by any means.

I think the comments about "heroic" culture being fostered by the lack of ownership is spot on, but it isn't a bad thing unless those heroic actors aren't actively trying to get attention put on said pieces of legendary software. Imo its better to have heroic actors than nothing, and especially in the context of an opensource application/library that is used worldwide, I hope we can find more to generate more interest in working on them.

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