Open source is built by individuals from around the world - some of whom are not paid a wage (or anything!) for their work. “Open Source Sustainability” is a movement to change the software ecosystem - contributors and users alike - to ensure better financial sustainability for the people and organizations who build the open source software the world relies on.
Some critical open source projects used across the web are maintained by small teams of unpaid individuals. The maintainers are the ones in charge of a project’s repository and making new releases - either to fix bugs, or address security issues. “Paying the maintainers” means finding ways to compensate maintainers for this often unpaid labor.
Sustainability of open source touches on many, many different realms of thought and action, and is a new field for many practitioners. Reviewing the key aspects of sustainability provides a framework to understand different areas of sustainability. The kinds of issues and factors that a sole maintainer cares about may be very different than those of a foundation, or an academic researcher thinking about long-term ecosystem health.
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