Great reads - January 2019 Edition

Happy new year! Here is what I have been reading so far

  1. Mozilla Firefox “not an ad” experiment irks the Web, again

“Mozilla, the not-for-profit organization behind the popular Firefox browser, is always searching for ways to keep the lights on while developing and distributing a complex and sophisticated piece of software for the price of free.” – JC Torres

Love that quote. FWIW, I believe only a tiny percentage of Firefox users are “irked.”

  1. Migrating from Google Analytics with Countly

Note: Countly seems to be confused with “open source” and “source available” due to their modified AGPLv3 license.

  1. Monorepo: please do!

  2. HN Discussion on “Supporting open source with 3% of our revenue”

many codebases are large and complex, and so even expert programmers won’t automatically understand how to improve them substantially without a considerable amount of study. It’s likely that many people will need to be paid for that investment, not because they ideologically believe that software should be property, but because it takes up a huge amount of their time and effort that they won’t be able to apply elsewhere. - schoen

  1. Chef co-founder and CTO Adam Jacob stepping down

  2. At OSCON 2019: Put Open Source to Work

  3. Stewardship Made Practical W/ Stuart Halloway

I haven’t watched the entire thing yet but a fellow sustainer, Devon Zuegel posted it in a private forum and found it thought-provoking.

  1. Apple is indeed patenting Swift features

Chris Lattner’s response to the hyperbole.

  1. The MIT License, Line by Line

p.s. Just because I link to something doesn’t mean I necessarily endorse it. I just find it thought-provoking and/or interesting.


This FireFox user hadn’t even heard of it, but am not irked even now lol.

I hadn’t looked much into Countly but as an alternative to Google Analytics it looks interesting. It looks like the change they made to the AGPL was that you can’t change the branding in any way shape or form. It’s more than just “source available” but it is certainly an odd thing to add. It’s almost the exact opposite of what you’d think you’d want to have. Someone makes huge modifications and sells it under their own labeling but when it’s running on the server it shows up with their branding…okay…and who gets stink on them if the customizations crap out? The people whose logo is staring at them in the face every day. Who will get the support calls until someone figures out it came from another vendor? It will all go to them. Something tells me they didn’t think that one through all the way. Attribution would have been sufficient. But anyway…on the spectrum it seems like a positive step away from Google.

1 Like

My favorite quotes:

This is why introducing licensing shenanigans to solve the “AWS problem” is a non-starter, a solution looking for a problem. You’re not going to resolve your own business mistakes by reverse-engineering a licensing solution to what was essentially a business model problem.

If you’re thinking about starting a company, don’t let the tail wag the dog. Start with the question “how can I deliver value for customers” and work backward from that. Then piece together the open source components you’ll need for your ultimate solutions that deliver value and construct your software supply chain.


@GeorgLink wow there is a lot of good stuff packed into one article!

1 Like

Sustaining Open Source Software by Stephen Walli, one of the participants of Sustain event.

The trouble with ‘open source software sustainability’ ultimately is that open source licensed software has become so ubiquitous and successful in the software world in general that we often mistake software problems for ‘open source’ problems.


Great find. I am starting to get overwhelmed with the amount of great articles around open source sustainability. Stephen was in my license breakout group. Very knowledgeable and I look forward to putting aside ~20 minutes to digest this article.


Exactly, it’s a good sign of course but still, there are too many things to read & follow. I’m still trying to finish Request for Commits episodes for instance :slight_smile:

Meanwhile let me squeeze this good news, in case if some didn’t see it yet:
Ford & Sloan Foundations: Announcing $1.3M in funding for digital infrastructure research

1 Like

Great find. Want to Tweet it and I’ll RT it from @sustainoss?

1 Like

@HankG @GeorgLink @coni2k would you mind looking this over before it gets published on

If you DM me your email I can grant suggestion mode. No worries if you can’t.


@jdorfman thanks for asking about the tweet. You can retweet from the original one.

And, about your article, I could suggest some small changes, so sent an “edit access” request.

1 Like

I apparently don’t have messaging permission yet but if you send me a message I can respond.

1 Like

Done. Let me know if want a second revision.


@HankG @GeorgLink @coni2k

I sent the final draft over to and they said it will be live in 5-7 business days. I’m really excited and really honored to have collaborated with fellow sustainers =)


Awesome! :1st_place_medal:

Thank you @jdorfman for taking the lead.
Thank you @coni2k and HankG for providing helpful feedback.


Yaay! Good job guys, I’m really happy to hear :slight_smile:

1 Like