back to article Are we having fund yet, npm? CTO calls for patience after devs complain promised donations platform has stalled

At the end of August, JavaScript package registry NPM Inc said it intended "to finalize and launch an Open Source funding platform by the end of 2019." But instead of a platform, what's available at the moment might be better referred to as a feature of the npm command-line interface (CLI). The announcement was received with …

  1. Elledan Bronze badge

    Can you imagine if NPM were to go bankrupt? Maybe some volunteers would have to take over and ask for, oh, donations or so to keep the servers on.

    How much is NPM's bucket o' JS cuttings worth to folk out there?

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      Its worth zero.

      Arguably if they removed this dependency platform, code quality would rise because developers would have to take responsibility for each 3rd party lib they consume.

      As for donations, the developers library website should have a paypal link on it and be done with it. This is pretty common for C libraries that are heavily used.

      Why do Javascript developers feel they deserve an "app-store" to pamper them and cater for their every need?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        C libraries are a different model, the developer makes it available any way they see fit, you download and compile the library yourself, and you would need to pay just the library developer.

        npm is different model, it's a centralised package repository, I guess they want to be in the middle earning their commission and that could be considered fair (unless they take e.g. 30%).

        1. overunder Silver badge

          Yeh, NPM is VERY different. If you just want one thing, well tough luck, almost every NPM has a bazillion dependencies, so how do you donate to just 1 noodle in the spaghetti mess?

          NPM is not even worth using today. Just find the exact part of code you want from the NPM itself and snip it out. Maybe early on NPM was useful, but today it's just a dependency nightmare that uses an obscene amount of package installers. I've seen numerous times that if all I wanted was that 40 lines of code, I'd have to install yet another "I'm cool" package installer.... crazy shit.

  2. ecofeco Silver badge

    This is some serious stupid

    ""[Funding open source projects] is still a very big problem and it's still a very unsolved problem," he said."

    And he didn't think of this from the beginning... why?

    Frankly, I think he's taking the piss.

    1. Simon Ward

      Re: This is some serious stupid

      And he didn't think of this from the beginning... why?

      Because bandwagons wait for no man?

  3. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Tidelift tries to actually solve this

    Why's no one talking about it? https://tidelift.com

  4. Julz Silver badge

    What Problem

    Charge for access and if the NPM platform is worth something, people will pay.

  5. PeterDCarter

    No meritocracy in complex tech

    The problem has long been that those with money and connections get to take on projects they screw up -- if they can project an image. A case in point is Open Collective who began their life with a heavily funded and promoted TED talk, and Democracy OS: a system that grew from the Argentinian vanity project Partido Del La Red, who promised Internet democracy for all and couldn't manage to create a login that worked. Stunningly, their leader still links to that system with its broken login page to this day. Naive Silicoln Valleyish entrepreneurs loved the plucky brand of Communism and lack of needless technical skill and so Open Collective was embedded into npm and yon company made a killing (they did do an OK login system this time around though). No-one else did. Except I guess that Radiohead donated a few hundred thousand to the heavily media plugged Extinction Rebellion via them... The shadow coding economy is still very much a thing and employers regularly overpay coders who are good at producing quick hacks for Stack Overflow rep for the exact same reasons they fail at scale. Struggling platforms like Code Signal and Toptal (and to a lesser extent PluralSight, who are both established in the tech industry and fringe at being taken seriously by anyone with their hands on the purse strings) try to introduce qualitative assessment processes that work, but few care. Meanwhile, Indian labourers create $1 websites and people from emerging economies attempt to code complex applications on their mobile phones, believing in vain their hard work will pay the way it should. Bill Gates pays other people to build media pleasing hydrogen powered super yachts (I mean, could you just not do that and save all the energy? Not conspicuous consumption enough?) with the massive proceeds from Azure, while failing to roll out a single major Windows update that doesn't brick important features. Azure doesn't work properly. This doesn't matter when companies will sink millions after millions as they learn their mistakes too late and double down to avoid embarrassment.

    In other news, a new study by developers for developers claims a fourth monitor boosts productivity by {{Math.random}} percent. Same old same old. New companies do exist that could be a part of the solution, but the existing funding pipelines don't know what they are doing, so you'd have to be the Steve Jobs AND the Wozniac these days to drive things forward. So no-one is...

    1. Jaaaaaam

      Re: No meritocracy in complex tech

      Weirdly, the whole Bill Gates superyacht thing was a total invention happily repeated by media that really should know better. Certainly got the company that builds them into the news though.

  6. eldakka Silver badge

    (emphasis mine):

    However, the desire for a way to pay developers who donate their labor to open source projects hasn't changed.
    Huh? Oxymoron? Not much of a donation if they expect to get paid.

    1. Anne-Lise Pasch

      Its a donation if the amount you pay is arbitrary, and allows for zero.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Well Of Course IT's Utterly Different. The Future is Not More of the Same Old Nonsense, Surely ‽

    That's Invites Madness Certainly

    In other news, a new study by developers for developers claims a fourth monitor boosts productivity by {{Math.random}} percent. Same old same old. New companies do exist that could be a part of the solution, but the existing funding pipelines don't know what they are doing, so you'd have to be the Steve Jobs AND the Wozniac these days to drive things forward. So no-one is... .... PeterDCarter

    We disagree there be no-one, PeterDCarter, for there are bound to be acres of them out there. :-) ....... waiting for all those times whenever they are truly needed, and thus to be heeded or ignore and denied at one's peril? :-)

    it also, he suggested, entailed changes to its company initiatives, roadmaps, and priorities.

    That sounds far too much like a Change of Base Intelligence Operating System to be considered otherwise.

    No Mean Meme Feat for Worthy Aspirants, for Basking Cruises in the Glories of Success to Excess be Readily Available for Exercising there.

    AIMission ‽ . ...... Universally Present Future Programs for Common Viewing with Vital Virtual Access to Projects for Populations via the Media Portal.

    When everything is good IT is never ever bad is something to ponder and wonder whilst basking and cruising in the Exercise Readily Available with Success to Excess the Glory for Worthy Aspirants of No Mean Meme Feats.

    Great Whites Roam Free and Fearless in the See of Basking Sharks.

    DARPA/IARPA are the goto discrete funders in the West* for many sensitive programs with a radical fundamentally changed operating system doing SMARTR deals. And they can be, so it is rumoured, the most grateful and gracious of benefactoring host too.

    That's AI Win Win .... Who Dares Wins Win Style. :-)

    :-) You do know what Elite Special Forces do and are supposed do, don't you?

    Surely that is not another top secret being kept from you?

    * Go East if in the West and Delight in the Sharing of New Knowledge with Almighty Ancient Partners SMARTR Enabled to do Practically Anything Virtually. And highly lucrative in reward too, which is just sweet supernatural justice kept satisfied with all future demands for Satisfying Supplies via Other Alternative Commands in a United Stateless Control. Although as that matures and is steeped in experience, do drivers and goals exchange places and spaces for a while ...... so one sees the other in plain view of ..... well,[s]a[/s] Colossal Creation is such a beautifully understated descriptor for allsuch as can easily be.

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