Episode 60: Erik Rasmussen on the hard work of maintaining, marketing, and funding open source libraries

Panelists

Allen “Gunner” Gunn | Eric Berry | Justin Dorfman | Richard Littauer

Guest

Erik Rasmussen

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! Our special guest today is Erik Rasmussen, who’s the creator of Redux Form and Final Form, two of the most popular form state management libraries in the React ecosystem, which we will learn more about. Erik talks about his blog post on, “Open Source Sustainability,” which he wrote out of frustration. He has such a passion and positive attitude for open source, but there are things that bother him as well, which he discusses. We learn that looking for contributions from larger organizations is an issue without the marketing aspect and maybe what can be done to help. Also, Eric Berry shares his vision of the future in open source which is pretty awesome! Download this episode now to find out more!

[00:01:06] Erik tells us what he does and how he got invited on this podcast. We also learn what Redux Form and Final Form do.

[00:05:13] Find out what Erik meant when he said it “balloons and it was too much,” but he also said he enjoys maintaining open source. He also talks about his blog post he wrote a couple of months ago and what bothers him about open source.

[00:08:52] Eric wonders if the sustainability of open source depends on people like Erik because of his positive attitude and have any large companies reached out to him to support him in any way.

[00:10:14] Justin asks if Erik if his library is on a dependency tree or people go NPM and install your library. Also, Justin wonders what Erik’s going to do to improve in getting the message out there that he’s looking for contributions from larger organizations.

[00:16:02] Eric is curious if money was never part of the equation and if Erik could never make a dime off of this, how would that change his outlook on open source and the projects that he puts out, and would he continue to maintain them.

[00:17:24] Eric tells us his vision of the future in open source. ☺

[00:20:25] Richard mentions in one of Erik’s blog posts he talks about how the donation model doesn’t work, but works partially for some people, and he also mentions an insurance model and Erik elaborates his envision.

[00:23:57] Richard asks if Erik has any hope and if he’s going to keep working on open source.

[00:25:20] Erik tells us where we can find him on the internet.

Spotlight

  • [00:26:15] Eric’s spotlight is PgHero by Andrew Kane.
  • [00:27:02] Justin’s spotlight is Dato, better menu bar clock with calendar and time zones for macOS.
  • [00:27:43] Richard’s spotlight is Etymonline.com.
  • [00:28:20] Erik’s spotlight is the GraphQL Code Generator.

Quotes

[00:04:10] “And then as a maintainer, this was really my first foray into open source, I made some rookie mistakes of trying to please everyone.”

[00:06:26] “I love open source and the fact that I can see that it is sort of rotten at its core bothers me, and what I mean by that is the incentives are misaligned from all sides.”

[00:22:51] “It’s a little bit how our medical system, especially in the U.S. is broken, that your doctor makes more money the sicker you are, and it should be the opposite. We should pay doctors to keep you well and if you get sick then the doctor has to do some work. Same thing with open source, people should be paying for there not to be bugs, and if there are bugs expect because of that contract that they will be immediately fixed.”

Links

Credits

Special Guest: Erik Rasmussen.

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