core-js, an open source project with over 9 billion downloads, has not been rewarded by its developers, who have even become destitute because of their full time commitment to the project.
Denis Pushkarev, a core-js developer, has posted a long letter on Github detailing his current plight and that of the core-js project, which is simply that donations are so low that he can’t support his family.
Denis Pushkarev is Russian, and for reasons that are well known, core-js had a very small monthly PayPal donation, but then PayPal was not working, so the monthly donations of a few dozen dollars were gone.
Big companies are using but not donating to.
Say core-js, you’re not necessarily familiar with it, but half of the world’s top 100 websites use core-js, including Apple, WhatsApp, QQ.com, Link, Nifty, eBay, Spotify, Pxxxhub, PayPal, Coinan, and more.
But even so, Denis Pushkarev’s donations are rounded up to 0. He is often blamed by his family for his lack of income, and now he has a 1-year-old son and parents to support, so I’m sure you can imagine how scary it is for a middle-aged man to have no income.
Once Denis Pushkarev tried to insert a small advertisement in the core-js console hoping to find a job for himself, and he received hundreds of tirades every day, but open source can’t keep on generating electricity with love.
No money for compensation and then jail.
Denis Pushkarev was also jailed for 10 months in 2020 for driving his car one night and hitting two drunk teenagers who were crawling down the road in dark clothes. Afterwards, Denis Pushkarev was jailed for 10 months without a computer and Internet because he did not come up with the $80,000 in damages.
What lies ahead.
At the moment Denis Pushkarev has a few different options in mind to support his family, the first is to get proper donor support; the second is to find a job with a company that supports work on open source and web standards and then slowly close source or commercialize core-js; the third is to watch core-js slowly die.
If it is closed-source and commercialized, the number of users will probably plummet, but there will always be companies willing to pay for it, and it will allow Denis Pushkarev to support his family.
But the community will surely say we will fork, go™ commercial and we will continue to use the open source version. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t make sense to just fork without maintenance and updates, and Denis Pushkarev claims he hasn’t seen anyone adding important code to core-js or contributing regularly until now.
So now the three options above are the real issues in front of core-js, and the choice depends entirely on the open source community and… The big companies.
The open source community is responding to donations.
The good news is that after this post, Denis Pushkarev’s Bitcoin account received 3 1 BTC donations and several smaller BTC donations, leaving a current balance of 3.122 BTC, worth about $70,000, which will at least tide Denis Pushkarev over for now.
There are also Chinese developers on Github suggesting that the author sign up for Alipay International so that he can initiate donations via Alipay, and there are also Web3 community users who want to donate via the erc20 chain, but Denis Pushkarev has not yet responded to these issues.