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The Benefits of Indie Open Source Software

One of the reasons that I started working with Node.js was the sheer number of independent contributo
The Benefits of Indie Open Source Software
By Mastering JS Weekly • Issue #19 • View online
One of the reasons that I started working with Node.js was the sheer number of independent contributors contributing to Node.js core and publishing great modules on npm. Many of the most popular npm modules on npm can point to one or two individuals that were mostly responsible for the module (often TJ). Up until recently, it was rare that a popular npm module was backed by a big tech company.
Conversely, one of the major reasons why I avoid React is Facebook. React isn’t a major revenue driver for Facebook, and Facebook has proven they have no qualms about weaponizing React. What happens if they decide to put tracking software in React, or start making your React app start showing Facebook ads?
Vendor lock-in doesn’t just apply to whether your app is hosted on AWS or Azure. It also applies to the framework and library choices you make. How many developers were scrambling to figure out how they could ditch React when the license change happened? When you choose a framework, you place a certain degree of trust in the individuals working on the framework.
That’s why I have more trust in a framework like Vue: Vue is the primary product for the Vue team. The incentives are right for the Vue team to build great software and listen to their end users. For Facebook, React’s end users are an afterthought - supporting external React devs is a drain on the bottom line.
Independent OSS projects are better because there’s a stronger alignment of incentives. Indie developers have a reason to make great software - otherwise, their income suffers. Developers at big tech companies don’t have the same incentives, they’re rewarded for how well they sell their work internally and how well they support internal clients.

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