It is implied that eslint gets too much funding and is sustained by donations, although most of the costs of developing it are not funded in this way. Developers are paid by companies out of a budget that is not reflected in the eslint sponsor pages.
It is one more example showing that donations are, for most of Free Software projects, covering only a small fraction of the cost to run it.
If a Free Software project is not sustained by donations, distributing a fraction of the donations to dependencies is unlikely to have a significant impact on their sustainability. The amount distributed to dependencies should instead be a fraction of the actual budget of the Free Software project.
- extremely successful project
- ESlint has been been going on for 9 years, developed by people paid by companies
- three years ago they starting accepting donations
- did not know how to spend it and stashed it until ~2021
- start to spend it in the past year / two years
- donates ~3k per month to dependencies
- receives ~10k per month from sponsors
- most donations are from large companies
- about ten people work on a daily basis on eslint
- donations to dependencies is on a case by case basis
Did not work:
- paid a part time maintainer
- paid a full time maintainer
Works fine and keeps going:
- pay for the redesign the website
- ongoing hired a technical writer to work on the documentation
- the cost of paying ~10 eslint maintainers on a daily basis is an order of magnitude more expensive than what eslint gets in funding
- the current eslint budget is therefore a fraction of the cost to maintain eslint
- there is no analysis of the cost of running eslint: who gets paid how much to do what
- there is no strategy to increasing funding to cover the majority of the cost instead of a fraction of the cost