Towards a sustainable solution to open source sustainability (Tobie Langel)

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A few years ago, Heartbleed epitomized a massive open source sustainability problem for critical parts of the internet infrastructure. The bug, which affected the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library, notably compromised the confidentiality of 4.5 million US patient records and cost the industry an estimated $500M.

It was soon revealed that the root-cause of the issue was that OpenSSL was precariously understaffed. Open source sustainability became a major theme overnight. Stories of maintainer burn-out made the headlines. And tentative solutions started to emerge, most of them donation-based.

In this talk Tobie Langel will explore a number of existing strategies to fund open source and make it more sustainable, from patronage to dedicated ad networks. And he will defend the idea that the best path to open source sustainability is to help companies understand the tangible business value they can get from contributing to open source.

Tobie Langel (@tobie) helps organizations understand and leverage open source to recruit, retain, and foster top software engineering talent, and improve their teams' efficiency, culture, and morale. His clients include top tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Intel, or Mozilla.
Previously, he was a member of Facebook's Open Source and Web Standards team, and was Facebook's representative at W3C.
An avid open source contributor, Tobie Langel is known for having co-maintained the Prototype JavaScript framework and for numerous open source projects. He also edited a number of Web standards, including WebIDL, and led W3C's Web platform testing effort.

Painting: “Michelangelo Presents Lorenzo il Magnifico his Faun Bust” (detail) by Ottavio Vannini, 1635 (detail). Lorenzo de’ Medici was a powerful magnate, politician, and patron of the Italian Renaissance, especially known for supporting the work of Botticelli and Michelangelo.

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