Interesting to see this good read from March 2017 now posted on Teddit (Reddit) about 9 hours ago : https://teddit.net/r/linux/comments/10bpvbh/what_it_feels_like_to_be_an_opensource_maintainer/ with useful comments. Nice one, Lemmy! Is Lemmy gaining traction ?

Yeah, i posted this, i basically constantly steal posts from lemmy and put them on reddit lol.

Having some extension showing reddit (teddit?) posts from links posted on lemmy or the other way around could be useful.



The author recently posted another one about stopping development of Pinafore in which he prominently linked this one. So I don’t think Lemmy had anything to do with it.


If you work on open source your basically doing work for free, there is a limit to how much you can do.

You can put a message when posting an issue, saying the project is missing maintainers, and existing maintainers have limited time to work on the project.

Another option is to use something like rysolv, if people don’t want to put money to have the issue fixed (even money that will go to some nonprofit feeding hungry africans) it’s probably not that important. The issue getting the most money indicates it is at least somewhat important.


The money thing is definitely an issue… when lemmy’s NLNet grant runs out, we will need to transition to a more sustainable model.

The best option for open source projects like this one to stay alive, is subscriptions (which we already have via liberapay and opencollective). I really like what tasks.org has to say about it:

I know you hate subscriptions. I don’t like them either.

Mobile apps must be maintained and supported forever, and one-time purchases are not an effective method of funding development¹. When one-time sales dry up then developers abandon the app. Subscriptions give them an incentive to keep you happy.

I think the best thing to do right now is to increase the active user count, then worry about conversion rate (basically percentage of users who contribute, which seems not good enough for lemmy)

e.g. fosstodon has about 42,934 MAU and makes about $3,236 (about 13 users per dollar).

for mastodon it’s 2706053 MAU and makes about $33,627 (about 80 users per dollar).

for lemmy it seems like it’s 7.6 users per dollar , but i think that could be higher because the donate button seems almost invisible.

Too real. The unimaginable weight that comes with running a successful piece of work is the reason I’ve stepped down from every. successful. project I’ve made.

A successful trait I’ve seen is the maintainer of the project is not someone who touches the code anymore. At a glance you’d think “What do they do?”, but the answer is a lot

Lionel C-R

Very interesting indeed, I could feel that wasn’t easy but had never read a such detailed description of the hardships encountered doing so.

It’s not THE solution but maybe it would be nice to have some sort of testimony section on code management tools so that developers could also feel the love for their product and not only negativity. Of course people could create issues to thank devs but since they’re called issues…

Well at least I can use this occasion to thank you and all the other devs and contributors for the wonderful job on lemmy, I really enjoy it.


Thanks <3

For me at least, the burnout comes from the fact that I want to code, not troubleshoot. I want to make new features, build snazzy front ends, and not have to worry about money.

But as lemmy’s gotten more popular, a big chunk of my time is spent doing the things the article mentions: responding to an endless stream of notifications that builds faster than you can close them, helping debug people’s system setups, address people’s odd use-case pet features they want, and troubleshoot other issues.

Many times people can be very rude, not realizing they’re asking you to do free labor for them. Its very similar to how some people treat restaurant servers as their personal servants.


It helps a lot to realize that we are not obligated to respond to anyones issue. Wee are providing a software for free, and if sonething cant get it working, thats their problem. They can just not use it, or pay someone for help. Just because I wrote some software doesnt mean I owe anyone an explanation how it works.

In this regard I think it will be helpful if we aggressively close any support requests on Github, and tell people to ask on Lemmy/Matrix, where other people can help them.

Very interesting analysis. Know I understand better why some projects just accept PRs and not issues

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