Janitors, the unsung heroes of the modern world. The invisible people, doing the dirty work behind the scenes. Does an equivalent exist in the crypto ecosystem? Who are the people who built our thriving ecosystem, that do not get recognition for the blood, sweat, and tears they have shed to allow us to transact and trade easily. How we can help them, and bring their efforts to light:
Over the 13 years that this world has existed, many open source projects have popped up, were forked* by larger, more established actors. Sadly this phenomenon is not only prevalent the crypto ecosystem, but rather in the whole software development industry as a whole. The small invisible developers, who usually write code out of passion, get their code copied and used by companies and institutions. This practice is of course legal, but I would like to argue we should at least, give these developers some recognition, and potentially buy them a coffee.
Some things you can do as either a user of these established services or, as a creator of forked software:
- If you are a user using software that was forked from a smaller open source passion project you can do a few things:
1. Search for the original GitHub repository and toss them a star.
2. If the author has a Ko-Fi link or a crypto address you can send them a small tip as a token of appreciation.
3. Shoot them a message or DM just thanking them, saying you appreciate their work.
- If you are forking a smaller open source project you can do a few things:
1. Add credit in the service, though not required, it’s the ethical thing to do. It’s a small effort for you to use code that potentially took weeks to write.
2. Shout the original developers out on your socials, tweet a tweet, broadcast a message to show your appreciation.
3. Toss them a tip, doesn’t need to be anything big, just to show you recognize their work.
This is a call-to-action! Even if one can’t make a difference, we together can!
Let’s do this!
*In software engineering, a project fork happens when developers take a copy of source code from one software package and starts independent development on it, creating a distinct and separate piece of software. The term often implies not merely a development branch, but also a split in the developer community; as such, it is a form of schism. Grounds for forking are varying user preferences and stagnated or discontinued development of the original software.