Recently the developer behind an alternative YouTube front-end that I regularly use to avoid actually using YouTube announced that he’s calling it quits. Although his blog post that clarified his intentions of shutting down said he’s not quitting because of costs, he did break down all the costs associated with the project and approximately what he pulled in monthly from donation (which was equal to roughly $5 per month). This developer was eating a ton of cost to keep the website going. Granted if I were in his shoes, I would place the call-to-action to donate in a more obvious position instead the bottom of the page, but nonetheless it reminded me that if we have an extra few dollars each month we should use them to support open source projects.
I know I’m in a privileged position to be working when so many people have gone unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I feel that donating to free and open source projects is important now more than ever. For example. the TOR Project recently laid off a third of their team and just today Mozilla had to let go of 250 employees working on Firefox.
Below are some projects I’ve made some donations to. With the exception of andOTP, all donations were done via Bitcoin. I personally don’t make that much money, but I’m trying to get into a pattern of behavior of donating small portions of my monthly income to FOSS and non-project projects I use regularly or generally support.
GrapheneOS – is an Android-based, security-hardened, privacy focused, free and open-source, mobile operating system I’ve been using on my Pixel 2 XL for the last several months. And the lead developer behind the project Daniel McCay is renown in the privacy and security community.
PrivacyToolsIO – This website has been a valuable resource for me as I transitioned from using Google and other privacy invasive services to more secure and privacy-centric tools. The team behind PrivacyTools thoroughly vets and provides recommendations for digital tools and services so long as they’re FOSS and have a solid reputation among other things.
Free Software Foundation – This non-profit organization was founded by Richard Stallman in the 1980’s to support the free software movement and promote the freedom to study, distribute, create, and modify computer software. The FSF is also the organization behind the GNU General Public License and continues to advocate the use of free and open source software.
NewPipe – is an alternative YouTube front-end for Android that is essentially a replacement for the YouTube android application but without the advertisements and tracking.
andOTP – this is a two-factor authentication application that’s free and open source. The app is maintained by a small team, but the current main developer is active.
It’s been a long time since I’ve donated to a non-technical cause. I think I’ll change that next month.