The Creator of Homebrew’s Plan To Get Open Source Contributors Paid – Using Blockchain
The creator of the Linux/macOS package manager Homebrew has a new package manager named Tea. But according to Stack Overflow’s podcast, the software also “aims to solve the problem of providing funding for popular open source projects.”
While he is not a crypto bull, Max was inspired with a solution for the open source funding dilemma by his efforts to buy and sell an NFT. A contract written in code and shared in public enforced a rule sending a portion of his proceeds to the digital objects original creator. What if the same funding mechanism could be applied to open source projects?Â In March of 2022, Max and his co-founder launched Tea, a sort of spirtual successor to Homebrew. It has a lot of new features Max wanted in a package manager, plus a blockchain based approach to ensuring that creators, maintainers, and contributors of open source software can all get paid for their efforts.
You can read Max’s launch post on Tea here and yes, of course there is a white paper.
The paper describes the proposed solution as “a decentralized system for fairly remunerating open-source developers based on their contributions to the entire ecosystem and enacted through the tea incentive algorithm applied across all entries in the tea registry.”
And the launch post calls tea “our revolution against a failing system,” arguing “We’re taking our knowledge of how to make development more efficient and throwing innovations nobody has ever really considered before.
“Package managers haven’t been sexy. Until now. Most importantly, we’re moving the package registry on-chain (relax, we’ll use a low-energy proof of stake chain). This has numerous benefits due to the inherent benefits of blockchain technology.” For starters, decentralized storage will make the packages always-available and immutable, signed by maintainers themselves. But there’s more:
web3 has enabled novel new ways to distribute value, and with our system people who care about the health of the open source ecosystem buy some token and stake it. Periodically, we reward this staking because it is securing our token network. We give a portion of these rewards to the staker and a portion to packages of their choice along with all the dependencies of those packages.
Note that no portion goes to us. We’re not like the other app stores….
tea is the home to a DAO that will ensure the open source maintainers that keep the Internet running are rewarded as they deserve.
An introduction to the white paper adds that in the spirit of the open source movement, “we’re inviting developers, speculators, and enthusiasts alike to contribute to our white paper and help brew the future of the internet. This is our revolutionary undertaking to create equitable openâsource for web3, and we want you to be a part of laying its groundwork.”
Thanks to guest reader for submitting the story.