Introducing `thanks`

thanks cli demo

🙌 I just released a neat little tool you can use with npm (the package manager for Node.js). It’s called thanks and it helps you donate to the open source maintainers you depend on! ✨

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Run npx thanks in your Node.js project
  2. See which of your dependencies are seeking donations! 💸

🌟 If you’re an open source author, add yourself to the list so people will know you’re seeking donations for your open source work:

I’m really excited by the opportunity to solve the crisis of “open source sustainability”. If you haven’t heard here’s the short version:

Our modern society—everything from hospitals to stock markets to newspapers to social media—runs on software. But take a closer look, and you’ll find that the tools we use to build software are buckling under demand."

– Nadia Eghbal (“Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure”)

Lots of the open source that is used to build the top apps is actually in dire need of help. We need more people to maintain code and triage issues. But also more funding so we can justify spending more time on open source instead of working for clients/working at traditional jobs. I know maintainers who even need funding to feed/shelter themselves (this is not an exaggeration).

We have a lot more work to do. thanks is just one attempt to help, but it’s only the beginning.

For now, take a look and see if any of the software you depend has authors who are seeking donations to continue their work.

Happy hacking!

Update 2018-02-14: Post-mortem

  • Built in 2-3 days
  • Live streamed myself working on it on Twitch.

Response

Forks

A few folks made versions for other languages:

Thoughts

Overall, much better response that I expected. In the future, I should try building out more ideas like this one where (1) I have a good gut feeling that there’s an unmet need, (2) it’s timely (current event or lots of ppl on twitter talking about it) and (3) it’s pretty quick to build. These are the most fun types of projects to work on :)

(If you liked this, you might like Freedom of Speech on the Internet.)

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Feross Aboukhadijeh I'm Feross, a programmer, entrepreneur, open sorcerer, and mad scientist.

I build WebTorrent, a torrent library for the web, WebTorrent Desktop, the best desktop torrent app, and Standard, a JavaScript linter. In my free time, I build Play, a music video app and NodeFoo, a Node.js documentation site.

I also maintain 100+ packages on npm. All my code is freely accessible on my GitHub page. If you like my work, support me on Patreon. Thanks to all my awesome supporters!

Lastly, I run Study Notes, a site to help students study better and get into college, and have done that since I was in high school myself.

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