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Re: Loadbearing services

On Wed, Dec 09, 2020 at 10:30:52AM -0500, Stefan Monnier wrote:
> > This reminds me of an article from ESR.
> > He pointed out that there are essential pieces we use everyday
> > without any afterthought or payment. There are people who maintain
> > software or services for free on their own time we could not
> > live without. NTP comes to mind. I thing gnupg is basically maintained
> > by one person.
> Indeed.  Part of the distinction is one of resources: NTP does not
> require much resources, so it costs very little to maintain an
> NTP server even if used by a fairly large number of clients.
> In contrast, maintaining a VPN service used by a large number of clients
> can be costly because of the needs to encrypt/decrypt or because of the
> amount of bandwidth it uses.
> If it's cheap enough, you'll probably be able to find people willing to
> offer the service just because it makes them feel good.  But past
> a certain monetary cost it's going to be hard to find such people and
> you'll instead have to start figuring out how to actually pay for it,
> either by selling the service or by selling its clients or a mix of
> the two.

I think you are missing the point.
Sure these services are cheap. Still some of them are essential,
and there is only one person caring for it.
Raymond pointed out one case where this one person was already
retired. He was one of these old unix geeks and being old
dealing with some (severe) health issues. I forgot already what
exactly he was maintaining (see I also totally block this out),
but just imagine what happens when this one person maintaining
an essential piece dies or gets a stroke.
There are no classifieds for "time zone changes management" apprenticeships.
You might be right that it doesn't need much resources but there
is a lower limit and that might be "the last person" willing to do this.


Henning Follmann           | hfollmann@itcfollmann.com

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