Using Proprietary Services to Develop Open Source Software


… a lot of open source software is developed on (and with the help of) proprietary services running closed-source code. Countless open source projects are developed on GitHub, or with the help of JIRA for bug tracking, Slack for communications, Google Docs for document authoring and sharing, Trello for status boards. That sounds a bit paradoxical and hypocritical—a bit too much “do what I say, not what I do.” Why is that? If we agree that open source has so many tangible benefits, why are we so willing to forfeit them with the very tooling we use to produce it?

But it’s free!

The argument usually goes like this: Those platforms may be proprietary, they offer great features, and they are provided free of charge to my open source project.