Accidents and unforseen setbacks happen — to open source projects and their maintainers. The “Bus Factor” has been felt a lot lately.
There is some disturbing news in the larger open source community about declining financial and developer support:
- The Babel project announced that they are running out of money. 💸
- After a third of Basecamp‘s employees resigned, developers have expressed concerns about the future of Ruby on Rails. 🚪💨
- In the PHP world, the “Bus Factor” seems too low, as some critical aspects of the project rely on just one or two people. 🚍💥
In the WordPress ecosystem, many companies support the core project by sponsoring contributors to assist with the project — and many are doing this full-time. Overall there is good support for Five For The Future. But I see weak spots too, like testing. Especially with Full Site Editing, core contributors need more support for testing.
Despite some areas that need improvement, WordPress is in a good position today. Without several key companies, including Automattic, it's easy to see how the bus factor would likely be a much higher concern for the WordPress project.