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Episode 73: Supporting Python Open Source Projects and Maintainers

The Real Python Podcast

Aug 13, 2021 1h

How do you define open source software? What are the challenges an open source project and maintainers face? How do maintainers receive financial, legal, security, or other types of help? This week on the show, we have Josh Simmons from Tidelift and the Open Source Initiative to help answer these questions.

Episode Sponsor:

Josh does open source ecosystem strategy for Tidelift. We talk about what Tidelift is and how they support maintainers. We also discuss the types of support maintainers need and the barriers that can block that support.

Josh also serves as President of the Open Source Initiative. OSI is actively involved in open source community-building and education. He talks about how collectives and foundations can be powerful tools in the open source ecosystem.


  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:01:49 – What is Tidelift?
  • 00:03:41 – What is your role?
  • 00:05:28 – What is a lifter?
  • 00:06:50 – How much software used by businesses is open-source?
  • 00:10:26 – Comparing risks of proprietary, open-source, and commercial software
  • 00:18:52 – How to define a project as open-source
  • 00:30:17 – Defining rights and freedoms of open-source
  • 00:32:39 – Sponsor: Sentry
  • 00:33:43 – Obstacles in the way for contributions
  • 00:42:51 – Other types of support open-source contributors need
  • 00:46:55 – A goal to work with foundations and individual maintainers
  • 00:49:54 – Benefits of improved documentation, a force multiplier
  • 00:51:26 – Video Course Spotlight
  • 00:52:37 – What makes a managed open-source project?
  • 00:54:58 – What are you excited about in the world of Python?
  • 00:55:51 – What do you want to learn next?
  • 00:57:10 – Shoutout and call to action
  • 00:59:27 – Social media information
  • 00:59:46 – Thanks and goodbye

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