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Remember to support the projects you use and appreciate

By - | Views: 17,067

In light of some recent news surrounding the MSI Afterburner software, it's another reminder that it's quite important for people to directly support projects they use and enjoy. No this isn't me asking you to support my Patreon or anything.

While this first bit isn't Linux related, stick with it a moment. On the guru3D forum, the developer on Afterburner noted "MSI afterburner project is probably dead" and later elaborated "War and politics are the reasons" (Ukraine and Russia) and mentioned "the project is semi abandoned by company during quite a long time already" with MSI apparently not "performing their obligations under Afterburner license agreement" with the developer not being paid for their work. MSI are claiming "product marketing & accounting team are dealing with this problem now" and mentioned the war was causing payment issues.

Regardless of what's really happening it's a stark reminder that a lot of things we use directly and probably take for granted, or things other bigger projects use, are often developed and supported by single people (or only a few people). So if there's something you're using that you want to keep using, and see it keep working, perhaps it's a good time to throw some direct support behind it?

Makes me think about projects like MangoHud for Linux, the awesome way to get a Vulkan and OpenGL overlay on top of games that lets you monitor things like FPS, temperatures, system load, frame timings, benchmarking and more. MangoHud is even used on the Steam Deck, it's the performance overlay. Valve do sponsor the development on it but imagine if they didn't or just stopped (there's also direct support links on their GitHub).


That's MangoHud in the bottom right corner. Just ignore the frame timing spike, Dying Light 2 does not like its photo to be taken, it's a bit camera shy.

We also have other great projects like the Heroic Games Launcher, which has become very popular since the Steam Deck release to help people manage GOG and Epic Games Store on Linux desktop and Steam Deck. It only just recently expanded to handle games from other sources. I could keep on naming various important Linux gaming projects for hours. It's just another relevant easy example.

There's been worse examples to bring up like the time a developer on the faker.js and colors.js projects decided to stop doing it, and ended up pushing out a malicious update screwing over everyone using it. Why? They were fed up of "Fortune 500s ( and other smaller sized companies )" using their work without supporting it.

So to sum up this little reminder if you able to: give back to the projects you use and love, don't let them fade away.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Meta
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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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14 comments
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dpanter 11 Jan
I remember the times before Mangohud was a thing. We use to look to MSI Afterburner with envy and wonder why we couldn't have something similar in Linux. Sure there were things like Gallium HUD, VK_LAYER_MESA_overlay and DXVK_HUD but they were not exactly on par with Afterburner. How far we've come... I am eternally grateful for the tireless efforts from so many developers out there, frogs and others.
Salvatos 11 Jan
As someone who develops ancillary tools and documentation for a certain platform and distributes everything for free, let me also give the usual reminder that it’s not just (or at all) about trying to make living wages out of donations. Especially on small, single-person projects, just receiving a 2$ tip with a "thank you" once in a while is a great motivator that keeps the "is anyone even using this?" demon at bay.
It can be very easy if you break it down into small bits. Every pay cheque I try to put aside $20 to donate to a project I use. $20 doesn't seem like much but at the end of the year it adds up to $1040 into the FOSS ecosystem. Even if you did $5 a week it adds $260 a year. Can you imagine if every Linux gamer gave just $1 year to something ? The total amount going into FOSS projects would be in the millions. Most FOSS projects donation pages are depressing if they show public results. We can and should do better.
Liam Dawe 11 Jan
Quoting: PublicNuisanceIt can be very easy if you break it down into small bits. Every pay cheque I try to put aside $20 to donate to a project I use. $20 doesn't seem like much but at the end of the year it adds up to $1040 into the FOSS ecosystem. Even if you did $5 a week it adds $260 a year. Can you imagine if every Linux gamer gave just $1 year to something ? The total amount going into FOSS projects would be in the millions. Most FOSS projects donation pages are depressing if they show public results. We can and should do better.
This is a good way to think, I like this, think I might do this myself.
Brisse 11 Jan
Maybe a bit off-topic, but it reminded me of some thoughts I had a few days ago. I noticed lutris-wine hadn't been updated in a while and I decided to check on GitHub to see what was going on. The only things I noticed was that the person who used to publish new releases disappeared completely roughly in the middle of September. I'm not saying I know what's going on, but his name sounds quite Russian, and the timing coincide with the mobilization ordered by the Kremlin. Judging by the pride-flag next to his avatar, my guess is he's no friend of the Russian government, but gosh I hope he's okay and that my assumptions of what might have happened are totally wrong.
Termy 12 Jan
Very important topic, yes.
I put aside a few hundred bucks every year to donate to various projects at the end of the year, but i must admit though that those mostly go to bigger projects like KDE and the small 'auxiliary' projects often get overlooked. If i discover a neat small project and start to use it, i sometimes donate a few bucks directly, but of course that often gets overlooked if the project 'just works' and i don't think about it anymore ^^
Xpander 12 Jan
Quoting: dpanterI remember the times before Mangohud was a thing. We use to look to MSI Afterburner with envy and wonder why we couldn't have something similar in Linux. Sure there were things like Gallium HUD, VK_LAYER_MESA_overlay and DXVK_HUD but they were not exactly on par with Afterburner. How far we've come... I am eternally grateful for the tireless efforts from so many developers out there, frogs and others.

just to add more.. glxosd was a thing also and on wine you could use WINEDEBUG=+fps and then bring that output to overlay like thing with osd_cat.
But yeah.. Mangohud just has all the neat features.
Quoting: PublicNuisanceIt can be very easy if you break it down into small bits. Every pay cheque I try to put aside $20 to donate to a project I use. $20 doesn't seem like much but at the end of the year it adds up to $1040 into the FOSS ecosystem. Even if you did $5 a week it adds $260 a year. Can you imagine if every Linux gamer gave just $1 year to something ? The total amount going into FOSS projects would be in the millions. Most FOSS projects donation pages are depressing if they show public results. We can and should do better.

Not sure the maths checks out for millions, but a real big bunch of money still. While many users are free riding and it's a bit of an issue (let's be honest, even $5 a month can be done, but it has to be figured out how to explain it and put it in front of people...), it's nowhere near what companies do.

Quoting: liamThey were fed up of "Fortune 500s ( and other smaller sized companies )" using their work without supporting it.

This. Like the company I work at, we are bound by contract so that we can't even commit to a project if it's supposed to be used in the company (so the way around is commit back to a project, wait for it a few years and then see it at some points being updated in our systems, which is super dumb, and it's likely to not be legal anyway considering french laws, but I'm not a lawyer.)

But thanks to PublicNuisance reminder, guess I'll go the way of putting aside a fixed amount per mounth.
Nanobang 12 Jan
If I don't feel I can afford to donate money, I can donate a kind word, or words.

  • A simple "Thank you for all the work you've done" in a comment or email;

  • I can leave glowing comments on forums or sosh meeds about how much I love using a project;

  • I can help by translating for a project, or part of a project;

  • Or if a project's translation to my language is a bit rough, I can offer gentle help getting it corrected;

  • If I report a bug or an issue, I can mention how much I like the project at the same time;

  • I can write a friendly text or e-mail to the dev(s), sharing my experience with their project and what I like about it.


Sometimes all we can do is be kind, supportive, and friendly. It's not money, but it can make all the difference in someone's day, week, or even life.
Quoting: NanobangSometimes all we can do is be kind, supportive, and friendly. It's not money, but it can make all the difference in someone's day, week, or even life.

Very true, also help offset the assholes going left and right harassing devs. Without any relation to the previous sentence : AetherSX2.
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