Open Source Closed Contribution

Open source maintenance can be difficult. A common half-joke in the tech industry is that everyone eventually relies a little open source project that has one single person who has been working without pay since 1990 to maintain their small hobby project. This dynamic between people who use software and people who build it poses many issues for the software industry but one of them is maintainer burnout, where the maintainer either cannot or will not continue to work on their project. This is much more common than you might imagine. Even slightly popular open source projects will see a huge number of people who have not integrated into the projects by reading contributor documentation try to open issues and pull requests demanding that their issue be fixed. This causes some projects to be abandoned by their owners and never touched again.

A method of mitigating this that has been gaining popularity recently is Open source but closed contribution: Open source project that you can use freely and fork but the maintainer will not do the difficult part; reviewing pull requests, getting feature requests, and answering questions.