Astro Contributor Day

Fred Schott

Welcome to Astro Community Day! After a long week of new features and releases, we wanted to turn our attention back to the most important aspect of this project: the Astro community.

I’m excited to share a couple of new announcements, as well as updates on our own funding and open source sustainability efforts from the year so far.

The Astro Community is Awesome

We do a lot of work on GitHub. In the Astro monorepo alone, we have welcomed over 240 unique contributors across 2,600+ commits. The project is covered by a well-defined open governance model, a Code of Conduct, a structured RFC process, cool automation, and 17 amazing Maintainers who help us keep it all running.

We do a lot of community-building on Discord. We have over 4000 total members in our Discord, with over 400 actively engaged members visiting and hanging out with us every week. Self-organizing teams like @Maintainers, @Moderators, @Support Squad, and our awesome @Docs Team are a huge part of what make our server the best software-focused community on Discord, hands down.

Astro community contributors

Recognizing our Amazing Contributors

With Astro, we’re privileged to have some amazing project sponsors (more on them in a second). These sponsors allow us to recognize standout members of our community with more than just words. We do this through a program that we call The Astro Contributor Awards.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Every three months, we open up for nominations in our Discord server.
  2. Anyone can nominate anyone else they think went above & beyond.
  3. Our @Core Maintainers vote on the winners.
  4. Winners are recognized, celebrated, and awarded 100% of our sponsorship budget for that month (currently at ~$4300).

This happened to be our biggest month ever for nominations, with 36 community nominations received. After voting, we’re excited to announce our first batch of Contributor Award Winners publicly! Our awesome winners are:

  • aFuzzyBear, for his effort on the community “XElement” project, the “This Week in Astro” video series, and his infectious enthusiasm in our community.
  • Chris (@delucis), for significant contributions in both support and documentation. If you’ve noticed the new styling and color on the docs site, you have Chris to thank!
  • JuanM04, for significant contributions to the Astro codebase, such as the new astro add command.
  • Lostra, for significant contributions in community support.
  • Muhymin, for significant, continued efforts on the community “astro-imagetools” project.
  • readonlychild, for significant contributions in community support.
  • sarah11918, for leading the charge on our docs site revamp, joining aFuzzyBear for the “This Week in Astro” video series, and countless other contributions across GitHub and Discord.
  • ZV, for significant contributions in both support and documentation.

We’ll be posting this same list in our Discord later today, along with more details and instructions on how to claim your award if you’re one of the people listed here. Congratulations to all of our winners and nominees! 🥳

Supporting our Essential Dependencies

Some open source projects are lucky, and can raise large amounts of money from sponsors. Webpack raises $223,113/yr. Babel raises almost $300,000/yr.

Unfortunately, these types of projects are in a very small minority. For a variety of reasons, most other funded projects receive only a small fraction of this kind of money. 80% of npm’s top 1000 packages received zero funding of any kind (2019)[1].

This is a huge problem in open source today. The money is there, but it is not distributed fairly, Large open source projects have an obligation to sponsor smaller open source projects that they depend on.

Beginning today, Astro is committing 25% of its monthly Open Collective funds (currently $1075/mo) back to our own open source dependencies.

The people and projects that we sponsor will change over time, but we are already spreading our funds across the following four people and projects:

  • @sindresorhus, for maintaining over 50 utility npm packages inside our own monorepo alone.
  • @colinhacks, for building zod, an amazing TypeScript-powered validator that’s used for our config validation.
  • The Vite Team, for being the engine that powers Astro’s internal build pipeline.
  • The Rollup Team, for being the engine that powers Vite and, by extension, the efficiency of Astro’s build output.

We hope to expand this initiative going forward, and encourage all open source maintainers who receive funding to consider doing something similar. I look forward to sharing what we learn in future community updates.

Keeping Astro Sustainable

All of this is only possible because of our amazing sponsors. Thank you to Netlify, Vercel, DivRIOTS, Monogram, Stackup, Qoddi, Sentry, and the 30 other individual backers of our Open Collective. With your support, we have been able to raise almost $30,000 over the last year for our community.

100% of all raised money goes back to our community and the open-source dependencies that we depend on. The two initiatives described above are the main ways that we do that, but we are always experimenting with improving. In 1-2 unique situations we have experimented with allowing contributors to contract with us if they couldn’t otherwise contribute due to financial constraints.

Employees of The Astro Technology Company — the organization that was formed back in January to sustain the long-term growth and development of Astro — are not eligible for these sponsorship funds. This is part of our commitment to our sponsors (and our larger community) that 100% of all donations and sponsorships go directly into initiatives that support open source development.

Going Forward

Thank you again to all of our 400+ active Discord community member, who make this project such a joy to work on every day. I know enjoying your work to that level sounds cliche, but with this project I really mean it.

If you found this post interesting, consider sponsoring Astro. We welcome individual contributions, but really encourage corporate sponsorship if at all possible. Check out our Open Collective to learn more.

If you have ideas about open source sustainability or are just interested in discussing the topic more, please reach out on Discord. Feel free to start a conversation or make a suggestion to us in our #suggestions channel.

[1] This number may be out of date. I last checked back in 2019, based on the list of 1000 most downloaded packages, based on download count, and checked each one for a funding source of any kind. 80% of those 1000 packages did not list a funding source.