Xs:code — A Platform For Developers To Monetise Open Source Projects

Ever since Richard Stallman started the Free Software Movement, the free and open-source software (FOSS) community has been leading the way to promote the culture of collaboration and free software development.

Instead of relying on proprietary software for first pay and then use, developers start their own innovative projects. Later, it turns into a large community of developers that volunteer to contribute to the project and make it better. Even proprietary companies believe and are involved heavily in promoting and supporting open-source projects.

Obviously, large companies also use the open-source project in their business model to a large extent. But this is not the case for every open-source project. There are several projects that lag behind in getting financial or development support from these big corporations.

Even though companies generate large revenue by using open-source software, the real owner gets no recognition or money for his hard work. A recent example is the launch of the new package manager WinGet by Microsoft; the company initially failed to give credit for inspiration to the open-source package manager AppGet, but after the developer complained, Microsoft agreed to give credit.

Some developers may not demand money for their software and give everything free of cost to everyone. However, as the project grows, developers have a need for money to pay for the deployment and development of their open source project. In this case, they really need not only development support but also money.

Hence, they start looking for donations or other means of raising money such as paid services or features, and dual licensing. However, if you’re new to open source, you may find it difficult to generate money for your projects. You may easily get development support but not money.

So, if you’re one of the developers looking for money and support for your project, I want to introduce you to xs:code — a platform that empowers developers and respects their hard work and passion.

What is xs:code?

xs:code is an online subscription-based platform that allows developers to monetize their open-source projects. Using xs:code, developers can generate revenue by offering several services to companies using their code.

We spoke with Chen Ravid, Head of Product and co-founder at xs:code, and he said that:

xs:code is about connecting open source developers with the software companies who use their code. xs:code aims to help software companies find solutions for issues they have with the open source components they use while helping open source software (OSS) developers generate revenue with their projects, which can be used to continue developing them.

Key features of xs:code:

  • Easy service set up
  • Instant payments
  • Dual licensing
  • GitHub integration
  • Built-in revenue sharing

xs:code is an Israeli startup that has a vision to increase developer motivation, maintain open-source sustainability, and enable developers the freedom to create, code, own, and generate money for their work.

Why should developers use xs:code?

Currently, open-source developers have several ways to generate revenue and support their projects. For instance, donations using Patreon or other platforms, offering professional services or extra paid features, and dual licensing, one for free and other for paid users. Some software development platforms, like GitHub, provide them built-in support (GitHub Sponsor) to get funds for their project.

Do developers really get money from all these sources? Do people really donate enough for the open-source software they use? Most of software fails to generate the required amount of money, which consequently reduces the motivation of the developers.

This is where xs:code arrives to help and provide value for a developer’s work and time for their project. With xs:code, developers have the freedom to decide how their work and time is valued, which provides them the freedom to continue to build better software.

Developers choose features or services they should give for free or for money. The only thing they require is to integrate their project to the xs:code platform and set up the services they want to offer. The rest is all handled by the xs:code platform.

Use xs:code to earn money from open-source projects

xs:code gives OSS developers a complete, 100% free solution for offering paid value along with their free code. Developers can offer paid services such as support, bug fixing,  consulting, and paid licenses or premium versions of their code.

The xs:code platform provides everything a developer needs to start selling, without the headache of incorporating it as a company: a storefront, instant credit card processing, billing and invoicing, chat messaging with clients, and more. Developers can also easily split revenue amongst maintainers that work on the project as well.

Once developers provide services to companies and companies pay for the work, developers ultimately keep 75% of the revenue they generate. The developer decides if they would like a one-time fee or if it will be a subscription-based payment format for the feature/product/service they provide. The minimum transaction price is $5 USD.

Licensing in xs:code

One of the elements of any open-source project that decides and guides how the end-user can use, modify, and share the software is the license. Developers also use dual licenses to get paid for their open-source projects.

If you don’t know dual licensing, it means developers offer code in two separate repositories – both have the exact same code, but a different license. Usually, the public repository has a copyleft license like GPL for free use, and the private repository holds a permissive license like MIT or Apache 2.0 for paid users.

xscode two version of code for dual license

At xs:code, developers also get a benefit to set up a dual license for their projects. They can provide one version of their code free and open. While at the same time, they can sell a permissive version of their code under a second license. With the second license, they can sell additional features that might not be included in the free version but companies may want to have.

Conclusion

Xs:code is a win-win for both developers and companies. On the one hand, developers can monetize their open-source software, and on the other hand, companies can search for them, and pay to use software and get full support from the developer’s end. xs:code monetize the open-source to motivate developers and help them connect directly with companies looking for their valuable products.

If you want to know more about xs:code, check out the official site here.