No, I have not sold my soul

Does your money match your mouth?

[AUTHOR’S NOTE]: I have edited this article and improved it as No, I have not sold my soul, v2 (originally on my site).

This is true despite the fact that I am moving my websites (including this one) away from OVHcloud and/or self-hosting, including a shift to using Microsoft 365. Some of you will never believe that and not accept what I have to say about it, but for me it’s the right decision. Some think of proprietary companies as akin to ’the devil’ or some global conspiracy, but the reality is that the reason open source and non-profit companies are not who provide most services for most people is that people don’t put their money where their mouth is.

Open source and non-profit companies depend heavily on people contributing to the software or organization, and most people, even those who benefit from the software or service don’t. That means doing open source or non-profit for a living often leaves one with ‘starving artist’ syndrome, where one is doing potentially important, historically famous (although the majority of projects/artists do not fit that category) work and be struggling to have money for food and shelter. Proprietary companies on the other hand usually pay their employees well enough that the employee’s concerns are not those of ‘bare survival’.

You may have noticed that this site has moved to Netlify, which is a very cool static web hosting company. It is also proprietary (although friendly to open source, unlike some proprietary companies). That is for two reasons.

  1. Self-hosting my sites and infrastructure was a huge time sink, and not cheap.
  2. I had become extremely frustrated with the ‘customer service’ / ’tech support’ at OVH and finally decided to move everything away from them. I could have done some other self-hosting option but my research didn’t turn up anything in Canada that I felt was likely to remain in business and had good customer service, based on user reports in various locations.

BTW, a common feature of ‘cloud’ provided services, especially for hosting seems to terrible (or no) customer service. Ditching customer service is probably one of the main reasons the FAANGs are so profitable. If something is free or too inexpensive something has had to give (not mention the whole data thing). Such is postmodern life I guess—actual service has to compete with ‘free’ services that have no customer service.

Anyway, besides drifting off topic, I have some projects I plan on working on as soon as I complete the transition away from self-hosting. Not having to constantly deal with distractions from things that aren’t my core goals ought to help a lot.

My core values have not changed, I just understand better that the stories about who is evil and who is good are not all true, and I’ve chosen to concentrate my efforts more effectively.