Keeping Clojure open source sustainable

The Clojure ecosystem is built on open source. From the Clojure and ClojureScript projects, to the build tools, web frameworks, and the hundreds of innovative and useful libraries that we all depend on every day. The pervasive use of open source has enabled a flourishing Clojure ecosystem, but it also has some hidden downsides. The vast majority of Clojure projects are maintained by a small handful of people, often only one person. If they are not sponsored by their day job to work on the open source projects, then the time maintaining the project, responding to issues and pull requests, and support requests falls to nights and weekends, taking time away from friends and family.

Across the entire open source ecosystem, there is a growing recognition that the current model of open source is not sustainable. More and more, maintainers are suffering from burnout, or quitting the project entirely. Important projects can languish because the original maintainers no longer have time to work on them, or no longer use them themselves, or for any of many possible work or non-work related reasons..


Today, we are announcing Clojurists Together, an organisation designed to fund and support critical open source Clojure projects. Clojurists Together goal is to ensure that open source projects that are important to the Clojure community continue to be maintained and improved. We will do that by funding project maintainers to work on these projects. Clojurists Together follows the model of Ruby Together, where companies and individuals collectively sponsor a central organisation (Clojurists Together), which then distributes the money to open source Clojure projects.

How it works

Every quarter Clojurists Together collects feedback from members about which projects and areas are important to them, and they would like to see supported. At the same time, Open source project maintainers can apply for funding for the next quarter. The Clojurists Together committee then looks at the feedback from members, the applications from projects, and picks the projects that they think can have the biggest impact on the Clojure community. Every month, Clojurists Together reports on the progress the projects are making and where your money has gone.

Next steps