A Modest Proposal: Strong Naming Carbon Offsets

Published on April 14, 2014

The Strong Naming Debacle has once again reared its head, with lots of strong opinions and debates on how to solve the mess. Here’s my solution, and it’s the only one I’ll entertain for any of my projects going forward.

So here’s my proposal:

For a fee of $1000/yr, per GitHub repository (i.e. $2000/yr for both ReactiveUI and Akavache), I will build and give your organization access to a Strong Named version of any open-source project I maintain. This repo will be a private MyGet repo that only your organization will be able to access, and it will be kept up-to-date with new versions.

That’s a lot of money!

It sure is. As I’ve mentioned before, Strong Naming has no tangible benefit in almost all scenarios, and it is an undue burden on the Open Source Community.

So, to offset that burden, I’m providing this offer that will allow companies and individuals who require it, to contribute monetarily to the Open Source Community, instead of the time / expertise burden of attempting to sign it yourself.

To be clear, both the source code and the (unsigned) packages on NuGet remain completely free and without restriction, and companies and individuals would still be able to Strong Name themselves without paying. But, if you want me to deal with this problem, you’ll have to pay me.

If we all start doing this, businesses now have a financial incentive to not require Strong Naming, yet have an escape hatch if they want it. If you’re an Open Source maintainer, consider applying a similar policy to your projects as well.

Anaïs Betts

Written by Anaïs [a.na'is] Betts, who lives in Berlin.

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