Frank Hampus Weslien

Transforming Package Management into a Package Marketplace


In the world of software development, open-source tools and libraries play a critical role. Yet, the model under which these tools are distributed and maintained often needs to be revised. The “tragedy of the commons” is a prevalent issue, where large enterprises benefit immensely from open-source software without contributing back to its development or maintenance. I believe the issue is the lack of a package marketplace. What if package management tools like Cargo, NPM, and PIP integrated payments directly?

The Current Problem

Open-source software (OSS) is foundational to modern software development. However, its free nature often leads to exploitation, particularly by large enterprises that gain significant value without proportional contributions. This imbalance causes numerous problems:

What If Packages Were Like a Store?

Imagine a world where downloading packages via tools like Cargo was akin to shopping in an app store. Here’s how this could address the current issues:

  1. Elimination of Problems like Core-js: By monetizing packages, developers would be compensated for their time and effort, reducing the likelihood of critical packages becoming unsupported.
  2. Diversity and Competition: A package marketplace would encourage more developers to create and maintain packages, fostering a diverse and competitive ecosystem.
  3. Fair Compensation: Large companies benefiting from open-source packages would be required to pay for the value they receive, ensuring a fair distribution of resources.
  4. Improved Security: With financial incentives, developers would have more resources to invest in thorough testing and security measures, leading to more secure packages.
  5. Enhanced Documentation and Developer Experience (DevX): Monetization would increase the emphasis on high-quality documentation and user experience, as developers would aim to attract and retain paying users.

Potential Challenges

Implementing a package marketplace model for packages will not be without challenges. Key considerations include:


The open-source community stands at a crossroads. By reimagining package management as a package marketplace, we can create a healthier, more sustainable ecosystem. This approach not only addresses the “tragedy of the commons” but also incentivizes innovation, security, and quality. It’s time to rethink how we value and sustain the software that underpins our digital world.

To bring this vision to life, we need a visionary to develop a new language or package manager with payment as a core feature. Perhaps that someone is you? You won’t need to worry about me; I’ve already got plenty on my plate!