Marketing 2 min read

Standard Javascript Library now Shows Ads on its Terminal

Paolo De Gasperis /

Paolo De Gasperis /

Developers of the famous Standard Javascript Library have decided to show advertisements on its terminal. In a post last week on GitHub, one of Standard’s developers, Feross Aboukhadijeh, said:

“Whenever Standard 14 is installed, we’ll display a message from a company that supports open source.”

Aboukhadijeh, an entrepreneur and programmer who worked for Quora, Facebook, and Intel in the past, explained that the “sponsorship pays” from the ads would be used to maintain the JS library.

He said that his main goal is to make Standard healthier.

“If we learn that the experiment works, perhaps we can help make all open-source healthier, too,” Aboukhadijeh noted.

According to Aboukhadijeh, open-source projects like the Standard JS library rarely get funding from companies. If they ever did, it’s not enough to reach “packages which are transitive dependencies.”

“Essentially, we have a public good which is consumed by huge numbers of users, but which almost no one pays for.”

Funding the Standard Javascript Library

The idea behind the decision is to let companies buy ad space on the terminals of Standard Javascript Libabry users. Then, the earnings from the ads would be used to fix bugs, write new features, improve documentation, and other maintenance needs.

To date, the Standard JS library is being downloaded over three million times each month. Unfortunately, the popularity and lack of funds make it difficult for its developers to keep the library updated.

Many users of Standard understand the need for a sustainable model to support the library. However, some are not happy to see ads on their terminals.

GitHub user Ckipp01 commented:

“While I get the idea behind it, and I agree that we must think of innovative ways to support open-source, relying on displaying an ad in a place that typically doesn’t have them opens up the doors to new behavior of ad spamming when I simply want to install a dependency.”

At the moment, the JS library is showing banner ads like the one below. Over time, the funding project is expected to become more popular with users.

Sample ad banner displayed by Standard Javascript Library in user terminals | Image courtesy of William Hilton via GitHub
Sample ads banner displayed by Standard Javascript Library | Image courtesy of William Hilton via GitHub

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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