Lifters, would you be interested in in-kind cloud services as part of Tidelift?


Hello Lifters!

I was at the NumFOCUS Summit yesterday today talking to a group of maintainers in the scientific computing and data science communities.

Something that came up there was an interest among the maintainers in having more access to free services like cloud compute credits for things like running continuous integration, development instances, and the like.

I was a little surprised by the level of interest, since I figured many cloud platforms and tools already offer “free for OSS” credits and tiers.

Couple of questions for y’all:

  • Is this a pain point for you?
  • If you had access to additional compute resources on one of the major cloud platforms as part of being a lifter, would you be able to effectively use that? Or would the switching cost from your current setup make it less valuable?
  • What kind of services would you be interested in? (server instances, storage, network bandwidth for distributing software, …)
  • Would you prefer to get the services in-kind, or just $ that you can use to pay your own preferred service provider?
  • In my conversation yesterday, I got the sense that some teams might even prefer in-kind credits because it’s a less complicated conversation than figuring out how to spend $. Is that the case for you?
  • Anything else we’re missing here?



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We get all-you-can-eat CI, free site hosting on Netlify, free docs translation tool from CrowdIn…

Not sure what more we could ask for.

Free credits on cloud platforms could be open to abuse, as they aren’t directly link d to an open source repo.


Thanks, that’s useful feedback!


Would a one-stop-shop for all that be helpful? (Related to the conversation Donald was having, I’ve heard some folks say they know there is a lot out there but don’t necessarily know how to find it.)


That’s not a bad idea. GitHub marketplace has some categories, such as apps with free trials, but there doesn’t seem to be a catch-all category for apps that are free for open source.

A curated list could be very useful.

As a starter for 10, here’s what we use (I already mentioned some, but for completeness):


  • circleci (CI - obvs!)
  • Codecov (test coverage reporting)
  • Argos (UI visual diff checking)
  • Netlify (deploy testing and preview)

Static docs hosting / CDN:

  • Netlify

Docs translation:



I can add to this list:
TracisCI (Build/unit tests)
StyleIC (Code style check)
CodeClimate (Code heath checking and coverage)
GitHub pages (Deploy static/documentation)

So I would say we yet have a lot of free tools for OSS.

Recently however I was looking for some heroku-like hosting
We use it for the “Try Carbon” live editor:
But this hosting limits we often exhaust before the end of each month.

Based on this principle, someone (GitHub username drupol) started on this principle a service to try any PHP library online:

Some hosting with higher limit free for OSS does not exist as far as I know. But I may have missed it.


Note that CircleCI in particular is not an “all-you-can-eat” CI service, at least not officially (see the “What if I’m building opensource” section). For example, we have overused their service in the activeadmin repos this month by… a lot. I contacted them and they seem to be ok with it, but it’s not their official policy.


It has been a while since this question was asked, but I wanted to throw an idea in the hat.

Everyone loves free stuff. It would be nice if there was a page or area that authenticated Lifters could access where discounted or free products or services are listed. I remember participating in Microsoft’s Startup program a few years ago, and it was really valuable (and created a great vibe regarding Microsoft). There program offered a number of different, typically expensive, software programs for free. I think there were also some subscription services offered for free, like Pluralsight.

Microsoft’s program was for bootstrapping startups. Tidelift could do something similar to help software maintainers get resources they might not otherwise be able to afford. I’m sure companies would sign up to sponsor this program.