If you hitch a ride with a scorpion…

I haven’t seen a blog post or notice about this, but according to the Twitters, Coverity has stopped supporting online scanning for open source projects. Is anybody shocked by this? Anybody?

Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) tweets: "sigh coverity stopped supporting their online scanning for open source projects... C/C++ code scan tool that integrates beautifully with github?"

This comes the same week that Slack announces that they’re ending support for IRC/XMPP gateways — that is, the same tools that persuaded a number of people that it’s OK to adopt a proprietary chat service, because they’d always be able to use open clients to connect.

Not sure what the story is with Coverity, but it probably has something to do with 1) they haven’t been able to monetize the service the way they hoped, or 2) they’ve been able to monetize the service and don’t fancy spending the money anymore or 3) they’ve pivoted entirely and just aren’t doing the scanning thing. Not sure which, don’t really care — the end result is the same. Open source projects that have come to depend on this now have to scramble to replace the service.

We’ve seen this before with a litany of variations. BitKeeper pulling the plug on its freebies for kernel developers. SourceForge.net taking turns for the worse and driving a number of projects away. Google Chat / Hangouts stopped federating with XMPP clients outside its network. Transifex closing its source code… I could go on, those are just the ones that jump to top of mind.

I’m not going to go all RMS, but the only way to prevent this is to have open tools and services. And pay for them.