Jean-Philippe Boily / @jipiboily

Rails developer. I say things. I write things.

Open source: contributing makes you happy

Jean-Philippe Boily

Me and open source

I have used open source products for a long time. I first used Linux around 1997 or maybe before, can't remember exactly. What I remember is that it was way, WAY, less intuitive to install and use. It was still great. I could also tell you how bad was my first lines of PHP which were probably written in 1997 or 1998. It was horrible. Still talking about my code here. I have always been a huge open source fan, but not a purist who can't see the right solution for a given problem.

2012, me and open source

This year, I promised myself I would contribute back to open source. Contributing to existing projects and/or creating new ones. Nothing specific. I recently launched a few small open source "projects" recently, nothing major, but it is still useful to some folks somewhere, which is cool. It feels rewarding. Not only it is useful to people, but others are contributing back which makes even more happy! There's even a Ruby Hero and author who contributed on something I started as a proof of concept. Being part of that open source world with people from all around the globe feel's awesome.

Rewarding. Fun. Feeling of being helpful. Here's how I would describe my feelings after my first few real open source contributions. It marks the end of an era. The era in which I was an open source user, but never really contributing back besides some help here and there.

It took me time, but here I am. The year 2012 is the beginning of a new era for me.

In 2012, I did a proof of concept for multi locale management for Spree (e-commerce) and thanks to Tomasz Stachewicz (aka Tomash), Stéphane Bounmy and Ryan Bigg (aka Radar), it is much better than what I first did! I also worked on a monkey patch to make Spree's auth and Refinery's (CMS) auth kind of work together, which was quite a mess (see my opinion on dependecies vs Rails engines and Ryan Bigg's opinion about auth within Rails engines, which I share). Finally, I did a Refinery extension to change the image uploading behavior for modern browsers. Plus a few tiny contributions here and there.

Are you contributing to open source? You should. It feels AWESOME!