lyptt

Developer, geek, and do-er of things.

Trials and tribulations of open-source

I maintain an open source project that's fairly popular, and it's gone through a patch of slow maintenance recently during a busy period in my career.

During this time I encountered a person interested in trying out the project.

He filed a bunch of bug reports, which was brilliant and enabled me to make the project much better.

But as expected I didn't have time to add every feature he wanted, so instead of forking and filing PRs, he cloned my project. Replicating it in another language, right down to the file structures used.

My only other contributor went with him too.

I know this probably happens in open source a lot, but it still feels pretty disappointing. I spent a long time figuring this all out, and now he's just porting it to another language.

It's always tricky with open source - the people behind these project spend their personal time giving you something for free, but for some people there's an expectation that the maintainers should do everything asked of them.

I was one of those people once, but I realised eventally that the maintainers behind these projects have other responsibilities that don't revolve around you. I realised how gratifying it is contributing to these projects yourself.

None of this has any real point, I'm just ranting. Still, I've built something great that I'll keep building on over time. Even if I'm the only one that'll ever contribute to it.

This is also very pertinent