Re re Stewardship
February 06, 2014

Jamie posted a reply to Mattt about an article Mattt wrote on stewardship of open source code.

I totally agree with Jamie here. Yes, a well maintained and documented library should be the ultimate goal, and if Mattt’s article had been entitled “How To Create A Successful Open Source Project”, or words to that effect, it would be fine.

But the tone did seem to me to suggest that you shouldn’t put code up there unless you’re prepared to go all the way to full-on well supported open source project, and that is frankly ridiculous (and a little pompous).

I have a lot of source code out there on github. I know that a lot of it is out of date, or not as well packaged and explained as it ought to be, and I sincerely regret that. However, I make no claims for it being in anything other than that state.

Most of my public source is code that has been created as a by-product of past or ongoing work. I would love to polish and refine it into a more drop-in form, but life keeps getting in the way.

Faced with the options of putting it out there in the hope that it will help someone (and perhaps inspire someone to help with it), or removing it until I have the time to polish each library to perfection, I think that there is only one sensible choice.

I would encourage anyone who has even the slightest desire to share in the open source community to do so.

Put aside ego, hubris, and insecurity, and put your code up there.

Be open about the fact that it has flaws, invite constructive criticism, and by all means aspire to the perfection that Mattt is talking about. In the meantime, relax for goodness sake!

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