I posted the latest version of my open source forum app today, which is to say I marked it as an "official" release (you could already download the source). I'm pretty excited about sharing this version, in part because it was more heavily influenced by CoasterBuzz users than any previous version. It was great to have such an awesome feedback loop.
This was a fun thing to build because it's mostly the real-time stuff that used to be hard. Now you can download a package, do a little wiring, and suddenly you're baking in neat features that people are totally in to. We in the Web world used to have to figure all of this stuff out on our own. Now we rely on open source developers. I think this is the reason that I've become so passionate about open source, and committed to running a project (even if it is "just" a forum app): You should give a little when you're taking so much.
We live in a pretty exciting time to develop Web stuff, because the gap between what we can imagine and what we build keeps getting smaller and smaller. If you build stuff for kicks in your spare time, you can appreciate the awesomeness of this condition. Even if you build boring internal stuff for Big Dumb Inc., it's great because you're not constrained the way you used to be.
My hope is that all of the awesome sauce dripping out of the series of tubes is making developers really want to dig in and learn about the very platform they write code for. We're finally getting to a point where we aren't trying to build abstractions around the Web itself, and we're instead embracing it for what it is. People not in my line of work have no idea what that means. :)
Now that the forum is done, it's time to move on to PointBuzz v3, and our quilting community site. Onward!