Open source software joy

posted by Jeff | Thursday, October 14, 2021, 7:24 PM | comments: 0

The Algorithm of Doom kept suggesting that I watch this mini-doc about Vue.js, a software framework that does front-end stuff. I finally watched it last night, and it's a pretty neat story. I use it on the admin side of POP Forums, largely for the reason one of the dudes in the video said he did, because it doesn't require a lot of knowledge to get started.

What Evan You found is pretty unusual. He worked on something that deeply interested him, and others found value in what he was doing. He figured out how to turn that into a way to make a living. That might be more unusual than hitting the dotcom cash-out lottery. It's not for everyone, because I know a lot of software developers enjoy getting projects and solving problems, but others want to drive that thing that intrinsically makes them want to plug in and make great things. I think that's fundamentally what drives most open source projects. As I've been in this game for a couple of decades now, I've seen stuff come and go.

I first open-sourced the forums with v7 in 2003. I had only sold a few licenses the year before, so it felt like it was time. I got laid-off again right after that, but with solid revenue from my sites, and some very lucrative contracting, I eventually took time off to write my book. It languished for a few years, but when I got to Microsoft and worked on the team that included CodePlex (an open source site that predated GitHub), I kind of got the bug to really keep up with it, and I've mostly done a release or two every year since. It has a modest number of stars and forks, and every now and then I get a few pull requests for it. A few dozen people get the source code every week. I love that someone gets some use out of it.

It's that time of year again, where I'll update the app to all of the latest things and try to get it released out into the world. Not a lot of features this time, mostly just updating to current things so it doesn't get too hard to maintain. I'm always surprised to see how many downloads the packages have. I'm not making Vue.js, but I'm so happy that some people enjoy using it.


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