KBall and Nick sync up with Node.js core contributor Ujjwal Sharma to dive deep into how to get into the world of open source software.
We’re joined by Ron Evans at OSCON on the expo hall floor talking about Go and how it’s eating the world of software. Specifically we’re talking about TinyGo and what they’re doing to bring the Go programming language to micro-controllers and modern web browsers. According to Ron Evans, “embedded systems and Go are the most exciting things happening right now.”
One of the most amazing things about Open Source is how much it enables you to learn from the best. Just open up the source for your favorite library or framework and you can start learning from the best in the business. But that can feel intimidating. This article breaks down some approaches you can use to make it easier. As author Carl Mungazi says:
Reading source code is difficult at first but as with anything, it becomes easier with time. The goal is not to understand everything but to come away with a different perspective and new knowledge. The key is to be deliberate about the entire process and intensely curious about everything.
The exodus from npm continues. Laurie Voss:
Not to bury the lede: I have resigned from npm. I made the decision to leave in early May, and my final full-time day was July 1st, but as a co-founder it takes a long time to untangle yourself so I will be helping with transition-related tasks until they are wrapped up.
Adam Jacob (co-founder and board member of Chef) joins the show to talk about the keynote he’s giving at OSCON this week. The keynote is titled “The war for the soul of open source.” We talked about what made open source great in the first place, what went wrong, the pitfalls of open core models, licensing, and more.
By the way, we’re at OSCON this week so if you make your way to the expo hall, make sure you come by our booth and say hi.
In this episode we’re shinning our maintainer spotlight on Ned Batchelder. Ned is one of the lucky ones out there that gets to double-dip — his day job is working on open source at edX, working on the Open edX community team. Ned is also a “single maintainer” of coverage.py - a tool for measuring code coverage of Python programs. This episode with Ned kicks off the first of many in our maintainer spotlight series where we dig deep into the life of an open source software maintainer. We’re producing this series in partnership with Tidelift. Huge thanks to Tidelift for making this series possible.
As an independent Freelance Developer I was wondering how I can support the Open Source community… so I had this idea: starting with my next project I will ask my clients for an hourly rate that is 1 Euro higher than I originally negotiated or I would usually charge. I will take that money (up to ~160 Euros per month) and support those projects on Open Collective that I’m basing my work upon in my client’s project.
I like the spirit of what Manuel is doing here, but I’d suggest a slightly different tactic: raise your rate by N euros/hr (where N is at least 10) and give that to open source maintainers whose software you use on the client’s behalf. No need to complicate the client relationship with additional line items or things to explain. Besides, you’re probably under charging as is. Most of us are…
Computer Scientist Yaw Anokwa joins the show to tell us how Open Data Kit is enabling data collection efforts around the world. From monitoring rainforests to observing elections to tracking outbreaks, ODK has done it all. We hear its origin story, ruminate on why it’s been so successful, learn how the software works, and even answer the question, “are people really using it in space?!” All that and more…
if you want someone to do something, you have to give them a compelling reason to do it, and you have to make it as easy as possible for them to do it. That is, you need to have good answers to Why? and How?
Let’s look at the Why and How model as it applies to corporations funding open source. They don’t do it because the answers to Why and How are really bad right now.
I interviewed Ned for an upcoming maintainer-focused series of The Changelog. He’s been in the game a long time and has a lot of interesting things to say.
André Staltz collected data from OpenCollective and GitHub so he could get some numbers behind his questions around the sustainability of donations in open source.
The results I found were shocking: there were two clearly sustainable open source projects, but the majority (more than 80%) of projects that we usually consider sustainable are actually receiving income below industry standards or even below the poverty threshold.
Read his full piece to learn about his collection methodology and read his full analysis of the findings.
We talk through the history and motivations of this survey, the methodology of their data collection, the tooling involved to build and run the survey, and of course we dig deep into the survey results and talk through the insights we found most interesting.
Panelists Mark Bates, Johnny Boursiquot, and Carmen Andoh discuss Go and open source — what is it, the value in contributing, what it means to be a maintainer, best practices, and the recent blog post from Chris Siebenmann titled “Go is Google’s language, not ours.”
We’re talking with Brett Cannon for a behind the scenes look at Guido stepping down as Python’s BDFL (Benevolent dictator for life) and the process they had to go through to establish a new governance model, the various proposed PEPs to establish this new direction, the winning PEP, and what the future holds for Python.
Adam Wathan was gracious enough to invite me on Full Stack Radio to discuss why and how we built this very platform that I’m using to write and you’re using to read.
Most of the show focuses on Elixir itself, with topics ranging from pattern matching and immutability to the pipe operator and deployment. Adam also got me to confess a dirty little secret… I still don’t really know what GenServers are! 😱
By one account, former npm CTO C J Silverio’s talk “rocked JS Conf EU over the weekend”. If you know some of the history and are already familiar with the challenges of centralization, scrub to the end for the BIG announcement.
Generate basic CSS Grid code to make dynamic layouts!
The report focuses on 5 questions about the internet.
- Is it safe?
- How open is it?
- Who is welcome?
- Who can succeed?
- Who controls it?
The answer is complicated, and the report doesn’t make any particular conclusions so much as share a series of research & stories about each topic. Includes some fascinating looks at what’s going on in AI, inclusive design, open source, decentralization and more.
Sophie Alpert writes on Increment:
Many companies hope that releasing an open-source project will pay dividends in the form of code contributions from people outside the organization—but I’ve never seen that work in practice. Responding to issues, answering usage questions, carefully planning release schedules: It all takes time. Even code contributions, despite their reputation as the big reward that’s supposed to make corporate open source worthwhile, are rarely the panacea they’re made out to be.
If you’re looking to optimize your company’s open source development strategy, read this!
We’re talking with Victor Zhou about the explosion of the .io game genre. We talked through all the details around building and running one of these games, the details behind Victor’s super popular game called Generals — which he eventually sold, and we also covered the economics behind creating and selling one of these games.
From Stephen Wolfram himself on his personal blog:
Why aren’t you using our technology? It happens far too often. … Sometimes the answer is yes. But too often, there’s an awkward silence, and then they’ll say, “Well, no. Could I?”
Here’s the kicker for open source developers…
If you’re making a free, open-source system, you can apply for a Free Production License.
In the license it says “Open-source projects approved by Wolfram,” which seems like they’re going to maintain a list of approved projects, but Stephan mentioned that they’re still working out the kinks in usage and licensing and they “are committed to providing predictable and straightforward licensing for the long term.”
Check out this interview from Alanna Irving (Open Source Collective Executive Director) with Henry Zhu sharing the backstory of what went well for Babel to reach financial sustainability.
Our ultimate goal was to help the project thrive. My personal goal was to help fund Logan, given he was working on his own time, and I figured that if I ever quit my job I might get funded someday too (which has now happened). I knew we would need some momentum and time for that to be possible, so we decided to make a start.
When we first started the Babel Collective, we weren’t even bringing in $1k/month. Slowly we built up to $4k/month, which is when I left my job to focus on Babel. Recently our budget looks a lot bigger thanks to a $100,000 grant from Handshake, which we split out as $10k/month. Once that’s over, the total will be around $20k/month.
Also, check out Alanna’s book — Better Work Together
We’re talking with Andre Staltz, creator of Manyverse — a social network off the grid. It’s open source and free in every sense of the word. We talked through the backstory, how a user’s network gets formed, how data is stored and shared, why off-grid is so important to Andre, and what type of user uses an “off-the-grid” social network.
We’re talking with Evan Conrad — for most of Evan’s life he has suffered from severe panic attacks, often twice per week. Eventually he stumbled upon a therapy method called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT for short, and saw positive results. This led him to create Quirk, an open source iOS app which allows its users to practice one of the most common formats of CBT.
On the show we mentioned a new podcast we’re launching called Brain Science — it’s hosted by Adam Stacoviak and Mireille Reece, a Doctor of Clinical Psychology. Brain Science is a podcast for the curious that explores the inner-workings of the human brain to understand behavior change, habit formation, mental health, and the human condition. It’s Brain Science applied — not just how does the brain work, but how do we apply what we know about the brain to better our lives. Stay tuned after the show for a special preview of Brain Science.
If you haven’t yet, right now would be a great time to subscribe to Master at changelog.com/master. It’s one feed to rule them all, plus some extras that only hit the master feed.