Open source, philosophy, hate & other random words

Open source, philosophy, hate & other random words


3 min read

Some time ago our team has released our first open source library to the wild. We finished our first production ready version, posted it on Reddit and waited for the open source community to welcome us with open arms. After all, we are investing our own free time to create a great product to help others, and it's all for FREE.

Oh how naive we were... Of course some truly appreciated our contribution, yet others didn't understand what we are doing, and the crème de la crème just wanted to hate.

I think that in today's world it's hard to put your work out there. When you post your code you feel very vulnerable, a bit naked. It's like your soul is out there for everyone to see and criticize. And don't get me wrong, I think criticism is very important and it's one of the best ways to learn and grow.

On the other hand, it's very easy to completely dismiss someone else's work. It takes almost no time and costs nothing. Also I'm pretty sure some people enjoy it very much.

So when you meet someone like that, how should you react? The first instinct is to ignore or "yell" back, dismiss all criticism completely and move forward. I decided to do otherwise, breathe and count from 1 to 10, slowly, like my mom used to say, read it again, and think where it is coming from.

For example, in one of these scenarios a comment ended with "I would stay away from it" because of a disagreement with the project's coding style. Spoiler: after a few back and forths the conversation ended with "Good luck though!". How about that?

What is crazy and beautiful about programming. We think it is objective, that it is exact science and there is right and wrong. But the truth is, it is also art, and there is a huge subjective component to it.

What I realized is just that my coding philosophy is different. Even though we are still in a disagreement, it was fascinating to learn that there are completely different points of view for doing the exact same thing, and I learned a thing or two in the process.

What is the point of all of this? I think open source is amazing. For some reason we have crazy drive to develop stuff for free just to share it with the world and help others. Nonetheless, I think there is a lot of room for improvement in our discussions and critique. Maybe I'm naive again, however I still believe the community, our community can do better and hope for better communication between us all (and hopefully over a beer).

If you would like to check out our open source library and leave feedback we would appreciate it greatly.