I’m a Bad Citizen of the Open Source Community

I’ve always said that I love the open source community because of the opportunity it provides for riffing off of each other.  I’ve also acknowledged that I have the tendency to re-invent the wheel.  If those seem at odds with each other, it’s because they kind of are.

How that usually works for me is that I’ll Google to see if someone has solved the problem I’m working on and, if so, I’ll learn what I can from what they did and re-work it to fit my specific situation.  Then maybe I’ll write about it and embed my code in the blog post.

I do this because I’ve always wanted ideas, not code, from other people.  I don’t want to composer install their stuff, I want to see how they did it and then do it myself.  So when it comes time for me to share, I write about it but don’t make my code particularly accessible.

There are two problems here.  One is that my way isn’t particularly efficient.  I need to be better about using other people’s code and not reinventing the wheel.  The other is that I’m not sharing well because my code stays locked up in my own repos.

Not sharing.  Mrs. Biondolillo would be disappointed in me.

I realized this as I was trying to consolidate a bunch of my code into a framework package.  In doing so, I found that I have a bunch of one-off tools and classes.  Things that I don’t use much and didn’t bother to build tests for or anything but that might benefit others a bit.  And I never put them out there.

So I’m going to start dumping some of these out to GitHub, starting with the current version of my Trello API helper class.  If no one uses them, that’s fine.  At least they’ll be out there to find out.  And I’ll start being a better citizen of the open source community.

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