Dustin Blackman

Hiatus from Open Source

If you follow any of my projects on Github you’ll notice the obvious neglect; Super old issues, lingering pull requests, no releases in ages, or straight up dead services. This is unfortunately common with the Open Source world. People get bored and move on, no longer use the projects for personal use, neglected due to not getting the interest they had hoped for from others, but the one that hits closet to home for me is burn out.

Projects built in your spare time are super fun at first. You’re excited to build something you’ll use, get to try out new tools and frameworks that you’ve been looking for an excuse to learn, and it’s a brilliant learning experience over all, and when traction picks up and people really start loving your software, you feel dedicated to make it the best it can be so everyone can enjoy it.

However, when you’re already staring at terminal 40+ hours a week, adding another 4 to 25 hours can be really painful.

Last year (2018), that really hit for me. I realized I had taken on too much from various categories of life. With how exhausted I was after a days work, there was no way in hell I was going to throw myself to start working on projects that are supposed to be fun. The moment you find yourself forcing your eyes to look at projects, then they’re no longer fun. They’re work.

I’ve realized is coding for fun isn’t something I’m in to anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love to code, I love being an engineer, but I do that work, and I like to keep my work at work and not bring it home. Who ever wants to bring their work home?

I’m going to take a break from open source. This morning I archived some of my more popular repos, like Championify and Gravebot. They will no longer be taking feature requests or bug fixes. The code is available to anyone who wishes to play with it, fork it, redistribute, etc. Be warned though, it’s bloody awful. Most of my projects were built not just for fun, but as a learning experience to try to things and methods of working. They’re riddled with shit code, bad practices, and plenty of undocumented feature.

I had considered handing some of these projects off to others, especially after some great people got in to contact with me asking to help out, but there were issues. Taking Championify for examples; all the distribution certificates are in my name, and handing those off to others doesn’t feel great as anyone can pretend to be me. Championify also auto updates through releases on Github, giving someone else access to run arbitrary code on over 250,000 computers sounds like a fucking nightmare waiting to happen. It’s better off archiving the repos and leaving it to others to redistribute and earn the trust of their future users.

I’m hoping to be able to contribute to the open source world again in the future, but for now I’m happy keep my free time dedicated to music, gym, family, friends, and all the other fun qualities that don’t involve a computer.

Peace. ✌️