Introducing Slab


We are reinventing how teams share and retain knowledge with Slab and have raised a $2.2M seed round. Check us out at for early access.

Image for post
Image for post


After my last company was acquired by Salesforce, a daunting task was integrating our product and technology into the mothership. One of the challenges was moving off of Amazon S3 and onto Salesforce’s internal file infrastructure. The problem was no one knew how it worked — which was surprising because we were a part of the team that was responsible for this stack. …

The 2.0 branch of Quill has officially been opened and development commenced. One design principle Quill embraces is to first make it possible, then make it easy. This allows the technical challenges to be proved out and provides clarity around use cases so that the right audience is designed for. Quill 1.0 pushed the boundaries on the former, and now 2.0 will focus on the latter.

Let’s take a look at how we got here and where Quill is going!

Quill Adoption

Quill today has reached a state of ubiquity that has exceeded anything I could have hoped for. Companies ranging from exciting new startups like Slack and Asana, to industry giants like LinkedIn, Salesforce and Intuit, have all adopted Quill in major user facing products. …

Image for post
Image for post

When a startup successfully exits, chances are it was an acquisition. Unfortunately for the founders, that acquisition was likely their first, while the acquirer has probably gone through many. This was the case with Stypi. Fortunately, my cofounder and I were lucky enough to have had access to several other acquired founders who helped us ultimately navigate our first multimillion-dollar exit for a company barely a year old. Hopefully by sharing what we learned and encountered, you can be slightly less lost, should you be faced with an acquisition of your own.

First Contact

Potentials acquirers are a lot like the opposite sex: their intentions are confusing but the prospects are exciting. It will likely be a founder or the Corporate Development department of a larger company, acting on behalf of an interested internal team, that first approaches you. Either way, get comfortable with this person, as he/she will be setting up and facilitating your meetings, and will likely be the one you eventually haggle with over terms. …

I am the author and core maintainer of Quill — a powerful rich text editor, built with an API.

Many open source projects use Github Issues as the main medium of communication and tool for task management. Its openness and availability is one of their greatest strengths. But some quick tips will make you a much more responsible participant, especially in large projects.

Reporting Issues

Do open one Issue for one issue.

Do open two Issues for two issues.

Do not tack on “Oh by the way here’s another problem I noticed” to an unrelated Issue.

Do keep facts and opinions separate, ideally facts first and opinions at the end. Facts include platform details, reproduction steps, and what you have tried. Opinions include speculations about root causes you have not investigated. …

GitLab began as a labor of love from Dmitriy Zaporozhets and Valery Sizov, who built the first version together in 2011. Like many open source authors, they were only able to work on the project part time. Sid Sijbrandij joined forces a year later and created, the first SaaS offering and first experiment with monetization.

Today GitLab is a model for open source sustainability and stewardship. It is being used in over 100,000 organizations including RedHat, NASA, Intel, Uber, and VMWare, to name just a few. Large organizations buy enterprise licenses, sustaining and growing both the company and the free open source project. …

A little over a year ago, Libscore was released as part of Stripe’s Open Source retreat. Co-sponsored by DigitalOcean, Libscore has become the authoritative source of JavaScript library usage in the year since it’s launched.

Today, we are publicly releasing the Libscore source code. There are some really cool internals at work. We believe transparency in our methods is important to being an authoritative and unbiased metric. Also, being borne out of an open source program, it only makes sense to be open source ourselves.

Being authors of open source projects ourselves ($.Velocity, Quill), we know firsthand that there is a strong distinction between open source software and open source projects. The latter involves documentation, support channels, customizations, and everything else that makes open source more than just lines of code. itself will remain up and running for the foreseeable future, with its data being updated monthly, but at the moment Libscore lacks the means to be a full fledged open source project. …

Originally published at on November 2, 2014

Before building Quill, I surveyed the landscape of rich text editors. A common characteristic of all the powerful and widely used ones operated within an iframe–but the reason for this was more of a mystery. It’s hard to go against the grain when literally all the popular editors were aligned on iframes, but at the same time most of them made this configurable. What I hoped to find was a differentiator that necessitated the use of iframes.

I originally ended up deciding to go with iframes for Quill as well. But after experiencing firsthand the consequences of this choice and being able to speak directly with other editor authors, I now believe isolating Quill in an iframe is a mistake. This post is what I wished was available when I started, and a summary of all the knowledge I have gathered on the topic. …


Jason Chen

Co-founder of @slab, BDFL of @quilljs

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store