The Open Source Collective, home of 1300+ open source projects on Open Collective, is starting peer-support calls for maintainers, where the people behind open source can connect with and learn from others who understand what they’re going through. In our recent survey of core contributors, more than half said they would like to participate in maintainer peer support opportunities.

So, we’re kicking it off! Interested? Sign up here.

We're super excited to tell you about our first Nock Maintainathon. Also, this post announces our next one, as part of #OpenSourceFriday, this Friday the 18th from noon to four, where we'll focus on improving our code coverage. Keep reading for details

The First Maintainathon

Hey there! Keep reading! (Image: Northern Mockingbird, Wikipedia)

Last month, Gregor and I tried a new tack to rejuvenate and improve Nock. We wrote about a one-day maintainathon for Nock, and outlined the future roadmap for the project. The idea was simple. We'd had little luck with ad-hoc maintenance, but constantly found ourselves reacting to bugs instead of working on the core parts of the code…

Nock is a the premier http mocking tool for Node.js developers. But it's development is dead in the water at the moment. Our question, as maintainers, is this: Can we use a semi-sync online hackathon as a way to inject some life into a project? We don't know, but we're going to find out this Friday.

Nock's current status

Developed in early 2016, Nock has largely been run by a skeleton crew of interested users and casual maintainers for the past year since the original maintainer left the project. Gregor Martynus and I have been thinking for the few past half a year…

Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

My friend Watson recently tweeted this:

I see this sentiment often; open source maintainers feeling bad that they’re not responding to contributors to their code fast enough. There’s an implicit assumption in open source right now: If you open source it, you are responsible for maintaining it. If someone files a bug or opens a pull request, it’s your job to respond and help resolve their issue.

Unfortunately, maintainers rarely realize that this guilt can be managed. Although endemic, it is not inextricable from open source. Having an active GitHub doesn’t mean that you need to code in…

Once, you had a shining, beautiful repo, full of hope and joy. But now you need to state cleanly and clearly that a repository is no longer going to be maintained, isn’t going to be looked at, and should no longer be of interest to anyone. It is kept for archival purposes.

GitHub needs to get around to making a DEPRECATED tag. They haven’t done this yet, although there’s clearly a gross amount of interest - just look at isaacs/github#144..

There’s a few reasons you could be deprecating a repository, and the steps you should take for them are different…

Running Hugo on Netlify is satisfyingly great. You can get a static website running with almost no operating costs (unless you’re at major scale), and you’re also able to quickly deploy by pushing to GitHub, as well as getting SSL through LetsEncrypt automatically at the push of a button. All told, you can have a website up and running in around 30 minutes from domain purchase. It’s fast.

I have First Impressions, 58Liters and Maintainer Mountaineer all running on Netlify, using Hugo. (I have half a dozen sites on Netlify using Jekyll, too.)

But, there are a few hitches. Without…

Open source code is awesome, glorious, and lots of fun. We're told again and again in hackathons, meetups, coffee chats, NodeSchools, Hacker News posts, and Twitter threads that we should all contribute to open source, as much as we can. So, we start a GitHub account. We begin putting code on it. We code every day. We work on projects on the weekends, over lunch, when our partners are in bed.

And we're also told that burn out is totally normal, that it happens to everyone. That you should take breaks. That maintaining a project is hard work.

But what…

You’re at a new cafe. You haven’t signed onto the wifi before, so you ask the barista what the password is.

“Oh, no password. Just “HipsterCafeWIFI”. It’s open.”


So, you open your laptop, and connect to the network. You refresh gmail. Nothing happens. You refresh Facebook. Nothing. Still says you’re signed off.

At this exact moment, what do you do?

There’s only one real solution; try and find a non-SSL site. SSL is a fancy way of saying using https - a more secure protocol for sharing information. You see, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter — the sites you’re on most…

After the Game of Thrones episode, we sat in a mild stupor for a few minutes. Another character we liked was dead. It was 9:00 at night; we had been watching Game of Thrones over dinner, and then moved to the couch to finish the episode. Now the evening lay before us.

“Should we watch another one?”

I hovered over the next file, and realized that I wasn’t happy with that prospect. It would lessen the emotional force of our beloved character dying, for one. And, for two, I wasn’t doing anything. I was passively watching a TV show I…

I keep todo lists. Sometimes by hand, sometimes on my computer. For the past six months, I've been organizing them on my computer, in a simple folder called log, with a file for each day I decide to have a to do list.

Yesterday, I realized that my shell script I had been using to create these log files wasn't as extensible as it could be, and that I wanted a bit more out of my system. …

Richard Littauer

Developer, linguist, adventurer, poet at large.

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