The building blocks of a creative community
Good fences make good neighbors. And clear policies make a healthy environment for people to express their ideas. Now you can add a license or Code of Conduct to your Glitch project with just a click.
As we celebrate the Glitch community having created more than half a million projects on the platform, we’ve been reflecting on how to make sure that contributors to the next hundred million projects on the platform have a great experience.
Today, we’re proud to share two simple but powerful tools that represent how we think about making sure every project in our community gets off to a great start.
License to 🎉
With Glitch, remixing or reusing an existing app happens at the click of a button. That means that knowing how you can use someone else’s code is essential. And if you’ve created a project that you want others to use as a seed for their own creativity, it’s important to tell them so!
Glitch now lets you add any of the most popular open source licenses right from the Add File menu in the editor. Once you’ve clicked on “Add a license”, you’ll get a nicely formatted Markdown text file showing the license, and a special button will appear above the file letting you change to a different option, if you desire. We default to the flexible, straightforward MIT license, but old favorites like the Apache & GPL licenses are in there too, of course, along with a nicely-formatted summary of what these licenses imply.
We’ve linked to detailed explanations of each license so you can learn more (thanks to the nice folks at GitHub for making Choosealicense.com, which is a great reference!), and you can of course replace the text of the license with your own custom license if you want.
Having more Glitch projects explicitly declare their licenses increases the odds that people will be able to easily work together and share their creations. We’ve also added explicit licenses to all our sample projects and will be featuring projects with friendly, open licenses on the site going forward.
Code Is Culture 😸
Just as important as knowing your legal rights to share is knowing that your work will happen in a place where you and your ideas are welcome. Since Glitch is a friendly community (it says so right on the homepage!), creators always want to make sure new contributors feel welcome when they jump in to collaborate on coding in Glitch. But without explicit rules or guidelines, sometimes it can be tough to give people guidance about how best to encourage that goal.
Enter a code of conduct. Lots has been written on why successful contributor communities like open source projects need a good, strong, well-enforced code of conduct. You can read some good overviews from Open Source Guides or the Contributor Covenant site, but what we’ve learned from countless open source projects that have adopted such codes is that having an explicit written statement is a really powerful first step to building an inclusive community.
But, as the Ada Initiative and many others have noted, a Code of Conduct is only useful if it’s effectively enforced. That’s not a responsibility we can solve just by putting some buttons in the editor, but by building a broader Glitch community where everybody knows and expects that we all want to be thoughtful and welcoming, we make it easier to support each other.
We’re thankful to all the hard-working activists and experts who’ve created the code of conduct that we based our example on, and appreciate that their work to make a more inclusive coding culture makes our work possible.
The Friendly Community
Every time we talk about Glitch publicly, we start by describing it as “the friendly community where you’ll make the app of your dreams”. Features like letting you raise your hand 🙋🏽 when you need help are all about being friendly and welcoming to coders of every background and every experience level.
We have been blown away by the hundreds of thousands of creative projects that have flourished on Glitch. And we attribute the Glitch community’s generosity of spirit and wildly inspiring creativity to the fact that both our team who makes Glitch, and all of you who use it, are excited about the idea of every person being able to express themselves by building and coding together.
Today’s new features are just one more step to making Glitch a place where anybody in the world can create with code. We can’t wait to see what you make! 🎏