Editorial: What Does Open Source Mean to You?

    James Hibbard
    James Hibbard

    This is the editorial from my latest JavaScript newsletter, you can subscribe here.

    We love our themed weeks here on SitePoint. Earlier this year we had IoT week, which saw us (me in my tin hat) publishing articles focused on the intersection of the internet and the physical world. The week was a big success, and so now we’re back by popular demand with an entire week dedicated to all things open source.

    We’ll get on to all the goodies we have lined up in a minute, but first I want to take a moment to reflect on what open source means for me.

    The open source project I use most often is my computer’s operating system (Linux Mint). It is stable, polished, has a sleek UI and puts a whole host of (awesome) free and open source software at my fingertips. It would be easy to take this for granted (I mean you just download it and install it, right?), but in reality it is made possible by an army of volunteers, who are hard at work behind the scenes. I think it’s important we don’t forget that.

    Yellow road sign with a blue sky and white clouds: open source

    The same goes for the large amount of open source JavaScript projects available to us developers. Whether they are intended to help you build amazing apps, or as a learning resource to help you level up your skills, these are all projects, supported and maintained by the community. Thanks to the collaborative nature of open source, you’re free to download and modify any of them and, most importantly, to contribute any changes you make back to the project itself.

    I love open source and I’m thankful for it. It’s an integral part of working on the internet, but one which it is all to easy to overlook. That’s why I’m happy that we’re dedicating a whole week’s worth of articles to the subject. Talking of which, let’s look at what we have in store…

    We’ll start the week with Rob Eisenberg who’ll be writing about what the future has in store for Aurelia — the open-source, next generation, JavaScript client framework. Rob (the creator of the framework) talks about what open source means for Aurelia, some upcoming new features (such as template validation), server-side rendering (and what that means for SEO), as well as Aurelia UX — Aurelia’s open source sister framework.

    Following on from that, we’ll have Christian Heilmann and Rita Zhang who have a lots of good advice on open sourcing your JavaScript. They’ll look at the many benefits of releasing your code as an open source project, as well as the pitfalls to be aware of (of which there are sadly several).

    And things will be rounded off by SitePoint’s Elio Qoshi, who is the driving force behind Open Source Week. Elio will take a look at the JS Foundation — an organization which is positioning itself as a “center of gravity for the for the open source JavaScript ecosystem”. This initiative will hopefully result in a push to lead the JavaScript environment towards some kind of standardization. Might it eventually even pose an answer to JavaScript fatigue?

    Open Source Week will take place from 21st to 27th November. It promises to be a great week, not just on the JavaScript Channel, but across SitePoint as a whole. I very much hope you will join us.

    But for now, I’ll leave you with a question. What does open source mean to you?

    Let me know the comments below