The Fear of Open Source

Many years ago I released themes for a content management system called e107, back then I would release the themes without really caring about what people thoughts of the code behind them. As time went on I grew a fear of releasing code, worried about what people would think.

I ended up releasing over 10 themes and a few plugins for e107, while taking onboard feedback and making updates quickly before letting them naturally fizzle out. With many of them are still available to use after 5+ years with most of them released during a “e107Advent” which I thought up just before December one year. Looking back at the code behind them isn’t a pretty sight at all.

Up until recently when i’d go to release anything into the wild i’d have an overarching feeling of fear that someone would come and attack me regarding something I had done within the released code. A fear that seems to effect most developers i’ve spoken to recently. While it’s definitely good to make sure your doing everything within it to the best of your ability, you can only do so much within the realms of what you know.

However, I now no longer worry about releasing code publicly. Releasing code to the world and having someone comment on any aspect of it is a great learning experience. If they mention a way of improving something or a better method of achieving the same result then it’s only helping me improve my code in the future. And with GitHub people don’t have to email you about an improvement but they can make the changes themselves and share it that way making the whole process much easier.

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