Open Source Development

Angie over at Lullabot put an interesting, short document together of "Best Practices in Open Source Development". I enjoyed reading it, and I think it's true.

Last week I spent a lot of time at work making my first-ever real custom Drupal site. (My other Drupal sites weren't real because I never really messed with the code much.) It was interesting. I submitted bug reports, I searched for solutions to the problems I was having, and I hung out on the IRC channel. It was sometimes helpful to have people to bounce ideas off of and who knew how to fix the problems. Other times, I was on my own and had to fix it myself.

Obviously, Lullabot has had a ton of success with participating in the already-flourishing Drupal community. However, in my experience of actual development at work, it just seems that submitting my changes back to the community would take a lot of my time. Sure, right now the company I work at won't pay me for my time to give back to the community so I have to do it when I get home, but even if we did would we see that much benefit? Maybe not, because we rarely use Drupal or WordPress in a way that we add new functionality. We usually only take the tool that fits best and make it happen. If it's not a blog or community-oriented site, then we usually build it in-house or with Zend Framework or CakePHP.

Maybe one of these years my company will become involved in Open Source. Until then, we'll just take the free ride. ;-)


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