3
kiki
19d

Do you want to know why all the popular open source projects have less-than-optimal, sometimes really dirty code?

It's because their developers ditched all the unnecessary stuff to just get the damn thing done. When I choose an open source dependency, I don't need unfinished stuff. I need a stuff that works and has all the features I need from the very start. If it works, I don't care about code quality in my deps.

This is the reason why dirty, rushed stuff with a great idea behind it gains popularity. PHP, Git, jQuery, the list is quite large.

While you've been busy polishing your files hierarchy, these guys already shipped their product, gained adoption, and their userbase doesn't need your product anymore.

This is applicable only for true open source, not "it's developed by a full-time team of principal developers and the CTO is fucking Kent Beck, it costs $1m per month but yea we have it on github".

Comments
  • 4
    It's the same for closed source because the time-to-market dynamics are the same.

    "A 50%-good solution that people actually have solves more problems and survives longer than a 99% solution that nobody has because it’s in your lab where you’re endlessly polishing the damn thing. Shipping is a feature. A really important feature. Your product must have it." (Joel Spolsky, https://joelonsoftware.com/2009/09/...)

    The obvious downside is a collective race to the bottom in terms of quality.
  • 9
    Do you know why you feel this way towards open source projects and not any of the closed source ones?

    Because you can actually see how the open source ones work under the covers.

    Closed source projects are just lipstick smeared pigs.
  • 2
    "it's developed by a full-time team of principal developers and the CTO is fucking Kent Beck, it costs $1m per month but yea we have it on github".

    when what really happened was someone realized a project repo was public and had API keys and connection strings in a few of the files, so instead of pulling them down (which would probably get noticed and written about by some yammering idiot at TechFlunk), they clean up the repo, publish a blog article and claim they're contributing to the open-source community.
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