Monday, September 12, 2011

GitHub: Distributed Social Development

I read quite a bit about GitHub and all the buzz around it, but it was only recently did I get to experience it. I was using the Java Wrapper Library for createsend for a web application which I am working on. I encounter the classloader issue which another user has observed. I quickly forked the createsend-java repository, fixed it, push it back to Git-hub and issue a pull request!

The next day, tobio, the maintainer of the main repository pull in the changes, and it is in the official branch. No more emailing around. Doing crazy diff commands to create patch. Emailing your patch to the maintainer, and hoping he has time to check and merge in the changes.

Bottom line, GitHub has removed a lot of friction in open source software development.

Is this a new beginning to software development?

Is this enough? I am not sure. In the blog entry "The Drupal Crisis", the author made some observation in the development of Drupal and how he thinks it is not working. If you read the hacker news comments on the article, one of the most contraversal statement is:
Without any doubt, it's merely an economical truth that free contributions and commercial enterprise interests are mainly incompatible, and of course, everyone needs to decide on their own on how to use and invest their resources.
I more or less agree with the above statement. After all, economical force is what drives a lot of activities in today's world.