Monday, January 4, 2010

Going Open Source

I have decided to go open source. It has been my intention to do so for a long time, but I hesitated for several months, because I thought my more commercially minded friends would call me a fool. So I put some feelers out into the commercial world, and they were substantially ignored. With hindsight I should have followed my first instinct without hesitation, because the exercise has been a blow to my confidence. I am now launching myself into the open source community with a very dented ego and a low self esteem.

To make it worse, going open source is not a simple exercise. You don't just say hello world this is my source code, share it with me. You have to master a technology called version control, and at first glance the learning curve looks as steep as embracing java itself. I feel is if I've started all over again, and this time, instead if having my head held high, my heart is in my boots.

When I began this blog 18 months ago, I was full of optimism. I was quite excited about learning a new programming language, and I was enthusiastic about rewriting my code to make it better than before. I was very optimistic about using the web as a distribution tool, because it meant the whole world could use my software as soon as it was written, without me using a litre of fuel, or buying a postage stamp.

Now it seems that so many other people have mastered the art of delivering tools on the web, the availability of software, free and otherwise, way exceeds the ability or inclination of people to use it.

So wilh heavy heart, I am beginning to read an online book entitled "Version Control with Subversion". It seems well written, but long. Right now I cannot even envisage how my manually edited and managed source code files will fit into its system, so I must resign myself to many hours of dry reading. I'll crack open a box of matches to hold open my eyes.

No comments: