Open Source Guilt & Passion

I was on In Beta a while ago, and we talked about the “guilt” that comes with maintaining open source projects. I feel both intensely passionate and exceptionally guilty with how I contribute to open source. I love getting patches into new projects, and the needs of existing projects are demanding.

An open source contributor doesn’t feel guilt as in a crime, but guilt as in time: What is best to spend your yours on? Razvan Onofrei has a strategy for dealing with a limited amount of time:

The basic idea is this: you try to minimize the things that are bad, and maximize those that are good.

I was intrigued by some of the designs so I asked him about the history of some of the pieces. Jamie is the kind of guy who turns a quick ten second question into a slow ten minute answer. That was fine by me, I had nowhere else to be.

He explained a lot of things. He talked about his fascination with letters and words and why he especially liked them when they showed up on Navajo rugs. He also talked a bit about crazy quilts, another one of his obsessions. I was on In Beta a while ago, and we talked about the “guilt” that comes with maintaining open source projects.

I feel both intensely passionate and exceptionally guilty with how I contribute to open source. I love getting patches into new projects, and the needs of existing projects are demanding.

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