DEV Community

Cover image for Maintaining An Open Source Project - Cake Walk Or No?
haimantika mitra for Appwrite

Posted on


Maintaining An Open Source Project - Cake Walk Or No?

At Appwrite, we aim to build awesome products and spread the word about open source.🚀
With continued efforts to spread awareness about open source, we come up with new and exciting Twitter spaces every month. Last week, we hosted a space on “Maintaining an open source project”. On top of that, we were joined by some amazing speakers, such as Ahmad Awais.

📢What makes open source so great?

Open source has led to the development of world class products, and the best part of it is the community. Collaboration is a big weapon here - in the process of building something awesome, we also learn how to work with people having different perspectives, different backgrounds, knowledge level, culture and experiences, which makes it more diverse and inclusive.

New features, expanding existing features, bug finding - a lot can happen over discussions in open source projects, here’s a story from Ahmad, on how he convinced Facebook to get licenses for React and GraphQL:

“We built something with React, when you merge react core and Wordpress core, 17 million websites would be affected. There’s a clause that says you can’t build anything that would compete with Facebook. I started a GitHub issue, and one thing led to another, so every maintainer pitched their framework, and we ended up convincing Facebook’s legal team, if you open source something, open source it right. We had a bunch of discussions. We ended up getting MIT licenses for both React and GraphQL. That was a big turning point for React.

Collaboration about open source can potentially make an impact and do wonders!

🌘The dark side of open source

While there’s a never ending list of what we love about open source and how it is a major part of us, there are some issues as well that a maintainer has to face. The biggest one being criticism. In the words of our Founder and CEO, Eldad “Code is poetry”, not everyone is going to like it. But what is important is to accept these criticisms with a light heart and work towards making the project better everyday. In Spite of some bad comments and controversies, there are businesses being built with open source. Many big companies are shifting to open source. There’s GitHub sponsorships, BuyMeACoffee, or BuyMeABeer helping with the monetary support, we are moving towards more open source. People are realizing the huge value of open source.

[Bonus; As a perk, Appwrite lets new employees choose an open-source project they want to sponsor]


Being a maintainer is not easy, when do we know that we are ready to become one? Is it when we get an interesting idea in mind? Or do we wait for a few years, gain some experience as a contributor first and then make a move?

Here’s some quick tips and tricks to tackle that question:

  • Join decent sized open-source projects.
  • Learn how things are working, how issues are being managed, what is breaking changes, how they are releasing software.
  • Use the language/framework/project: the way to get into it is by using it.
  • Be a part of a project you like, see how they handle community in discord, how they handle PR’s reviews, etc
  • If your project is relatively new, don’t overload yourself with discord and all the other communication channels. Use existing channels, go to the people who also work in the same languages as you.

Thank you for staying tuned till the end, if you think we have added some value, make sure to join our Discord Channel and follow us on Twitter to not miss more fun stuff by us.

Top comments (0)

18 Useful Github Repositories Every Developer Should Bookmark

18 Useful GitHub repositories every developer should bookmark: everything from learning resources and roadmaps to best practices, system designs, and tools.