I did something this week which is a bit of a first for me. I’ve open–sourced a few small things in the past, although these tend to be things that were made to help others. An example of this would be the jQuery slider I wrote a couple of years back, which was written with a couple of course–mates sat next to me in order to help them get started with jQuery.
Last week, however, I opened the source of this site. You can now go to GitHub, fork the site that you’re currently reading, and dive under the hood to see what makes it tick. There’re plenty of improvements that I can make yet, from the semantics through to the template construction with Jekyll.
My reasoning for doing this is quite simple, when I was building this site I found one of the most useful resources to learn from was the list of sites that run on Jekyll from the Wiki. Based on this I decided to open–source my site too, with the hope that this will help others learn from the source.
This doesn’t just help others though, it helps me to progress my own learning as well. If you spot something that could be improved or an error then please do create an issue or drop me an email. The more holes others pick in my code and design the better I can progress my own skills, and the more my own skills progress the better I can help others that are in my position in the future.
Generally people seem to be very private about how their own sites are constructed. I guess nobody likes to feel like others are picking holes in their work, or wants to risk a future employer finding it and deciding they think it’s badly constructed. I view it as a good thing. If you’ve released something that you feel you’ve done a good job on, why hide it? Why not let others learn from your code and suggest how you could improve on it? If you feel the need to hide away the inner-workings of your latest project, surely you can’t be that proud of it? I understand it’s not commercially viable to open–source everything, but I’d sure like to see more being opened up.