Making rbutr Open Source

After no small amount of deliberation and consideration, we have decided to make rbutr’s code open source.

In order for this to happen we will need one or more people willing to take on the responsibility of ensuring the quality of rbutr’s code is maintained, and new developments do not break the system. Making rbutr open source doesn’t mean it will now build itself. It requires a community effort to get the work done, but without experienced coders taking on the leadership roles, even the most active open source community can end up achieving nothing, or worse, breaking everything.

So first and foremost, we are looking for experienced coders who want to see rbutr successfully become open source and build an a vibrant active community of developers regularly fixing, improving and adding to rbutr. People experienced with Java are ideal, though anyone with extensive coding experience and a desire to make this happen will be great.

Craig, our CTO who built rbutr from the ground up, will be able to provide some assistance in this process, but all of the work required to make the code accessible to an open source community will need to be done by this team (or individual). For an idea of what work is going to be involved in this first step, see this article.

So, if you want to be part of this team and want to help lead rbutr into the open source community, then please join our facebook working group, and/or email : shane at rbutr, and let us know that you are keen to help make this happen. If you want to jump in and have a look at the rbutr code, just email Craig your public key and he will give you read access of our current code on git. You can reach him through craig at rbutr.

Feel free to join that Facebook working group even if you aren’t able to take on the leadership role, but still want to participate in the open source development or volunteer in other ways (for example, we will soon be releasing a system which will allow volunteers to curate rebuttals into the ‘best of rbutr’ emails we were sending out last year, so that we can continue to provide that service once again).

As soon as we have the code hosted online and all of the infrastructure around that setup (changelog, issue tracker etc), then we (mostly me, I guess) can get to work building an even larger community of developers participating in rbutr’s growth. I will make a public Trello page of all of the development which needs to be done, and features which we are looking forward to having. We will organise a central community discussion platform (either the rbutr subreddit or I will install a forum for it here on our website.) where people can organise themselves into working groups, or claim specific jobs, or suggest new features, bug fixes, improvements etc.

This is the plan, and all we need now is a few key leaders to step forward in order to make this happen.

I look forward to working with you…


PS: You may want to know about the languages and structures used to operate rbutr. The backend is java on JBoss with Postgres as the DB, and the MVC is managed with Webmacro (like Apache Velocity).


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