Cover image for dev.to is now open source

dev.to is now open source

ben profile image Ben Halpern with Jess Lee (she/her) and Peter Kim Frank ・4 min read

Even though this release has been the culmination of a lot of hard work and hard thinking, this is not a finish line. It's a starting line.

GitHub logo forem / forem

For empowering community 🌱

Forem 🌱

For Empowering Community

ruby version rails version Travis Status for thepracticaldev/dev.to Code Climate maintainability Code Climate test coverage Code Climate technical debt CodeTriage badge Dependabot Badge GitPod badge Netlify badge GitHub code size in bytes GitHub commit activity GitHub issues ready for dev Honeybadger badge Knapsack Pro Parallel CI builds for dev.to

Welcome to the Forem codebase, the platform that powers dev.to. We are so excited to have you. With your help, we can build out Forem’s usability, scalability, and stability to better serve our communities.

What is Forem?

Forem is open source software for building communities. Communities for your peers, customers, fanbases, families, friends, and any other time and space where people need to come together to be part of a collective See our announcement post for a higher level overview of what Forem is.

dev.to (or just DEV) is hosted by Forem. It is a community of software developers who write articles, take part in discussions, and build their professional profiles. We value supportive and constructive dialogue in the pursuit of great code and career growth for all members. The ecosystem spans from beginner to advanced developers, and all are welcome to find their…

Every time we've had the opportunity to let the community contribute in new ways, we have been surprised and amazed. I've seen this happen over and over again since the start of the project a few years ago. This is not a library, this is the codebase that runs this platform. And it's a lot of fun to share!

This new chapter is part of an ongoing effort to maintain and improve the transparency we strive for, and of course, an opportunity to improve and grow our lovely pile of code. As I mentioned in my last post on the topic, we are very excited about the possibility that, with your contributions, this platform can eventually be re-purposed for communities and ecosystems outside of our scope.

We will continue to maintain and grow our developer community, but as a strong open source project. We imagine that this approach may lead to a lot of interesting and valuable use cases. We hope that some contributors come in with the goal of bolstering and improving dev.to itself, while others come to the project thinking about possible use cases as separate entities.

As this is the starting line, contributing guidelines and the open-source developer experience will need some ongoing improvements from us. So if you hit a stumbling block, we are here to help you, but we will also certainly make things better over time.

A huge thank you to our early contributors (@briankephart, @tiffanywismer, @yechielk, @nektro, @nickytonline, @edemca, @citizen428, @sabatesduran, @rhymes, @auua, @twhite, @niko, @arakodesigner and @joshichinmay) for not only committing code, but for providing us with lots of insight into their developer experiences while we prepared the repo and documentation.

An additional thank you to the companies Stride Consulting and Planet Argon. They each chipped in pro-bono time and effort, and we appreciate their contributions to this process. Stride was especially responsive and supportive as soon as we reached out to them. They sent @edemca to work with us for several days to help audit and take this over the finish line. We are incredibly grateful. I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention Corgibytes, who also helped us way back in the winter, but really helped guide us to get to that point. Corgibytes specializes in identifying and paying down technical debt, which we definitely needed at the time. All three of these shops definitely get the DEV seal of approval.

If you are coming from elsewhere on the web, and are not familiar with dev.to, we are a large online community of software developers committed to teaching one another, building our careers, and generally making software development a more collaborative, humane endeavor. We host articles and discussions that span from beginner to advanced, and as we grow we always work to foster a constructive environment that supports diverse use cases. As long as it is about code or the developer experience/life, all forms of blog posts and discussions are welcome.

Our members write posts, start discussions, and build their professional profiles. As we open-source, I'll remind folks that we are a for-profit company, but I can assure you that we are driven primarily by the values of building an inclusive and awesome software ecosystem. I'm sure everyone says this, but I think we wear it on our sleeves β€” the added transparency of open-sourcing should only help improve that accountability as we grow.

We are a Ruby on Rails app, with Preact on the front-end. We also have native apps on the way (🍏,πŸ€–). The technology choices will evolve over time. We are far from devotees to any one style, and while we are not going to change too much over night, we will encourage healthy discussions and debates over the choices along the way. We also have hard dependencies on some of our external services, but it's all up for change as we grow. These discussions will be half the fun!

The core project is licensed under Affero GPL 3.0, a copyleft license used by similar projects. Any libraries built or extracted at any point in our future will be made available under MIT.

I’ll finish up with a reminder that we are very serious about our code of conduct, and we expect everyone to behave with respect for all involved.

Happy coding ❀️

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ben profile

Ben Halpern


A Canadian software developer who thinks he’s funny. He/Him.


markdown guide

First merged open source PR goes to @_bigblind



Congrats Ben. I'm very excited because of dev.to open source. Now, I'm reviewing the code base of dev.to.

Thanks to all developers who contributed to dev.to. Most of the developer read dev.to articles. They improved themselves and I also improved myself thanks to dev.to.



Yes! A full-loop. dev.to helping people code better so (among other things) they can help dev.to. An awesome virtuous cycle.


I imagine the whole DEV team being like:

happy dancing

Right on time for my college semester break starting tomorrow :D

I'm super happy and excited for the future of this community!


The reality is that we're more exhausted than everything. Post launch has been a matter of dealing with little things here and there all day, but...

It's pretty cool to be number one trending on GitHub


Say wuuuuuuut!

Congratulations πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘


Thanks Isaac, you've been an awesome supporter in helping us get to this point.


I'm so excited to check out PWA practices in the code base.
DEV has been the best PWA experience I ever had. I've been using
the App button to browse DEV on my phone and never actually going to
the website. I'm learning more on PWA and it's great to have an open
source project like DEV to learn from.

Thank you so much!


Thanks Meghan! I think you’ve got the most decorated profile of anyone in the community in terms of badges.


Woah, really? 😲😊 Aww thank you, I really love DEV πŸ’–


Think it's about time I learn Ruby, great work everyone!


You don't have to know Ruby...but it might help πŸ™ƒ


It's a language I've been wanting to learn for a while, just never got round to it :p


dev.to was the most anticipated OSS project for me. I just went through the code, There is just so much to learn from the architecture for delivery blazing fast & robust application. Thank you πŸ™, Dev to team, for open sourcing it


Congratulations guys and gals! So excited to be a part of this as it makes its rounds! Dev.to is going to continue to be THE space for breaking down barriers and being the legs to the table of the engineering community!


Congratulations! This is a huge step!


Chasing after after your GitHub star count!


I believe it won't take too long! :)


Congratulations, I was waiting for this day!



I'm looking forward to poking around and finding something to contribute. I have an idea of where to look, but I need to find the code first πŸ˜‰


I wonder how the progressive webapp is made with the full size icon. Whenever I make one there is a small chrome icon next to it. (on android, don't know about ios)
Anyone know how to get a PWA like dev.to?


Congrats team! Big milestone. Looking forward to making more contributions post-vacation.


Nick, thank you for being an awesome DEV member and contributor!
Have a great vacation :)


w00t! So excited for y’all. Thanks for the Corgibytes shout out. :)


Congrats guys!!!! So happy to be part of Dev.to when you guys achieved this great milestones


Congratulations Ben and the rest of the team!


Congats! Y'all been working hard on this!

also every time I refresh the page there is a new gifπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

dev open source gif ex

I'm just gonna keep refreshing the page until I see that Beyonce gif again πŸ˜†


My current one is this one and it's perfect

Data Fist Pump


It's the little things. πŸ’–


Congratulations for open source to all the Dev.to team πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ you are amazing! Keep up the good work πŸ•Ί


That's awesome, congrats!

I've been waiting for this, I was so hyped I even starred the repo yesterday... which make it the first repo I ever starred πŸ˜‚ (never quite found a reason to star anything on GitHub)


It was good to make dev.to open-source as most of the open-source community enjoys using dev. The one thing I wish is that dev.to should be able to use SQLite databases so we can run it on less powerful containers.


Congrats team!!! I will learn ruby and this's really helpful for me ... Thanks you so much !!!


This is super exciting! Nice work Ben, Jess, Peter (& everyone else)!


This is so exciting to see! Congrats, everyone!


nice opening, this isn't the finish, it's the start, nailed it.


Thank you for the trust and congratulations on the release!