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You become responsible, forever, for what you have published on NPM

jotafeldmann profile image Jota Feldmann Updated on ・2 min read

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

I was checking for my old small codes, looking for some good projects to apply tests and improve my skills.

Suddenly I remembered that some of them were published on NPM, just for fun, to my own use. And then, in that small right area, which I've used so many times before to analyze packages, my eyes became bright: most of my packages have about 6 to 24 downloads/week!

I was shocked! Somebody, out there, in the ocean of the open-source, is really using my humble chunks of code...

After minutes of self-admiration, one thing became clear: I was responsible, somehow, for the code of the others. Never, in my 20 years of coding, this kind of responsibility crashed over me.

One thing is to code to the production environment of software you're paid to execute; another is ship some silly code and somebody, not your fellas or company, start to use your package. Weekly.

So, I've decided to improve all of them. Version, tests, good documentation, better code. Even knowing my published codes was simple, the need for some baseline overwhelm my shoulders and became a duty.

And now, 20 years after my first code, I can feel what open source can be. It's not just "contributing back" but become responsible for the others, raising the bar, as I think those same guys do in the all-stared repositories.

...

So, for you out there, using my code: thanks a lot. And one lesson learned: open source out your ideas, maybe somebody can find it useful.

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khalyomede profile image
Khalyomede

Definitively my motto: if you have an idea of package for your own use, open source it. It will force you to make it the clearest and most robust possible, leading in less bug for your own usage, and your future self will thank you to have provided a good documentation.

I like this a lot. And if you fail, the amount of knowledge you have gathered (testing, new build tools, new languages, ...) is enough to make this effort worth it anyway!