What project or projects do you maintain and what was your motivation for creating those projects and releasing them as open source software?

My most popular project is Thin, a Ruby web server: https://rubygems.org/gems/thin.

The first release was about 8 years ago. I was having fun just working on it, benchmarking it and making it faster. But I also wanted people to use it. That is why I open sourced it.

If you created any of those projects, were they meant to solve a specific problem you faced, or were they born out of a larger opportunity you saw?

My main motivation was to create a faster and simpler web server. Ruby didn’t have as many options for servers back then and most weren’t stable.

And later on my motivation was to keep it the fastest server.

How has the project evolved since you first got involved or first released it?

Initially, I wrote most of the code and added features. Nowadays I mostly review and merge PRs.

How do you spend your time on those projects? (i.e. Developing, managing the community, triaging issues, etc.)

I check on the issues, seeing if there’s anything serious. And when I get time I review less urgent issues and PRs.

How would you describe the community around projects you participate in? What are your favorite and least favorite aspects?

It is less active then it was or perhaps it is just scattered across so many platforms (StackOverflow, Google Groups…) it’s hard to tell.

In the first few years I’ve put lots of effort into the community: blogging, posting to forums and answering questions. But I’m happy people can now find help on Stackoverflow or elsewhere as that is something I don’t like doing much anymore.

What keeps you involved in those projects? Do you have long-term plans for maintaining your involvement?

After 8 years, Thin is still the most popular Ruby web server. So I still feel motivated to maintain it.

But also, I’ve had an amazing career so far and I think most of it is because of Thin. I’ve traveled the world, been invited to conferences where people knew my name and I’ve received many job offers, all because of Thin. So I feel like the least I could do is to keep supporting it.

What is the most important thing someone submitting an issue or patch should know?

It’s always good to read the code a bit to fit the style before adding any code. And of course: being polite is the the #1 rule. Also, your patch might not get in. This can be frustrating. Know this can happen before working on a PR.

What’s your development environment right now?

Sublime Text on OS X

What was your first development environment? Do you miss anything from it?

First ever was Visual Basic 4. I don’t miss anything from it, but I do miss the feeling I had using it, constantly discovering new things.

Where do you see the open source software community headed?

I think we’ll see a lot more big corps open sourcing some of their core technologies. As time goes, I feel we’ll tend toward an hypothetical point in the far future were all code is public and all hardware & data private.

More About Marc-André Cournoyer:

Marc-André Cournoyer's Projects: