What project or projects do you maintain and what was your motivation for creating those projects and releasing them as open source software?
graphql-subscriptions - GraphQL Subscriptions is the part of the GraphQL protocol that lets you push real time data to your clients. There are many exciting things about that but for me the most interesting thing is we now have the option to have an open source standard for real time communication, unlike other real time solutions that dictate their own unique proprietary protocol. This library was the first implementation for Node users and helped shape the standard itself and the community around it together with Facebook. The best part in this work that the Apollo team and our community has done was to go on stage together with Lee Byron to announce the official addition of GraphQL Subscriptions to the spec.
apollo-angular - Meteor has been around for 5 years and we constantly thinking about where the ecosystem is heading next and how to progress the platform. One major thing that happened is that Facebook open sourced GraphQL. At Meteor we saw the GraphQL solves a lot of the same problems we solved with the DDP protocol but also solves many more problems and is in general better for most use cases and more widely adopted by the community. So we look at it as kind of like DDP 2.0. Because we want to give our community a chance to upgrade to it gradually, we created separate libraries that anyone can use in their existing apps. My goal here was very similar to angular-meteor - expose the Angular community to the benefits of using GraphQL and giving them a solution to make it easier for them.
Tortilla - Framework for creating tutorials. Tutorials are a huge passion of mine and I feel they never good enough. So I’ve created a framework to help people create high quality, easily updated tutorials. An example result can be shown by this tutorial - https://angular-meteor.com/tutorials/whatsapp2/ionic/setup
Meteor Client Bundler - A tool that helps decouple Meteor in order to Leverage the power of Meteor with any client-side framework
Meteor-rxjs - Here I’ve done the same but the other way around. The Angular community has really gathered around the concepts of reactive programming using rx-js, so I’ve decided to expose an RxJS API over Meteor’s Collections in order to expose the Meteor community to this great idea and give them tools to use it on their existing apps.
In general I think that programming should be much easier than it is right now and that sharing ideas between the communities would really help with that.
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?
I think both. I started it by solving my own problem but from the moment I realized nobody else has done it, I knew I want to share it with the community and spread it around.
How has the project evolved since you first got involved or first released it?
We have a huge community of angular-meteor developers. It’s really inspiring to see. Almost everyday I get an email from someone who has an app built with angular-meteor.
One of the things I like the most is that people really appreciate the tutorials I’ve created for it. I always wanted to write a tutorial for a complete app, start to finish, and now I see it was helpful for others as well.
How do you spend your time on those projects? (i.e. Developing, managing the community, triaging issues, etc.)
I guess a bit of all. Luckily I’ve found great people in the community that help me with each one of those so it’s easier. Also a thing that I really like is to meet with production users, learn from them about their problems and help them find the right solutions.
How would you describe the community around projects you participate in? What are your favorite and least favorite aspects?
The thing I like that most about the community of angular-meteor is that it is very diverse. I get to talk with people all over the world, in places I didn’t even know about, and all genders. I don’t know how it became like that. Maybe it’s because the tutorials make it easier to start even if you are a beginner.
Another thing that is bugging me is that people are afraid to dig deep in the code. That means that they when they have a problem or want to integrate a library, they will open an issue but will do very little in order to understand what’s happening and how to solve it, even if it means changing the code of the library.
What keeps you involved in those projects? Do you have long term plans for maintaining your involvement?
I feel responsibility for the community. I gave lectures to a lot of people, telling them they should use this technology and bet on it. So I want to keep them happy and productive.
That’s why I’m really focusing now on GraphQL. I really think it’s not only the right solution for the whole programming community, but especially the right solution for the current users of angular-meteor.
Also, I have this weird idea in my head that most people would probably disagree with - open source libraries should be under a person’s name and not under Github organization.
I believe that in this way maintainers will have to take more responsibility because it reflects directly to them. In a company, small things might get lost because the company might go in a different direction. It can also happen with individuals but I feel it will happen less.
Also, it’s easier to move things around if it’s under a person’s name, meaning, easier to fork and move the community around. With an organization people follow the organization and not the code, the power of the organization is too big.
What is the most important thing someone submitting an issue or patch should know?
That everyone is the same. They should try to dig deep and think what would I need to do in order to solve it myself. That way I think they will create better issues with more details about the problem that will help me solve it quickly.
What’s your development environment right now?
I use a MacBook Pro, using Visual Studio Code and Webstorm. Still haven’t decided what better…
What was your first development environment? Do you miss anything from it?
I used Windows machine with Sisual Studio 6 while writing C++ and MFC. I loved that the IDE was very powerful and had almost everything you need gathered in the right way for you.
Where do you see the open source software community headed?
I think we would start seeing that approach spreading around to other fields. We won’t want our government software to be closed source. We won’t want any of our softwares to be closed source, why can’t I send a PR to Google Docs?
Also, we will take the same approach to data. If someone would create a great social network, we won’t leave Facebook because all of our friends/posts/data are there, and Facebook won’t let us use this information outside of their walled garden. Same with search engines, even if someone will create a better search engine, Google will still have advantage because it has all of my search history. But this is my search history, not Google’s.
I think this is unacceptable. And the same thing goes to my bank data and the data my government has on me. I believe the community will start offering more and more solutions for that problem.