What is open source community
The open source community is a beautiful collaborative effort built on the contributions of each and every enthusiast.
Open source is a platform where you get to learn a lot, it helps newbies scale their learning curves- a little faster and much better. Anyone who wants to be a developer can start off by looking over the codebase of interesting open source projects.
Even experienced developers can learn a lot from a robust community of talented open source enthusiasts
Benefits of Open Source
- Gives you an idea of how real world projects work.
- You learn about large codebases and how they are managed. It makes you familiar with the ideas of good code, collaborative effort, version control, etc.
- Compiling and running the code of open source projects gives you an idea on how to find bugs as well as troubleshoot them in the software. In addition, programs like GSoC offer great opportunities for an open source developer.
- On the other hand, your project, if open sourced gets a watchful set of eyes that can review your code and fix bugs as well.
- The codebase becomes more robust, and your product impacts a wider circle of people than it would had it been a proprietary software (Proprietary software is software that is owned by an individual or a company (usually the one that developed it). There are almost always major restrictions on its use, and its source code is almost always kept secret.)
- As people contribute voluntarily, the projects can reach 70–80% completion from almost 10% completion at a phenomenal pace.
How open sourcing Newsmeme helped the product?
Saurav Tomar, has open sourced the code of his previous venture Newsmeme, it is an interesting story that highlights the advantages of open source.
Newsmeme developed a software that could convert any news article into video using machine learning and video processing tools, and they sold these videos as a service to textual news based media companies. They scaled up to a couple of paying clients but, then they ran into copyright issues, being charged with using copyright images.
Saurav describes the situation as follows “We created an AI which could extract context from a news and turn in into a visual story. It did well for a while, we got a couple of clients who would pay us for these videos. But, there was a problem, in sourcing content(images/gifs) for the videos, the AI we developed assumed absolute liberty, which got us into some copyright trouble, first it started with just Facebook deleting the videos, they my Facebook account got blocked, since we had automated the process of video uploads as well, and it was happening through my account, and then came the copyright infringement emails. It was a nightmare and we had to do something to get out of this mess. We were lucky enough to negotiate our way out of it, by dissolving the company and open sourcing the video generation engine.”
Here’s how the Newsmeme videos looked like —
“Open source is the greatest blessing of the shared economy, and I personally have gained so much from this community having used open source software majorly in almost all my projects, that I felt obliged to give back to the community” says Saurav, who is an avid contributor to open source and also runs a github organisation called BotShala which aims to make great open source bots.
To round off, let me just recapitulate — if you want to become a developer- open source is a great platform to learn, the community is supportive and there are a lot of projects to learn from and contribute to. If you have a project that needs a better codebase, open source is again the best way to go about it — the robust, vigilant and talented community can be relied on.
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Blog credits — Arathi Krishna S