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Guest Post: Why Open Source It?

[originally published by Michael Rebello / NEXMachine]

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Before you fall off your seat, no – we aren’t open sourcingActivityHub. We have, however, published various elements of this software, which are available on GitHub. But why bother putting code into the public domain? After all, it’s just extra effort to write thorough documentation, make sure every single thing in the project can be run independently, and maintain it, right?

Not entirely. While it is true that it does take developers longer to write code that can be open sourced, in the end it’s supposed to save other people time, effort, and maybe even some headaches. As a developer myself, I can testify that StackOverflow and GitHub are some of the most useful sites in existence. Every visit to one of those sites almost always saves me some time because someone else had the same issue with X library that broke Y component when performing obscure action Z.

The reason this information exists is because it was created by other people – at their own desire, without being paid. Contributors are genuinely interested in those topics and are very willing to help. The fact that others have helped me so much has motivated me to do my part in the community by answering questions with my StackOverflow account, as well as open-sourcing some projects that I’m a part of.

At NEXMachine, we share this same commitment. Even though open sourcing some code doesn’t directly benefit us, it helps other people to save time at little expense – and that’s great. A few weeks ago, we released the month view librarythat we currently use in ActivityHub under the MIT open source license. Most recently, we contributed a highly customizable date picker to the public domain. This is just the beginning, as we’ll continue to share whatever code we can – and I would strongly encourage you to, as well!

Oh, and by the way – If you’re looking for another good way to save time and headaches, check out ActivityHub on the Salesforce AppExchange. It’s free, which is almost as good as being open sourced!

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