Why Open Source?

October 15, 2019
Evan Dancer

My family and friends have asked me the question about why I open-sourced OpenPace. Why would you give away something for free? Aren’t you worried that someone is going to rip off your idea and make a bunch of money off of it?

I am worried about that. I am worried that someone could steal my business and my hard work and build something better and more useful. But, I am also worried about this project failing and not being worth while. That, to me, is a bigger fear.

When I started this application, I chose to write it in Elixir on the Phoenix web framework. I was an engineer that had used mostly Ruby on Rails (and CakePHP before that). I was really excited to build something using this framework dubbed “Rails but fast”.

The problem when I was getting started was that it was hard to find examples. One of the things that I had grown to love about Rails was that it was batteries included. There was a gem for almost everything you could think of. If you wanted to do something, chances are someone else has already done it.

With Phoenix, this is not the case, but I want it to be. I want to use Phoenix in the long term and for it to be more adopted by fellow web engineers. I hope that this will be a tool for others to learn from while I learn as well.

I was also thinking about what it means to be open. There are a lot of new bootstrap companies that are open about their revenue, visitors, roadmaps, etc. I wanted to take it a bit further and make everything open including the source code. Hence the name, OpenPace.

Want to help out? Open a pull request for OpenPace!

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