What’s Your Open Source Resolution?

I’ve been using GNU/Linux since 1994, starting with a Slackware 2.2 CD-ROM I ordered from the back of a magazine. I’ve been heavily involved in my local GNU/Linux community since 1999, and I give frequent presentations at various groups. I’ve made some small contributions to several Open Source projects.

But I don’t feel like I’ve done enough to contribute to the wider community. So this year, I’m going to resolve to step up my contributions, and do more.

Change my role in the LUG

I was lucky enough this past year to find someone interested in helping to run the St. Louis GNU/Linux Users Group (STLLUG). I’ve been running the group so long that I’ve somewhat stagnated. It’s great to find someone who will bring a fresh energy and new ideas. Thanks, Andrew!

Mostly freed from the more general administrative tasks (mostly planning meeting topics and speakers), I’m hoping to find the time to work on a few projects. First, I want to overhaul the web site. It needs a new look, as well as an easier way to update it. I’m planning to implement some sort of CMS — possibly WordPress or Octopress, or at the very least, a git repo to manage updates.

Blog regularly

I installed WordPress a long time ago, but I haven’t published many posts. I’ve got a few drafts in various stages. So this year I’m going to actually get the blog going, and hopefully post about once a week. I’ll be sharing things I learn on the Internet, as well as some of the things I learn from my experiences with various technologies and techniques.

Contribute more significant patches

There are a few items I’ve been meaning to work on and contribute. I’d like to finally get around to them:

  • Make the GNU sort command be able to (easily) sort a list of IP addresses, or semantic version numbers.
  • Add MySQL-style commands to PostgreSQL: SHOW DATABASES; SHOW TABLES; DESCRIBE table. (I’m not sure how welcome these additions might be, but I think they’d make transitioning from MySQL easier for people.)

Publish and maintain several Ruby gems

I’ve been working on a few Ruby gems. I’d like to get them to a state where they’re useful to more people. These include:

  • A way to simplify standard CRUD controller actions
  • A way to declare list views in a manner similar to SimpleForm or Formtastic
  • A way to declare ActiveRecord attributes in models using Virtus
  • A higher-level interface to ROM (Ruby Object Mapper)
  • A similar high-level way to┬ádefine Perpetuity attributes in models using Virtus
  • My Rails template, making it much easier to start a Rails app

Build some apps

I enjoyed building a quick Rails app during last year’s Rails Rumble, even if it doesn’t turn out to be useful or make any money. I’d like to create a few small apps again this year, either in Rails or Apache Cordova. I’ve got some ideas — we’ll see how if they turn into anything useful or worth selling.

Podcast more often

Last year, I started joining the This Agile Life podcast. I enjoy it. I’m hoping to continue with that, and possibly doing some podcasting about Ruby and Rails.

Present at a conference

I’m going to attempt to give a presentation at a conference. I often give presentations at local groups, but haven’t addressed a larger audience. I’ve got a few ideas rattling around, and will see if I can turn them into presentations worthy of a larger conference.

What’s your Open Source resolution?

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