Update on a few of my open source projects

by on June 4, 2013


I’ve been trying to do some cleanup and reorganization of my various open source projects. I regularly get emails asking for help or gently reminding me that one of my projects needs updating. The truth is, most of my projects have been horribly neglected for the last couple years. While I can’t promise my participation will improve, I would like to recognize some of the extraordinary people who have been helping me with maintenance while I’ve been busy. Here’s a quick status update on five of my more popular open source projects.

PubSubHubbub plugin for WordPress

I know, I know, RSS is supposed to be dead. Tell that to the 1,300+ people who downloaded my PubSubHubbub (PuSH) plugin last week, or the 58,000+ people who’ve downloaded it since it was first released. A huge thanks to Matthias Pfefferle for his help maintaining the project. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen to RSS & PuSH, especially as Google kills their Reader product. I expect big companies to continue to push for more centralized systems. Meanwhile, I’ll be here rooting for the open and distributed web however I can.

Timezone detection in JavaScript

My timezone detection article continues to be one of my more popular posts on this blog. Today there are thousands of websites using some variation of my timezone detection code. Jon Nylander took my code and has expanded it into a far more robust solution. His version is way better than mine, so use it instead.

Backwards compatible window.postMessage

My cross-browser implementation of window.postMessage is now pretty stable and is still one of the simplest solutions I’ve seen. I’ve heard that Twitter and Disqus both use easyXDM instead, but I haven’t dug into it myself to know how it compares.

Name Parser

Splitting names is a surprisingly tricky task. My solution isn’t perfect, but it’s a nice step beyond just splitting a name based on a space. Mark Pemburn did a nice job porting my library from PHP to JavaScript. This library has a lot of potential for improvement and I’d love to see more contributions here.

Rolling Curl

Another popular post (especially with the rent-a-coder crowd trying to scrape websites) was my Rolling Curl library in PHP. It solves the blocking connection problem with using cURL in PHP. Alexander Makarow and Fabian Franz have done a great job at improving my code and adding new features.

I’ve found it incredibly rewarding to participate in these projects and others. It blows my mind how much of the world runs on open source software. Open source was one of those things that never fully made sense to me until I started contributing myself. I encourage every developer to find a way to get involved in an open source project and give back. It’s been a great way for me to meet other passionate developers and learn from people who are smarter than I.