My Favorite Open Source Projects
5 min read
Remember that I'm a skinflint?
This is one thing.
But I'm also very thankful.
And this is why I value people or organizations that allow me to live frugaly.
In software, it's open source people that create projects that allows me to enjoy so much awesome cool stuff. This post is thus a way to express gratitude towards them.
Here is my list of the 5 Open Source projects I value the most.
I'm a font lover, but also ... a speed guru.
When I build websites, I love squeezing the tiniest bit out of my source code to be able to offer the smoothest experience to my users.
Loading fonts "locally" is one of the many thing I do to achieve this goal.
However, keeping font files up to date is challenging and time-consuming.
Downloading files, staying up to date with font updates, making sure I'm only including the necessary font weight files.
That's not fun and that's not something I want to do.
Fontsource solves all of this!
It has a super handy dependency mechanism that allows you to select a font and any of its available weight.
Everything is downloadable through handy NPM packages so make sure you try this project if you have similar considerations.
This project replaces Typefaces that was doing the same thing.
I am hardcore Git fan.
The next level is logically to bring Git to the masses with online repositories and all that.
I always found that GitLab was "clearer" than Github when it comes to ... about everything.
Merge requests for example.
Github pull requests are called merge requests in GitLab, which makes more sense to me because basically, what you are trying to accomplish with such an action is to ... merge a certain branch into another one.
So you're asking someone or something the right to merge your branch into the other one you want it to be in.
It's clearly a merge request that you want to do, so having "merge" in the name of this thing makes sense, right?
Yes, if you want to pull modifications from a branch to another it works too, but still, I would say that the most intuitive thing is to think of it as merge action than a pull one.
Calling things by their name is essential in life, and it holds very true for software.
Naming is one of the hardest thing to do right when writing code.
What would be this list without the very project I am using to build the website you're actually on?
Gridsome is a Static Site Generator (SSG) for Vue.js.
It's lightweight, with a good, clear and quite complete documentation.
It was the first the framework I used on top of Vue and it really made me love it even more.
This also is the first framework I used to enter the world of statically generated sites and oh mate what an enjoyable ride!.
Thanks to SSGs, building static websites finally feels how it should:
Easy and pleasant.
I find it normal that building complex things requires some thoughts.
But simple things should stay simple to create.
Static websites are a simple thing to me.
And so should be the ways to make them real.
Prior to the rise of SSGs, I used Pico to build the previous version of my website and I really enjoyed it too.
What would, the world of today be if without Typescript?
I always loved using this language. The first time I've met him while discovering Angular, I instantly adored it.
The more I used it the more I liked it (not the same story with Angular 😄).
I love it so much that I now want to use it in every JS projects I'm involved in.
Typescript is also becoming an industry standard (or became should I say) in many major software companies, so learning it is definitely worth in my opinion.
Visual Studio Code
Last but not least, Visual Studio Code.
Or VScode by his little name.
I'm a software engineer, so of course I need a tool to write code.
I used Sublime Text a lot from 2015 to mid 2017, until I discovered VSCode.
This super light IDE is what I swear by every day.
It opens in no time, has a blazing-fast global search, intuitive shortcuts, a practical extension search, and much more!
It really is filled with perks that are hard to go without and is deprived from unnecessary stuff that would pollute its light and neat foundations.
The timeline feature added in the March 2020 update is one of those discrete but game changing addition to me.
Still, it's integration was so discrete that a lot of people I worked with did not even noticed its existance.
Which is fine to me as it sort of proves how unintrusive they are able to make new features find their way into the app even with years of constant updates.
Also, it has no bugs, really.
All software have bugs, it is known.
But using VScode on a daily basis for years, I hardly remember any bug or sluggishness that would have threaten my productivity on a given day.
It just works and it feels so right to have such a functional tool.
I am truly thankful for all the people that worked and still work on this marvelous tool, it's one that, I think, really brightens developers life.
Very recently, I discovered this visual snow relief overlay project that I think I will soon tip because of how useful I find it.
It is a screen overlay filter that aims to help people affected by the visual snow syndrome finding some relief.
Being affected by this, I have no words for such an apt creation. It is like inventing self-cleaning clothes for people who dislike laudry.
Thank you belvederef!
Do you have any open source projects you're fond of?
Help me and readers discover them by posting a comment in the below section!
I have one: Git!
Git is an industry standard nowadays and it is the king of version control. Learning it definitely is good investment for anyone's career in the software industry.
And it's always enjoyable to lear hidden features the more you dive deep into the tool.
It's your time to speak up!
Share some witty insights so readers will be twice as happy.