This July, I had the great honor of speaking at OSCON 2013. In the Portland Convention Center I unveiled our engineering techniques for supporting non-English languages in TripCase. My plan? Share with the programming community hard-earned insights gained from R&D of our app.
OSCON, short for “open source convention”, continued growing stronger having turned 15 years old. As I held up the concert-tour-like commemorative t-shirt, I enjoyed reading slogans from years past. A fascinating thread leapt out:
• 2000 – “Fueling the Open Source Alternative”
• 2002 – “From the Frontiers of Research”
• 2007 – “Breaking Through”
• 2009 – “Open for Business”
Looking at these brief moments in time amazed me. As a programmer immersed in open source technology I appreciated its evolution from obscurity to certainty. Emerging years ago from a small dedicated few, it has expanded into the foundations of the very best websites and apps used daily. PhoneGap, Backbone, jQuery, Sass, and Jasmine are fantastic examples of that tech.
Open source is absolutely fundamental to how we’ve built TripCase mobile. We’ve crafted a modern architecture fueling our codebase with open source tools. Our choices enabled the app to run in handheld browsers on Android, iOS, and Blackberry. The exact same code wrapped up into native apps downloaded from Apple and Google stores for use with your smartphone.
A single codebase meant our programmers got smart and stayed smart. The source is so well known to everyone on the team that we’ve continually improved it by adding features, repairing bugs, and optimizing the experience.
Open source was driven by volunteerism. It was propelled by programmers who thought first of what could be done to help others. Often this valuable work was created after hours and between assignments rather than as a day-job. Open source meant being truly abundant in their working lives. I think we at TripCase have been mindful of the inventive programming community and have done our best serving them back.
How have TripCase programmers supported the open source community? We’ve sent helpful changes to authors for fixing bugs, published blog articles for training, spoken at conferences for educating, and tweeted regularly — highlighting libraries we’ve enjoyed.
If now, you’re as totally excited about open source tech as me, have a coffee and give that presentation a read.
Ken records his thoughts on his own blog at http://blog.katworksgames.com.