This is a bit of an odd post with no real point as such, so please bear with me, but I got thinking today about various things, and how I am constantly amazed by our industry’s open source efforts. I just launched a blog for inuit.css and, in the process, the amount of open source and/or free stuff that was being used really astounded me.
So, let’s start at the beginning… I made a blog for my free, open source CSS framework inuit.css, which runs on the open source Sass preprocessor. The blog itself is built upon said framework as well as the open source Jekyll site generator. The source code is managed with the open source Git and the repository is hosted free of charge on GitHub. The blog itself is hosted for free with GitHub Pages.
I wrote the blog—and large parts of inuit.css—using Vim, a free, open source text editor (incidentally, the majority of my
.vimrc was sourced from Matt Tarbit’s freely available dotfiles (again, on GitHub)). The blog uses the freely available Ubuntu font which is served from the free Google Web Fonts.
One tiny blog, currently at two very short posts, is powered by so many totally free things. Literally the most expensive single thing (speaking from purely monetary point of view) behind inuit.css is the domain name, which was under £10 for a year.
I’m so happy to be contributing—in my own small way—to a field that’s already so teeming with freely available resources, and this is a bit of an aimless and indirect thanks. People sharing things rocks. I have no doubt at all that inuit.css would have never happened without things like GitHub. Free things seem to spawn other free things.
In recent months I’ve consciously steered away from weighing in on Twitter-based ‘disagreements’ etcetera because I just don’t want that stuff. I don’t have the desire to be involved in any negativity when I’m surrounded by people—personal friends included—who are too busy getting on with awesome stuff that they love doing so much that they literally give it away for free. That’s too cool to go by unnoticed.
Anyway, apologies for a seemingly aimless post, but I just wanted to offer some sort of broad thanks to all the chaps and chappettes who pour their all into giving stuff away. It makes everything better.
I’ve just been reminded of something else, too. Adam Whitcroft recently created Batch, a beautiful icon set that he put together over a number of weeks. Batch was initially a paid download, and why not? It’s gorgeous and clearly had a lot of effort put into it. However he reversed that decision and decided to make Batch available for free, but not only that, he refunded those who’d already paid. I don’t know if it’s just me, but that felt like such a huge gesture; making something, dropping the price tag, and returning any money that had previously been handed over. Awesome.