Last fall, I asked Paul Dix if I could take over maintenance of his gem Feedzirra. My request was totally out of the blue, so I was pretty pumped when he got right back to me and said yes. He said that he didn’t have time to work on it anymore and so I should feel free to do whatever I thought was best.
My first order of business was to go through the many open issues and pull requests on GitHub. When I started there were over 60, a number that I’ve gotten down to just a few. I thought it was important to ensure that users saw me treat their issue as important and even if it was very old (which many were), I asked if there was anything I could do to help.
I was pleasantly surprised by the nice way many people responded and we got to work addressing their questions and issues.
As I was working through issues and pull requests, I kept SemVer in mind - bug fixes in patch releases and backward-compatible changes in minor releases. But I also realized that it was past time for this project to be at version 1.0. In the SemVer FAQ, they talk about when to release version 1.0 and Feedzirra fit the bill: it was being used in production, there was a stable API and I was taking backwards compatibilty seriously.
So I treated it as a project at 1.0 and I did my best to release versions that were backward compatible and added deprecations for what I wanted to do in 1.0. I saw things that I wanted to completely rewrite, but I resisted the urge to burn it all down and start again.
When I was close to being caught up on the backlog of issues and pull requests, I started thinking about releasing version 1.0, and I knew I wanted to create a website for the project. I worked with Daniel Ariza to make it happen. I ripped apart the README and rewrote just about all the sections.
There was an open issue on the project about renaming the Gem and I knew that launching the website and releasing 1.0 would be the perfect opportunity, so I went for it. There was a suggestion to change the name to Feedzilla, but since that is already a thing, I went with Feedjira. I bought the domain and setup an organization by that name on GitHub.
With those things in place, I needed to actually update the code for these changes. I wanted to make this transition as easy as possible and devised a simple way to use three versions to make the jump to 1.0.
There are still lots of things I’d like to do with this Gem. I mentioned seeing things that I wanted to completely rewrite, so that’ll be something that I work on for a 2.0 release, but that’s a ways off. I’d like to officially support JRuby. Many people use Feedjira with Rails, so a separate project that helps those users get up and running quickly seems to have value.
The list goes on.
I do have a request before I finish this thing: I’d like to hear from users that have apps in production using Feedjira. If you’re using Feedjira for a commercial app, please email me!
Thanks to everyone who has helped me accomplish this, but especially Paul Dix for creating such a fun project to work on, Daniel Ariza for a badass website design and the many people who opened issues or sent pull requests. Open source is fun to work on because of people like you!! <3 <3 <3