Open Source - Cycle Back

Open Source software is often maturing.

Cycling back to the distribution site has many advantages:

  • Upgrading open source components usually delivers many bug fixes and new features. Although upgrading after ever update is probably unnecessary, it is worth considering an upgrade if something isn’t working exactly as expected.
  • Upgrading increases the lifespan of your code, as well as often improving the quality.
  • Documentation often improves, both directly from the author and with contributions from other users. Repeat visits usually increases understanding.
  • As new features are added, they can be integrated into your code.
  • As you learn more, you can contribute to the site.

Cycling back through your application also has many advantages:

  • As your skills improve, your code will, too. Revisiting code allows you to improve it.
  • Look for ways to consolidate and reuse code. The less code you have to maintain, the better. Overly complex or large applications are often more difficult to work with than sleek, elegant systems.
  • Validate XHTML and CSS periodically.
  • Use jsLint, and other tools.
  • Run the pages through different browsers after major changes.
  • Keep an eye on the architecture, understand what goes where and why.
  • Add comments for things that are difficult to understand.
  • Look for opportunities to improve performance.