OSS Plans for 2018 at the Halfway Point

This might be just navel gazing, but I do have some announcements in here too. 

I’ve made some remarks in the past year that I wanted to drastically scale back my OSS work after I finished the big things that are in flight. I think I’ve changed my mind to just finding a sustainable pace and continuing on. What I’ve realized after getting over some creeping burnout is that:

  • It’s frequently more challenging than ordinary dev work and it helps to keep my skillset sharp now that I’m officially a “real architect” again
  • I get to interact with a lot of smart folks and learn about a lot of other kinds of development approaches and projects. That’s pretty key for me because I haven’t been able to do many development conferences or events the past several years
  • The OSS projects are the one professional thing I get to have control over
  • I just enjoy doing it

I wrote a post in January trying to lay out for myself what I hoped or planned to do this year in the various OSS projects I run. At the halfway point of the year, I just wanna do a little update and see for myself where and how plans have changed.

  • Jasper – The project doesn’t have any real adoption yet, but I think it’s rounding into shape with some compelling features and qualities for microservice development in .Net and reliable messaging. I should have a v0.9 release out shortly with quite a few improvements that went in this spring before I changed jobs in May. Jasper will hopefully hit 1.0 before the end of the year. In terms of development work remaining, I might play around with flushing out the FubuMVC-style HTTP service routing as an alternative to MVC. I also hope to add quite a bit of integration with Jasper to Azure technologies as a learning exercise for myself to finally get some cloud computing skills and join the modern world.
  • Lamar (was BlueMilk) – Lamar 1.0 was released a couple weeks ago and I’ve had plenty of early user feedback that’s already led to some fixes. I released Lamar 1.1 yesterday that specifically targets the “cold start” time for applications using Lamar. This release especially improves the start time for ASP.Net Core applications using Lamar
  • Marten – Of all the things I work on, Marten has the most adoption and the biggest community by far, so I’ve mostly just tried to keep my head above water taking in pull requests and doing occasional bug fixes. If this week goes well, I’ll be starting preliminary work on a Marten 3.0 release for later this year to try to clear out the backlog of feature requests. My goal for Marten this year is to somehow whittle the open GitHub issue list down to a single page and keep it there.
  • Storyteller – Storyteller is the one project of mine that I actually get to regularly use.  I’m hoping to use it extensively on a project at work for Behavior Driven Development type specifications with our client’s business logic. I released a v5 earlier this year that just streamlined the command line usage and getting started story for new projects that target the latest .Net SDK project system. If the year goes well, I’d like to do a rewrite of the specification editor user interface. This is partially to add some missing functionality Storyteller needs to be truly usable by non-developers, but mostly to give me a chance to level up in the latest Javascript tools.
  • AlbaAlba is a little library that helps you write HTTP contract tests against ASP.Net Core applications. The obvious comparison in .Net is to TestServer in ASP.Net Core, but I’d say it’s more like Pact from Ruby or PlaySpecification in Scala. I just released Alba.AspNetCore2 v1.4.1 that made Alba work with ASP.Net Core 2.1. I might get into Alba this year and put it on top of TestServer and call it a big bag of extensions for TestServer instead of being its own thing (even though they barely overlap in functionality).
  • Oakton – Andy Dote made a pull request for asynchronous commands that formed the basis for the Oakton 1.5.0 release. At this point, I think Oakton is essentially done, and you’ll find it underneath several of the projects in the rest of this list
  • StructureMap — All I’m doing at this point is trying to answer user questions as they come in, and that flow has slowed way down. I’m asking folks to consider moving to Lamar or another IoC container for newer development.

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