A Complicated Relationship with Open Source
There are a lot of highs and lows maintaining open source software over the last 10 years.
Early in my journey learning how to code I received sound advice from my then professor Casey Reas. He told me and my peers that writing code needed to be approached differently than making art. In art school there was an earnest desire to source or make everything yourself. This approach brings authenticity to your work. Writing code on the other hand inherently relies on using technology that someone else has built. Instead of building all functionality yourself, developers must rely on the community for it. This requires a savvy to find what you need.
This is when I discovered open source. Open source is software under a specific license that grants its use to other parties. But, there are also communities organized around specific open software, who rally around it. The majority of my understanding of technology comes from engaging and participating in open source communities and software. A good portion of the last nine years has been dedicated to contributing to those efforts.
While cycling across mainland Japan with my brother in 2012, I started developing two-dimensional rendering engines for the web. At the time I was trying to better understand how drawing works in different software contexts. It quickly became a polarizing open source library on Hacker News. I used it to help define my own coding style and digital aesthetic which is reflected in my portfolio. It was also used by other developers: agencies, independents, and even big tech.
While I still make updates to Two.js today, the rest of the web tech community has surpassed the functionality available in this library. I specifically decided not to make maintaining open source software a professional priority. So, as I add new projects to my portfolio, it becomes increasingly difficult to prioritize Two.js.
Now this is not the end of the road for Two.js. There are still a lot of features that I want to add and learn how to develop. I also have aspirations to make even larger projects than the ones I have already made with Two.js. But, as we enter the waning days of summer, I cannot help but acknowledge that these goals could not feel further away.
It started with a step and will continue with small steps,