Friday, May 22, 2015

First open source contribution!

Our instructor at NSS has been having us concatenate our Bower dependencies for site deployment using a handy program called "bowcat" (Bower-concatenate..?). Check it out here:

and here:

Some confusion arose when we started including the Firebase package as a Bower dependency, however-- it took a while to get at the root of the problem, but it boiled down to: we'd been running sh scripts that ran bowcat with its --min option, which will concatenate minified versions of the dependencies it finds. Turns out that Firebase doesn't have a minified version, and so bowcat hadn't been including it in the concatenated file it was generating.

Npm packages are written in Node ("Node Package Manager"), and Node is Javascript. So hey, seemed like I could probably figure something out.

Four lines and a pull request later, and I've made my first open source contribution! I just had bowcat rerun its filename-gathering procedure sans the --min option if it wasn't coming up with any files for a particular package (it does this on a per-package basis).

It's pretty thrilling to have contributed something (albeit small, but gotta start somewhere) that really gets used by people. I hope that one day I'll be able to say that it was the first of many such contributions.

Thanks to AjayMT!

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