In the last two years, 10up, a web design and development agency has contributed to WordPress in significant ways. From sponsoring Helen Hou-Sandi to work full-time on WordPress core, to sponsoring Drew Jaynes to lead the WordPress 4.2 development cycle. In a post published on the company’s blog, 10up announced it will continue to invest in WordPress and other open source projects it works with on a daily basis.
According to the announcement, 10up is sponsoring Jaynes to work on WordPress full-time. The company has also created a Platform Engineer position and although it’s not hiring to fill the role, the company has left the title open-ended as it continues to support and build web platforms such as santize.css and Varying Vagrant Vagrants.
Sponsoring Scott Kingsley Clark to Work on the Fields API Project
In a major show of support, 10up is sponsoring 100 hours of Scott Kingsley Clark’s company time to work on the Fields API Project. Announced in May, the Fields API Project is an offshoot of the Metadata API project. The Fields API would allow developers to register fields and sections for WordPress objects. According to Clark, the goal is to initially cover the following WordPress objects:
- Customizer (retrofitting it beneath the existing Customizer API)
- User profile screen
- Post editor
- Settings screens (retrofitting it beneath the existing Settings API)
- And other areas in the future (Comment editor, Network Settings screens [see #15691], Media modals, etc)
10up believes that supporting the Fields API Project will help move it into a viable state to potentially be added to WordPress in the near-future, “As a company with a central mission of creating great publishing experiences, the user and developer experiences a fields API can improve are something we are particularly well-versed in,” Hou-Sandi said.
Hou-Sandi goes on to explain that the web is built on open technologies that are usually maintained by small groups of people who rely on donations.
The balance between use and support of open source software leans heavily toward use, and that imbalance has become even more apparent. Even with increased awareness around the plight of projects integral to a safe web, initiatives like OpenSSL continue to operate on small donations and the volunteer efforts of a few. It takes time to convert pledges into action, and we’ve yet to see very many pledges at all, much less action.
The following quote written by Jake Goldman, Founder and President of 10up, explains why reinvesting in open source projects is so important not only for his company’s customers, but the WordPress userbase in general.
I’ve said repeatedly that nothing is more critical to the success of agencies that rely on community, open source software platforms than the continued success of those platforms. It is incumbent upon those who have leveraged free, open platforms with success to share that success back.
By economically enabling world-class engineers to improve open platforms, we not only ensure that our customers continue to have a first class solution, we enable the next generation of builders, who can’t yet afford such resources, to further grow our ecosystem and the platform’s demand. I believe this is the social contract of open source, and as 10up grows, so to will our contributions to open source. It’s not just responsible citizenship, it’s good business.
It makes sense for companies whose businesses rely on open source software to find ways to reinvest time, energy, and money back into those projects less they disappear. That’s precisely what 10up is doing along with a few other companies. Let me know in the comments if and how your company is contributing back to open source software.