Leveraging third services in open source

2016-03-04 • Nicolas Sebrecht

Github ecosystem is growing. I decided it was time to make use of two more promising services from the integrated tools.


Interesting changes happen! We are currently in a move to more integration between online services. Of course, this is not something new because the technology is there and it is used since quite some time. IMHO, what is changing is that more and more small teams coming from open source communities are making their way in this economy while still featuring FOSS.

Leveraging them is a good thing for most open source projects. Even fresh starting projects like imapfw can seriously benefit from the tools they provide.

Here are those I enabled. Selecting the best tools is not hard as long as you know what you want. My mandatory criteria for this project are:

  • clear limitations regarding the free services they provide;
  • as much as open source code as possible;
  • not going to become captive and locked into closed products: we must always own our work and be able to easily move to something else if required.

Travis CI

Travis CI was the first I enabled. Their intent to keep working with open source communities looks real and effective.

Development is using continous integration for both our master and next branches. One feature I like most is the possiblity to have pull requests automatically fetch and run in the testing environment with seamless feedback into github. That’s awesome!

Thank you much guys!


Gitbook will be used for our documentation.

All the members in the official team will be able to edit the documentation online. That’s a big plus because documentation is key for a framework. The more it’s easy to make changes, the more we’ll likely have improvements.

Also, anyone with a Github, Facebook, Google or Twitter account can leave inline comments to the authors while browsing the documentation online.

Thanks Gitbook!


Gitter is a service for “chatting”. We have our own room there.

To be honest, I’ve heard complaints (on IRC…) about this kind of service. I do think most of them miss the point. What’s wonderful is not only what Gitter provides today (and how easy it can be compared to IRC) but all the awesome stuff they can potentially enable in the future. Please, don’t make yourself strong opinions from your own perspective and requirements! There are a lot of ways they can benefit to others, including open source communities.

So yes, I do think they are doing a fucking good job. If I’ve put “chatting” within quotes above it’s because Gitter’s chat is far more than just that. Logs are persistent, desktop and mobile clients are available, markdown and a lot of fancy tricks are supported: desktop notifications, fixing typos in text already sent with s/error/fix it/, etc.

Check out the bottom right button. ,-)

Integrating Gitter into this website has been so easy!

Thank you Gitter! Keep up the good work!

Final note

I remember back in the old days when enabling all those kind of features was hard if not simply impossible for small projects like imapfw… Projects had websites with ugly colors and fonts, sending simple changes used to require lot of work and strong implication into the project, advanced features like continous intergration required spending your own money into infrastructures, etc.

If there is one area for which the “good old days” does not envy me anymore, it’s probably this one.

We are entering a new age with good, embrace it!